Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 1/4/12

Some have feared the arrival of the year 2012, what with the Mayan culture predicting that it would be the end of existence and all.  Most other people though are sane and rational and are welcoming the new year with open arms.  And amongst that vast majority of the world's population there is a very small subset of people who are happier than most to see 2011 come to an end.  That would be the following ten MLBers who in some way, shape or form had such a wretched 2011 year that they can't help but be ecstatic to see the calendar flip over to 2012.

  1. Adam Dunn - Dunn entered 2011 with the reputation of a prolific slugger and exited the year with the reputation of a prolific free agent bust.  That tends to happen when you slug just .277 on the year even though tour ISO the season before was .276.  Things got so bad for Big Country last year that he very seriously considered retiring.  With a .159/.292/.277 slash line in 2011, Dunn literally can't be any worse in 2012 so he most definitely must've been rocking in the new year.  Kenny Williams?  Maybe not so much.
  2. Vernon Wells - Even before he put on an Angels uniform, fans in Anaheim had the pitchforks out for the man that Tony Reagins tried to sell as his "big splash" acquisition.  Imagine how they must've felt after Vernon finished his first month with a .171 average and "only"improved to .218 by season's end.  Add in an OBP that was one of the lowest in history for a starting major league outfielder and Vernon is one guy who can't wait to put 2011 in his rearview mirror.  This year he has the luxury of hiding behind the jubilation of the Albert Pujols signing to keep the critics off his back, though he probably wishes Jeff Mathis were still around to deflect the rest of that negative attention.
  3. The Entire Boston Red Sox - It seems unfair to single out any of the many Boston Red Sox that played a role in their epic late-season collapse.  Bostonians probably aren't too happy with Carl Crawford or John Lackey, but they were just part of the problem.  Besides, the Red Sox ownership already got their pound of flesh in the blame game by axing Terry Francona and pushing Theo Epstein out the door.
  4. Buster Posey - You'd be anxious to move too on if this happened to you.
  5. The Minnesota Twins Medical and Training Staff - The team trainers and doctors for the Twins have a pretty simple job description, keep the players healthy, especially Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.  Umm... oops!  It wasn't their fault that Morneau got concussed to begin with, but even now there are still questions surrounding his recovery from the concussion and then there is Joe Mauer and his mysterious leg ailments that are threatening to turn him into the single-biggest contract albatross in baseball.
  6. Dodger Fans - 2011 wasn't all that bad for the Dodgers.  They saw Matt Kemp elevate himself to a MVP-caliber player and Clayton Kershaw win the NL Cy Young.  But that means nothing because of the nasty Bryan Stow incident and the seemingly never-ending McCourt divorce/ownership saga.  However, in 2012, Stow is out of his coma and his attackers are behind bars and, more importantly, Frank McCourt is now legally obligated to sell the team at auction in the next few months.  That right there makes 2012 a great year already for those who have remained loyal to the Dodgers.
  7. Brian Matusz - I think it is safe to say when you set a new record for having the worst ERA for any pitcher making 10 or more starts in a season that you probably don't want to think about that calendar year anymore.
  8. Ryan Howard - To blow out your Achilles tendon making the final out of your team's playoff ouster is not the lasting memory you want to leave on your fans for a year.  The only thing worse would be getting caught tooling around Whole Foods on a Rascal scooter a few days later... oh, wait.
  9. The Entire Atlanta Braves - See everything we said about the Red Sox above, only with less fried chicken, beer and front office backstabbing.
  10. BBWAA Voters - One could argue that no MLB-associated group had a worse year, especially the latter parts.  First, they get a mild amount of criticism for voting Ryan Braun MVP over Matt Kemp only to find out that Braun tested positive for potential PED-use earlier in the year.  Considering that PED usage is the bane of the BBWAA's existence, that had to make them feel like proper fools.  Then, to add insult to injury, the BBWAA's prestigious 2011 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner, Bill Conlin, was accused of being a serial child molester.  Ooof.


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