I'm going to ignore the old saying of "Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." I'm making a list of annoying people when I'm pretty annoying myself -- just ask my wife and daughter. The following aren't bad people (well, most of them). They're not criminals (well, most of them). There's just something about them that rubs fans the wrong way. If that guy is on your team, then all bets are off, you probably like and root for him, but if not, then not so much. Something like this is completely subjective, but it's not all in my head that these guys irritate many and get under our skin. We don't have Sean Avery to kick around anymore, so everyone moves up a notch on the list . . .
5. Rafael Soriano/Jordany Valdespin: These guys make the Top 5 more for their sartorial annoyance than their personalities, but there's some of that mixed in, too. Four words will do it: Tuck in your shirts. You're professionals, act like it. Maybe the fact that Soriano is filling in for the classy Mariano Rivera would rub off on him, but that is certainly not the case. Yes, it's a minor quibble, but it's also a minor annoyance. Besides Valdespin's predilection for dressing more like a teenager who's trying to anger his parents than a grown man, he's already in the habit of happy-assing his way around the bases, with the idea that hustling is beneath him -- and even when he does run hard, he does it wrong as we saw on Monday night when he slid head-first into first base.
4. Nick Swisher: He's a big puppy dog who plays the game with enthusiasm and is always looking to have fun. And there's really nothing wrong with that. But his act is getting a little too over the top this year. Every time he's involved in any play or dugout celebration and he knows the cameras are on him, he goes into his, "Hey, Ma, look at me! I'm on TV!" routine. He's the player equivalent of the fan sitting behind home plate, who talks on his cellphone and waves to the camera during every pitch.
3. Antonio Cromartie: With the New York Jets you can pretty much take your pick of annoying players. There are malcontents and loudmouths galore. But we'll choose Cromartie since he's the whole package. He's been annoying his teammates lately as much as he annoys fans, to boot. When he's not fathering hundreds of kids, he's proclaiming himself the second best receiver on the Jets or getting in hot water with the law. He should really just concentrate on being the second best cornerback on his team and try a little humbleness once in a while.
2. John Tortorella: He's successful, he's demanding, and he's certainly entertaining. But that entertaining style that he amuses us with often crosses the line into just being flat-out annoying. His bullying of the media is fairly ridiculous, and so is his stubborness. He occasionally makes inflammatory statements about his opponents and can eschew class while going about his job. Does Tortorella really have to act like an immature jerk to be an effective coach? Just asking.
1. Rex Ryan: The coach of the Jets is the king until someone knocks him off his throne. Ryan's the grand pooh-bah of grating, the president of predictions-gone-wrong, the blowhard of bluster. And much of his team follows suit. Sure, he's making an attempt to change his ways, but the season hasn't started yet, so he has to prove it first.