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Tag:A.J. Pierzynski
Posted on: April 27, 2011 7:51 pm
 

Guillen takes to Twitter after ejection

By C. Trent Rosecrans

After being ejected in the first inning of Wednesday night's game against the Yankees, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen took to Twitter:

In the top of the first, White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko was called out on a strike that Konerko apparently believed was low, ending the top of the first. Konerko protested the call and then Guillen was ejected by home plate umpire Todd Tichenor.

After he was ejected, Guillen came out of the dugout and got into Tichenor's face. Guillen continued yelling at Tichenor as Mark Buehrle threw warmup pitches and Tichenor squatted behind White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

It was Guillen's first ejection of the season and 26th of his career.

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Posted on: April 10, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Maddon to talk with Lopez about bat flip

By Matt Snyder

Early Saturday evening in Chicago, there was a heated exchange between Felipe Lopez and several members of the White Sox -- including manager Ozzie Guillen and catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

The issue started when White Sox pitcher Chris Sale threw an inside pitch to Lopez, who stared down Sale for apparently having the audacity to pitch inside -- seriously, it was not anywhere near his head, nor did Lopez have to dive out of the way. It was just an inside pitch. Lopez followed with a no-doubt home run. After the ball left his bat, he flipped his stick toward the mound. Yes, into the field of play. When Lopez arrived at home, Pierzynski greeted him with a simple question. You could read his lips, and the clean version is that he just wanted to know what that bat-flip was all about. Lopez and Pierzynski were separated by the umpire while several guys from the White Sox dugout, including Guillen, were screaming toward the field in anger as well. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and nothing further happened.

Sunday, Rays skipper Joe Maddon made it very clear that type of behavior will not be tolerated.

"That's not who we are. That's not how we play,'' Maddon said. "I'm not into the end zone demonstration that much. I think we've really morphed into this, I believe, very classy group over the last several years and I want to maintain that kind of thought about us. I don't even want to say image - you think about the Rays, you think these guys handle themselves in a certain way. So, we don't do that here.'' (TampaBay.com )

Good for Maddon, though it's hardly surprising. He's one of the most respected managers in the game for a reason.

To be fair to Lopez, he said he didn't flip the bat toward the mound on purpose and that he called Guillen to apologize. I definitely buy the apology, but you rarely, if ever, see a bat accidentally tossed that far into the field of play. And we know the staredown of Sale wasn't an accident. The smart money is on him realizing his error later and then calling Guillen, but all's well that ends well and the situation seems to have been put to bed.

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Posted on: April 3, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: April 3, 2011 6:12 pm
 

Indians turn 3

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos SantanaCarlos Santana got his first start at first base on Sunday and he already has a highlight-reel for the ages -- turning a triple play in the fourth inning of Sunday's game against the White Sox.

With runners on first and second and no outs, Chicago's Alexi Ramirez tried to lay down a bunt, but hit more of a short liner. Santana, charging in from first, dove to make the catch and then doubled up the runner by throwing to a covering Orlando Cabrera to force A.J. Pierzynski at first. Cabrera then went to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to triple up Carlos Quentin.

It was the Indians' first triple play since 2008 against the Blue Jays, when Asdrubal Cabrera had an unassisted triple play as a second baseman.

The White Sox hadn't hit into a triple play since 1978, when the Blue Jays tripled up the White Sox.

Video of the play can be seen here.

Santana was 2 for 4 at the plate, as well, in a 7-1 Indians victory.

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Posted on: March 2, 2011 2:54 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 3:01 pm
 

Pierzynski gets ticket, Guillen laughs on Twitter

By Matt Snyder

First things first, if you are on Twitter and are not following Ozzie Guillen (@OzzieGuillen ), go follow him now. You can come back and read this post afterward. Whenever he feels like it, you are bound to see some gems. And a few from Wednesday are screengrabbed below.

