Giants' top five most hated opponents in recent history
Bonus: Rally Monkey
There's not really a player from that 2002 Angels team who still counts as a bad word in San Francisco, so we're summing up that whole World Series loss by including the Rally Monkey here. She actually made her debut against the Giants in 2000 and became well known nationally during that 2002 World Series. Can you really hate a cute little monkey holding a sign? That October, Giants fans sure did.
5. Chase Utley
We went into this thinking the final spot would go to Matt Holliday, but every Giants fan we surveyed came back with Utley on their list. His history with the Giants actually isn't terrible. Jonathan Sanchez hit Utley in Game 6 of the 2010 NLCS and Utley flipped the ball back to him, with the two having words that led to the benches clearing. Utley was one of the best infielders of his generation, but he rankled opposing fan bases with his hard-nosed style, the takeout slides -- he famously broke Ruben Tejada's leg in a playoff game -- and the way he subtly dropped his knee on runners. In 2015, Gregor Blanco suffered a concussion when he ran into Utley's knee while trying to steal second.
The interesting thing about Utley is he lives in the Bay Area, has friends on the Giants roster, and they tried to acquire him before he joined the Dodgers late in 2015. Grant Brisbee spoke for the fans better than anyone while at McCovey Chronicles, and later that year he wrote, "I'm glad I never had to rationalize his style of playing."
4. Mat Latos
One of the defining images of the three-title run is Posey watching his grand slam sail into the seats in Cincinnati as Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan hangs his head.
Part of what made it so memorable was that it came off Latos, a consistent nemesis with the Padres. The right-hander first got on the radar in 2010 when he complained that the Giants were changing their whole lineup in a division race.
A year later, Latos signed "I hate SF" on baseballs for a charity event, although we'll give him a pass since that probably raised the value quite a bit. Latos also accidentally smashed up Dave Flemming's sunroof with a baseball he threw over the bleachers. Looking back, this is all relatively harmless, but collectively it was enough to make him a villain as the Giants were charging to their first two titles.
3. A.J. Pierzynski
You really have to do some strong work to make this list when you actually played for the Giants, but, well, that's just how notorious Pierzynski's one season in San Francisco was.
He came over in a blockbuster deal and was so bothersome to the clubhouse and fan base that the Giants didn't bring him back in 2005. Pierzynski played a dozen more years and was regularly booed. He got louder boos than Matt Holliday when the Cardinals came to Oracle Park in the 2014 postseason, and Giants fans later hated to even see him as part of the weekly Fox broadcasts.
2. Yasiel Puig
You could have filled this list with Dodgers, but if you're choosing just one from the last couple of decades, Puig is the easy choice. Early in his career, he became the enemy of Madison Bumgarner, one of the best and most popular players in franchise history, and Puig fully embraced his role in that rivalry. He even managed to get under Nick Hundley's skin somehow.
Puig is the most booed player at Oracle Park over the last decade and it's not even close, which could make for an interesting experiment. The Giants had interest in him this offseason and still could add him at some point. Go through the mentions under any "Puig-to-Giants" stories and you'll see plenty of fans threatening to give up their tickets if that deal ever comes to fruition.
1. Scott Cousins
One of the great quotes in franchise history came a week after Scott Cousins took out Buster Posey at the plate and ended his 2011 season. "If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy," general manager Brian Sabean said.
The Giants later walked that back. The Marlins outfielder had actually gone to USF and grew up rooting for the Giants, but he became Public Enemy No. 1 when he broke Posey's leg and tore ligaments in a dirty collision at the plate, and he received death threats in the weeks that followed. Cousins effectively ended the title defense, and while Posey came back to win the MVP the next season, his ankle is still occasionally cranky.