Earlier this week, Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer broke his nose while (somewhat lazily) practicing his bunting, the latest victory for the "universal DH" crowd. A less insane pitcher/human probably would have at least skipped his next start, or even missed more time in the increasingly careful new-world MLB, where players miss a game if they have the sniffles. Mad Max? He was on the mound two days later against the Philles, throwing seven scoreless innings, striking out 10 batters, giving up just four hits and notching his sixth victory of the season. He did get the nose checked out, but only to satisfy team doctors.
“Trust me, this thing looks a lot worse than it actually is,” Scherzer said after the game. “I felt zero pain. There’s been plenty of other injuries where I felt a lot of pain and I’ve had to pitch through. I’ll hang my hat on those starts, but tonight I felt zero pain. This is part of what you have to do. You take the ball every fifth time.
“That’s my responsibility to the team, to make sure I always post, and I knew I could post tonight.”
Funny thing is, it looked incredibly painful:
Sorry for the nightmares.
This is nothing new for Scherzer, who is arguably the most batsh-t crazy pitcher in the entire league. That got us thinking if he's the most batsh-t crazy hurler ever, and how to define such a pitcher. For Scherzer, he's crazy because he just wants the damn ball and he wants to throw a complete game shutout every fifth day (and don't you dare tell him otherwise). His two different colored eyes definitely add to the crazyness as well. But Scherzer is not out here throwing at guys heads, getting into brawls or displaying any roid rage that some of the biggest nutjob pitchers have displayed over the years. While Mad Max is certainly a madman, he'd still rank just a notch below on our favorite all-time lunatic list we've compiled below. The only prerequisite ? You have to be good at pitching. Being crazy and having a billion ERA doesn't count (looking at you, Hansel Robles... and also Ken Giles).
This list should begin and end with John Rocker, who was almost as crazy as he is problematic. However you feel about him, you can't say the guy wasn't electric on the mound, despite how short-lived his career was. Rocker in the playoffs at Shea Stadium was theater that has no equal.
He threw the jagged edge of a broken piece of wood at another human. His defense? "I thought it was the ball." Oh, carry on then! Nothing to see here!
The craziest part about Pedro was how little fear he had despite being so little, at least in the early part of his career. Obviously, he packed on a few pounds as he got older, enough to throw around Don Zimmer (RIP) like a rag doll.
This video actually has a "may be inappropriate for some users, do you wish to proceed?" warning label on it on YouTube. That's how terrifying Nolan Ryan was. He made baseball brawls NC-17.
Before Roger Clemens made throwing bats at opponents cool, Juan Marichal was literally attacking people with them. Revolutionary stuff.
Very underrated moment in crazy man/baseball history: Zambrano tossing out the umpire who tossed him. "I'm tossed? NO, YOU'RE TOSSED!." Narrator: he still got tossed.
When pitching a no-hitter on LSD is only like the third craziest thing you've ever done, you might be insane.
Never forget Chris Sale cut up his team's jerseys because he just flat out didn't like them.
When you're nickname is "The Mad Hungarian," you make the damn list.