The Lineup: pro sports' biggest traitors

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Alex Rodriguez has dominated headlines since opting out of his contract with the New York Yankees on Oct. 28. While it was rumored A-Rod could be joining various teams including the Boston Red Sox, it looks like he’ll remain in pinstripes. If Rodriguez had signed with Boston, he would have been considered one of sports’ biggest traitors, something the following chaps can attest to:

Johnny Damon
Damon resembled Jesus when he left the Red Sox to sign with the clean-cut Yankees in ‘05. Ironic, because Damon was quoted as saying “There’s no way I can go play for the Yankees ... it’s definitely not the most important thing to go out there for the top dollar.” Yeah, okay. Judas would be proud.

Roger Clemens
In his career, Clemens has pitched for the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Yankees. Translation: no loyalty. What’s worse, when not scheduled to pitch on the road, Clemens doesn’t have to travel with the team.

Vince Carter
Vinsanity holds many Raptors records, but is perhaps most recognized as the champion of mailing it in. Before demanding out of Toronto, Carter was consistently injured, resorted to shooting instead of dunking and was accused of tipping off opponents.

Butch Harmon
After working with Tiger Woods and Adam Scott, Harmon crossed the fairways to tinker with Phil Mickelson’s swing. It’s a nice pairing " Harmon’s father is a former head pro at Winged Foot, the course that hosted Lefty’s US Open collapse. Rumour has it Harmon is compensated with milk from Phil’s mammory glands.

Nick Saban
Saban is tough. After leaving the Louisiana State Tigers to coach the Miami Dolphins, he made 345-lb defensive lineman Manuel Wright cry in his first week on the job. What wasn’t so tough was turning his back on the franchise. After claiming he was staying put in the Sunshine State, Saban took a job with the Alabama Crimson Tide " LSU’s bitter rival.

Eric Mangini
Mangini was New England head coach Bill Belichick’s lackey before leaving to coach the New York Jets. He was also the whistle-blower of the recent ‘CameraGate’ scandal accusing the Patriots of cheating. It’s safe to say “Mangenius” won’t be attending Belichick’s Christmas dinner anymore.

Adam Vinatieri
If Vinatieri becomes the second kicker inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his shrine will no doubt demonstrate how integral he was to New England’s Super Bowl victories. Unfortunately, it will also illustrate treason. Vinatieri crossed enemy lines, opting to ditch the Patriots to join the Indianapolis Colts.

Brett Hull
While it may not be as controversial as his skate in the crease to win the Stanley Cup in Dallas, Hull " a Canadian-born and trained player " donned American threads during international competition. His dual citizenship allowed him to play for the States after Canada denied him a roster position in 1986.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
This past May, Dale Jr. announced he would no longer race for DEI Racing. Usually switching teams wouldn’t be noteworthy, but DEI is the acronym for Dale Earnhardt Inc., his family’s team. At least premier sponsor Budweiser showed guts by not opting to follow Earnhardt.

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