Best Sports Flop (2009)

Eric Byrnes, Arizona Diamondbacks

We love Eric Byrnes, with his crazy hair and hip clothing line. His Eric Byrnes Show on Fox Sports is a hoot, especially the one where he donned a safari outfit and cleaned up elephant shit for a day at the Phoenix Zoo. We loved him as a player, too, when he was in the middle of the lineup a couple of seasons ago and batted around .300.

Unfortunately, maybe he should consider picking up animal turds as his next job, because — after landing that three-year, $30 million contract in 2007 — his career's gone to shit. He's struggled to bat his weight over the past two seasons. He's listed as tipping the scales at 215, though with all that time off . . . Which brings up the point that many of you will make — Eric's gone bad because of injuries: hamstring problems in 2008 and a broken bone in his left hand that required surgery and kept him in the dugout for most of '09.

True, to an extent. But he was going around telling everybody he'd never felt better just before he went down June 25, and he was hitting so poorly that he fell out of the starting lineup. By the time he went down with the latest injury, he was batting .216. The previous season, he could blame the hamstring for his dismal .209 average. But what's his excuse for the crappy offense this year, when he was brimming with health? Hardly the stuff of a $30 million man. His contract is up after next season, and not a minute too soon for the D-Backs.


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