The name J.D. Drew is still a sore spot for many fans of the Philadelphia Phillies, and while the dislike doesn't burn quite as hot among fans of the other teams Drew played for, including the Cardinals, his unique emergence onto the major league scene dogged him throughout his career.
Drew was one of the best players to ever come out of college, and his agent, Scott Boras, demanded an unprecedented salary when the 1997 draft came around: no less than $10 million. The Phillies took him second overall and offered just over $3 million. Drew declined the offer and played in independent ball for a year until the Cardinals took him fifth in 1998. Phillies fans never forgave him, even pelting him with batteries when he returned to Philadelphia for the first time.
Drew was a good player in his six years in St. Louis, but he was often injured and chided for being "soft" and not giving full effort, only playing for financial purposes. His kerfuffle with the Phillies followed him around in an era where players weren't looked upon favorably for going after the money.
Drew was ahead of his time not only monetarily, but also in his style of play. He was excellent at getting on base, with a career .384 on-base percentage, and he was exceptional defensively, two stats that weren't as en vogue in the 1990s and early 2000s as they are now.
The Cardinals dealt Drew and Eli Marrero to the Atlanta Braves after the 2003 season for Jason Marquis, Ray King and a prospect named Adam Wainwright. Even after he left St. Louis, Drew was reviled by fans of several teams he played for because of his perception as a mercenary obsessed with money and little else.
A common theme among players whom fans aren't crazy about is a failure to perform at an expected level, and sometimes the personality just isn't a culture fit. Although many fans would love to insist otherwise, playing in St. Louis isn't always the paradise many make it out to be.