The first season of “Eastbound and Down,” a comedy about a washed-up, big-league pitcher, gave us a (semi-)accurate portrayal of what life must be like for an ex-pro athlete. A piece of white trash who had the world by the balls one day only to realize the world was taking its own misogynistic revenge the next, Kenny Powers waltzed his way into our living rooms, and our hearts, by showcasing his heightened sense of self and a flurry of reckless behavior. In less than two weeks, on Sept. 26, HBO is bringing Kenny back to us (via the Mexican minor leagues), and from the previews, he appears to still be suffering from delusions of past grandeur.
Now I know that Kenny Powers is a fictitious character, with great hair and a noodle for an arm, but believe it or not, Kenny was inspired by a few real-life, Major-League hurlers. That is a scary thought. But it’s the same thought that also got us thinking about the most white-trash pitchers in baseball over the last few decades. Who in real life would covet his jet ski more than a human life? Our list is below.
10. Jonathan Papelbon
He let his dog, Boss, eat the ball that made the final out to win the 2007 World Series. When contacted for questioning regarding his behavior, Boss told us to f*ck off.
9. Randy Johnson
I don't even need to do any research or toss out any fun white-trash facts — this is one book I can safely judge by its cover. And a divine cover it is.
8. David Wells
My friend nominated Wells just because he is fat and “wrote” a book entitled “Perfect I'm Not: Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches, and Baseball.” Those are hard facts to both ignore and refute but I wasn't completely compelled until I saw this picture.
7. Dallas Braden
I really enjoyed how Braden freaked out, and with good cause, when A-Rod tried to prance over his pitching mound after he got him out. It showed that the guy has some moxie. (Pitching a perfect game a few weeks later didn't hurt.) Truth be told, Braden is really only on this list because he looks like trash and he had a very modest upbringing in Stockton, Calif. I'd classify him as more of a red neck than white trash, but let’s just roll with it.
6. Rod Beck
The 1994 NL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year passed away in his home in 2007. The police found cocaine all over his house but they apparently left some for whoever was responsible for picking out Beck's burial outfit... his Cubs uniform.