Top Feuds of 2011
Carlos Marmol vs. <br> Carlos Zambrano
The Cubs demonstrative ace melted down after Chicago closer Carlos Marmol (left) blew his second chance for a win in as many starts. After the game Carlos Zambrano compared the Cubs to a "Triple-A team," took Marmol to task for his pitch selection and finished with, "we stink."
Brian Sabean vs. <br> The Florida Marlins
The feud started when Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins tagged up on a sacrifice fly, ran home and knocked Giants star catcher Buster Posey over, a clean play under MLB's rules. In the collision Posey broke his fibula, knocking him out for the rest of the year. Giants GM Brian Sabean was furious with the play, saying, "If I never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn't play another day in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy." Cousins had apologized multiple times for the collision, so teammate Logan Morrison (bottom inset) came to his defense. "When has [Sabean] ever played in the big leagues? When has he ever played in the minor leagues? It's ignorant, it's inappropriate and he has no idea what the hell he's talking about."
Tony La Russa vs. <br> Marty Brennaman
Notorious homer Reds announcer Marty Brennaman had some harsh words for the Cardinals after the rival teams played in May. Brennaman called St. Louis pitcher Chris Carpenter a "whiner and excuse-maker." Brennaman also referred to Cardinal pitching coach Dave Duncan as "infantile" and finished by calling the Cardinals the "whiniest team in baseball." St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, not one to back down from a fight, responded quickly, saying, " [Brennaman] earned the right to get into the Hall of Fame and now he ought to keep earning that respect rather than abusing it."
Carlos Boozer vs. Chris Bosh
Bulls forward Carlos Boozer and Heat forward Chris Bosh were members of the high-profile NBA free-agent class last summer. When their teams matched up in the Eastern Conference Finals, Boozer refused to mention Bosh by name, instead saying that the Heat have "two great players." Bosh proceeded to thoroughly outplay Boozer in the series, putting his money where the Bulls forward's mouth was.
Joe Girardi vs. Jorge Posada
When Yankee catcher Jorge Posada removed himself from the lineup on May 15th, nobody was really sure what to expect next. It was clear that Posada was frustrated about batting 9th, but removing himself from the game was still a shocking move. Reports emerged that Posada and Yankee manager Joe Girardi had not gotten along for a while and that Posada wanted to leave the team.
Kyle Busch vs. Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress
Two of NASCAR's best racers were involved in arguably the fight of the year at Darlington Raceway. Kyle Busch (left) clipped Harvick towards the end of the race, causing Harvick to spin out and slam into the wall. After the race, Harvick stopped his car in front of Busch on pit row, got out and tried to punch his rival driver. Busch slammed on the accelerator, knocking Harvick's car out of the way. Harvick was brief in his comments about Busch after he left the track, saying, "I wanted to knock the piss out of him." A few weeks later Busch was embroiled in another feud, when angry team owner Richard Childress put the driver in a headlock and punched him several time for damaging one of Childress's vehicles.
NY Rangers Fans vs. <br> Bruce Boudreau
Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau started a war of words after Game 3 of his team's first round matchup with the Rangers. The quotable coach said that Madison Square Garden had "horrible" facilities and the fans weren't loud. Ranger fans responded in Game 4 with chants of "can you hear us" after their team took a 3-0 lead. After this, the Caps scored four straight to take the game and control of the series, giving their coach the last laugh.
Jalen Rose vs. Grant Hill
Former NBA player and member of the famed Michigan Fab 5, Jalen Rose sparked controversy with his statements in an ESPN documentary about the Fab 5. When discussing rival Duke, Rose said, "I hated Duke and I hated everything Duke stood for. Schools like Duke didn't recruit players like me. I felt they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms." Grant Hill, a former Blue Devil, responded with a strongly worded New York Times piece that defended his alma mater finishing with, "I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them."
Stan Van Gundy vs. <br> David Stern
Brash Magic coach Stan Van Gundy caused a ripple in the NBA world when he attacked David Stern, the league's commissioner. Van Gundy was quoted saying, "I certainly can't have an opinion because David Stern, like a lot of other leaders we've seen in this world lately, don't really tolerate other people's free speech." The all-powerful Stern replied the next day with, "I would render a guess...that we won't be hearing from him for the rest of the season." Stern was right.
Bruins vs. Canadiens
This always feisty rivalry took a darker turn when massive Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara clocked Montreal winger Max Pacioretty, leaving him motionless on the ice for several minutes. Pacioretty suffered a concussion and a fractured neck from the hit, sparking a debate across the league about the safety of NHL players. After the game, Montreal Coach Jacques Martin said, "The league has to deal with those issues. It's not the first time. It seems to be getting worse and worse. Somebody has to take some responsibility. It was a dangerous hit."
Dan Snyder vs. <br> Washington City Paper
Delicate Redskins owner Snyder created a national media firestorm when he filed a libel suit against Dave McKenna, a columnist for the small Washington City Paper . The lawsuit claimed that "McKenna and the Washington City Paper have engaged in an ongoing campaign against Mr. Snyder to smear his business and personal reputation." Judging by the backlash against the suit, Snyder should try something different to get the public on his side.
Jay Cutler vs. <br> Maurice Jones-Drew,<br> Darnell Dockett
When Bears quarterback Jay Cutler removed himself from the Bears/Packers NFC Championship game, he faced an intense twitter backlash from his NFL counterparts. Jaguars running back Jones-Drew (left inset) tweeted, "Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now...When the going gets tough....QUIT..." Cardinals defensive lineman Dockett (right inset) wrote, "If I'm on Chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room. #FACT."
Tom Brady vs. <br> Antonio Cromartie
The boisterous Jets/Patriots rivalry got personal in the week leading up to their divisional round matchup. Jet cornerback Antonio Cromartie was upset with Tom Brady's supposed celebrations, and when asked about them, he called the Patriot's quarterback an "ass----." Brady took the high road, saying, "I've been called worse."
OJ Mayo vs. Tony Allen
Fellow Grizzlies shooting guards OJ Mayo and Tony Allen got into a physical altercation on the team plane over a card game gone wrong. Mayo left the plane with a black eye, Allen with sore knuckles, and both with some explaining to do.