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AJ Pierzynski was reportedly a ‘dark cloud’ over Red Sox

AJ-Pierzynski-Red-SoxThe Boston Red Sox designated catcher AJ Pierzynski for assignment on Wednesday. Hours later, they erased a four-run deficit against the Chicago White Sox to walk off with a win. Coincidence? The team doesn’t want you to think so.

According to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford, players had approached both the Red Sox coaches and front office about the “negative influence” Pierzynski was having on the team. The 37-year-old veteran, who is not very well liked around the league and has had problems with teammates in the past, apparently had become a problem in the clubhouse.

It should be noted that one player can’t be defined as the downfall of this Red Sox team to date, but it was tough to ignore the voices throughout the home clubhouse in the aftermath of the team’s 5-4 walkoff victory over the White Sox, which described an entirely different dugout environment than there had been up through Tuesday. Over the course of a season, there are few times such proclamations are made, but this was unmistakably one of those rarities.

The Red Sox might rattle off 10 straight losses, leading to many of the same players who were celebrating Wednesday’s win being shipped out of town. But the facts are the facts, and the facts are that this one player was identified as a dark cloud that had just been lifted by multiple members of what is perceived as one of baseball’s most tight-knit groups.

Bradford also said he was told that Pierzynski often seemed more interested in looking at his phone in the locker room than working with Boston’s pitching staff, even when one pitcher was an “emotional wreck” after being pulled early from a start.

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AJ Pierzynski got ejected by umpire Quinn Wolcott for using funny zinger

AJ Pierzynski Quinn Wolcott

Boston Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was ejected from one of the team’s games earlier this month after using a great zinger on home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott.

MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince has a good story about ejections being on the rise this season despite instant replay being added to the game. In his story, he related the Pierzynski anecdote.

Pierzynski was tossed from Boston’s 7-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians on June 4 because he insulted Wolcott after Brandon Workman walked a batter in the sixth inning.

“Give me a new ball,” Pierzynski said to Wolcott after Asdrubal Cabrera had drawn a walk. “One you can see.”

Sheesh, is that all it takes? Umpires don’t have much of a sense of humor anymore these days. Well, I guess it’s hard to blame them for not laughing if they’re being insulted. And only A.J. Pierzynski would have the stones to say something like that.

The only shame in the situation is that unlike the NFL, umpires don’t have to explain the infraction committed. I would have loved to hear that one. Penalty — unsportsmanlike conduct on the catcher — he insulted the umpire. He has been ejected.

Tip via David B.

A.J. Pierzynski angry about All-Star team snub, takes swipe at Mike Napoli

Every single year there is one player that everyone agrees was overlooked for the All-Star Game. This year, that player is A.J. Pierzynski. At age 35, the White Sox catcher is having by far the best first half of his 14-year career. Pierzynski is hitting .291 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs. His career highs for an entire season are 18 homers and 70 RBIs, so he’s on pace to shatter both marks. Despite his tremendous success at the plate, three other AL catchers were selected to the All-Star team.

The fans voted Mike Napoli in as the AL starter. He is hitting a lowly .235 with 12 homers and 30 RBIs. Baltimore’s Matt Wieters and his .247 average, 11 homers and 40 RBIs were selected by the players as a back-up. And with his choice, AL manager Ron Washington selected Joe Mauer, who is hitting .332 with five homers and 38 RBI. Washington said he felt bad for Pierzynski, but A.J. isn’t buying it.

“If he felt that bad, he would have put me on the team,” Pierzynski told Chicago reporters according to the Dallas Morning News. “He had an opportunity to do it and he didn’t do it. He can feel as bad as he wants, but he obviously didn’t feel that bad.”

When a media member reminded Pierzynski that Napoli is a good hitter, he gave the following response: “Yeah, if you consider .230 good.” On Tuesday night during Chicago’s 19-2 throttling over the Rangers, Pierzynski hit a three-run homer in the fifth and glared toward the Texas dugout.

Based on the numbers, Pierzynski certainly deserves a spot. However, Washington is not the one A.J. should be upset with. In choosing between Mauer and Pierzynski, Washington had the most difficult job. Both deserve to be on the roster over Napoli and Wieters. We see this type of thing every season. Pierzynski just needs to accept that he is this year’s notorious snub and move along.

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

A.J. Pierzynski Says He’s Definitely Had a ‘Rally Beer’ Before

While Red Sox Nation remains irate at the idea that players would eat fast food, play video games, and drink beers in the clubhouse while their team chokes on a nine-game Wild Card lead, others realize that type of behavior is a reality in the MLB.  It is disappointing to think that multimillion dollar athletes are not committed to winning, but it would be naive to think that type of activity is unique to Boston.

When asked about the bomb dropped by the Boston Globe on Wednesday morning, A.J. Pierzynski turned down the opportunity to take a shot at the Red Sox.  In fact, he admitted he has done some mid-game drinking himself — and he’s a catcher.

“Yes, absolutely I have before,” Pierzynski told the Dan Patrick Show via the Chicago Tribune when asked if he has ever had a beer during a game. ”Sometimes you’re just really struggling and you just say, ‘Hey, you know what, I need something to calm me down and let’s have a beer.’ A couple of us will do it together, and sometimes it works out.

“It’s just, sometimes you just need a rally beer. If you’re in extra innings and you’re in about the 15th inning and you really need to get going again, that sometimes works for you.”

A.J. then clarified that he has only had a few sips during a game (who has a few sips?) and also admitted White Sox player took shots prior to a 2008 playoff game against the Rays.  If you remember, Johnny Damon and the infamous Red Sox “Idiots” admitted to taking shots before games to warm up in 2004 just before they broke an 86-year curse.

We have heard of rally monkeys and rally towels, but never rally beers.  The bottom line is drinking goes on across the big leagues in every clubhouse.  It happens before games, it happens during games, and it happens after games.  If it doesn’t affect a player’s on-field performance, there is really no reason to take issue with it.  When drinking and playing video games on days you don’t pitch calls your overall commitment into question, something has to change.

A.J. Pierzynski is Rocking an Anchorman-Style Mustache (Picture)

If you’re going to grow a mustache then grow a mustache.  Some people can’t grow a good stache, and that’s perfectly fine.  However, you should know if you are one of those people by the time you’re 34 years old.  A.J. Pierzynski has improved his play lately and the White Sox desperately needed him to, but his mustache is more suited for the set of Anchorman or a 1970s porno than the baseball diamond.  Check out the A.J. Pierzynski mustache picture, courtesy of Big League Stew:

You want to see a mustache?  This right here is a mustache.  In fact, even this is a great mustache.  And this could be the best mustache modern-era sports have ever seen.  If A.J.’s mustache is responsible for his high-quality play as of late, more power to him — as long as he knows how ridiculous he looks.

Jake Peavy and A.J. Pierzynski Dismiss Issue Over Mid-Game Argument

White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy didn’t have his best stuff Wednesday night and was knocked out of the game by the Cubs in the 6th inning. Something must have been said by catcher A.J. Pierzynski when Jake got the hook, because he pointed at A.J. upon leaving the mound:

Peavy later confronted Pierzynski in the dugout when the half-inning ended, and the two went into the tunnel to sort out their issues. Pierzynski joked after the game that they were talking SEC football. Peavy joked that they were talking hunting. Whatever the issue was, it was clear the two were keeping it in-house and out of the public’s eye.

Talk about a lesson in public relations, these guys were amazing in their display of solidarity after the game. Check out the love fest they had after the game:

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