Apparently on his way to the White Sox-Reds Cactus League game, Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski got a ticket. And his manager thought it was hilarious. Hilarious enough to invoke four tweets, in which Ozzie relays that his backstop has had approximately 223 tickets (note: could be a slight exaggeration) and was wearing his uniform:



I've said it before and I'll say it many times again in the future: there is not a more entertaining manager in baseball. Thank you, Ozzie. Please keep up the good work.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 8:46 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:37 am
 

Pepper: Spring is time for rebirth



RESURRECTIONS:
Carlos Beltran is making some progress on his rehab program, as he ran the bases Wednesday. "That's a huge sign, because he told me when he starts running the bases he'll be close to playing. So that was a big sign for me," manager Terry Collins said (ESPN New York ). The five-time All-Star hasn’t played a full season since 2008, but at age 33, it’s not out of the question to return to form for at least a year or two. He played last September, but was shut down the last week when his bothersome knee flared up.

Disclaimer alert: he hasn't pitched in a game since June 13, 2009, he's 38 years old and it's awfully early in camp. Still, Jason Isringhausen is impressing Mets brass thus far. Armed with a new changeup, Izzy has been good enough to draw the word "outstanding," from Collins. (New York Times )

Elsewhere, Brandon Webb is still on a long road back himself. He threw "60 to 65 pitches off flat ground" Thursday. He'll throw again Friday and if there are no setbacks, the Rangers will put him on the mound either Sunday or Monday (ESPN Dallas ). The right-hander, who finished in the top two of Cy Young voting three consecutive seasons before falling injured, hasn't thrown a pitch in the majors since April 6, 2009. Webb, 31, is a complete wild card this season for the defending AL champs.

And though it isn't near as long a road back as Webb, Jake Peavy of the White Sox is feeling very optimistic, though he's careful not to get too far ahead of himself. "I'm far ahead of where I thought I would be at this point," Peavy told MLB.com . "But I can't push it and I've got to be cautious." In fact, the White Sox’s potential ace might be on track to start April 6, if everything goes as well as it possibly could. The 29 year old went 7-6 with a 4.63 ERA in 17 starts in 2010, last pitching July 6. He underwent season-ending surgery to repair a detached muscle in his pitching arm.

ABDOMINAL ANNOYANCE: Franklin Gutierrez was forced to fly back to Seattle to visit with some doctors about an ongoing stomach issue Thursday. The center fielder has suffered severe stomach pains on occasion since late last season, to the point that he couldn't eat well and his play was affected. It could help explain some of his offensive woes, as Gutierrez went .212/.253/.304 in his last 75 games at the plate. He did tell reporters last week his issue was gone, but it has apparently resurfaced and he'll likely need to get on some sort of medication to alleviate the pains. (Seattle Times )

SLIM CC: After dropping 25 pounds this offseason, CC Sabathia says he can already tell the difference when it comes to his stamina. "In years past, I would get a little gassed in my bullpens once I got 30, 40 pitches in, but I felt pretty good," he told the New York Times . "I was able to keep my mechanics together and work on stuff that I need to work on." If this carries over the regular season, watch out. The big fella has averaged 240 innings a season since 2007, averaging just a tick above seven innings per start. And he has more stamina?

On a lighter note, he noted the toughest tests for him during the season are road trips to Kansas City (BBQ) and Chicago (deep-dish pizza). Amen, CC.

BREWER BARGAIN: As Ryan Braun watches peers cash in with what some consider ludicrous contracts, one might wonder if he feels like his eight-year, $45 million contract -- of which he has five years remaining -- is short-changing him. The reality is that with the numbers Braun puts up, factoring in his age (27) and durability (at least 151 games in each of his three full seasons), the contract is an absolute steal for Milwaukee. To Braun's credit, he's not griping. He's only thinking about the playoffs, he says. As for the money thing, he told MLB.com: "I get it, but it's a non-issue. I pay attention to what goes on around the game, obviously, but I'm happy for all of those guys. I agreed to a deal three years ago that goes five [more] years, and I'm excited and honored to be here." (MLB.com )

IRON MAN? The ever-polarizing A.J. Pierzynski wants to catch every game this season. Yes, all 162. There's no need to get into the realism of that one, what with his career high in games being 140, his offensive skills deteriorating and his age hitting 34. Plus, there's nothing wrong with wanting to play every game. More guys should want that. The juice in this article is the always-hilarious Ozzie Guillen, who once said he hates his catcher only a little less than the competition. This time around, he again said Pierzynski annoys him and that "sometimes I wish he wouldn’t even come to the ballpark." It should be noted, Guillen was laughing, thus, saying everything tongue-in-cheek. (MLB.com )

UNDER BYRD'S WING:
It's always sad when veteran players have an ego too big to take a younger player under their wing. A football example comes to mind: you know, something with a guy wearing number four and a team that just won the Super Bowl. Anyway, I digress. We're talking about baseball. And Marlon Byrd of the Cubs has been working with top Cubs prospect Brett Jackson this spring. They're both center fielders, and Byrd's even embracing the inevitable for the sake of the franchise. "Last year, he really didn't know me," Byrd told MLB.com . "Now I say things and he understands that it's to help him. I even have to sit him down and say, 'I've got to help you to get ready because if you're going to move me to right field, you have to be ready. If not, I'm capable of playing at 34, 35 years old.' He got a kick out of that. He laughed."

RESTORING POWER IN THE BAY: ESPN’s SweetSpot blog takes a look at Jason Bay, specifically his power. Or, if we’re talking about 2010, a lack thereof. Four times in Bay’s career he went yard at least 30 times in a season. After signing a big contract with the Mets, he did so just six times in 401 plate appearances in 2010. There were health problems and an adjustment to a new, cavernous park, but the output was still horrifying, as Bay slugged just .402 (his career slugging percentage is .508). Bay said he believes 30 home runs this season is "reasonable," and points to David Wright -- whose home run total jumped from 10 to 29 in his second season with Citi Field as a home.

BOSTON RED STALKS:
Remember how Carl Crawford was creeped out about the Red Sox virtually tailing him over the winter before inking him to a colossal contract? Johnny Damon, part of the group replacing Crawford in Tampa Bay and former Red Sox outfielder, isn't surprised. He even offered up an example of when it had happened in the past. "I know Boston had followed guys before like Mo Vaughn especially; they wanted to see what he was doing all the time. The Boston fans, they follow you around too to see what you’re doing, it seems like they’re everywhere. But when a team's investing $142 million they probably have a right to know every little bit of your history," he told the St. Petersburgh Times . Interesting. Damon wasn’t anywhere close to Boston when Vaughn departed via free agency, but he could very well be correct. And if he is, the Red Sox did their homework well. Check out Vaughn’s stats by year -- right when he departed Boston, his regression began.

-- Matt Snyder

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Posted on: February 21, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2011 7:28 pm
 

White Sox won't pay Pujols

Kenny WilliamsIf Albert Pujols does end up in Chicago, it will be on the Northside, not the Southside, as White Sox general manager Kenny Williams tells CSNChicago.com's Chuck Garfien his team is unwilling to spend the type of money on one player Pujols will demand.

The word is Pujols is looking for $30 million a year -- too rich for Kenny's blood.

"If [White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf] gave me $30 million right now, I'm not going to spend it on one guy. Sorry White Sox fans," Williams said. "But I tell you what, I'm going to take that $30 million and I'm going to distribute it around. My team is going to be better as a whole than it is with one player who might get hurt. Then you're done. Sorry, that's just me. And that's no disrespect to a future Hall of Famer, first ballot, one of the greatest players in history."

Of course, the White Sox added nearly $25 million to their payroll this offseason, with escalations in existing contracts plus adding Adam Dunn to a four-year, $56-million deal, reliever Jesse Crain (three years, $13 million) and re-signing Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski.

Williams also talks about labor and the upcoming CBA, saying he wouldn't mind a work stoppage for the "health of the game," -- pretty much taking the opposite stance of Hank Steinbrenner.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 2, 2010 7:36 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2010 10:28 pm
 

Pierzynski returning to White Sox

A.J. Pierzynski Well, usually we update at the bottom here, but usually the first update isn't so different than the update.

Anyway, A.J. Pierzynski has re-signed with the White Sox, according to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter ). The deal is for two years and $8 million.

PREVIOUSLY: With Adam Dunn on board and hoping to bring back Paul Konerko, it appears A.J. Pierzynski will not return to the White Sox next season. Pierzynski is "close" to signing with the Blue Jays, the Chicago Sun-Times ' Joe Cowley writes .

"I value A.J.. I would love to have him back," White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said on a  conference call. "My delimma right now is do you take such an overture and let it take you out of the payroll zone that you may need to get a Paul Konerko back. We're in a holding pattern because to be honest, the next thing I would like to put back in a Sox uniform is Paul Konerko."

Cowley writes the team could pursue Miguel Olivo to bolster their backstop rotation of Tyler Flowers and Ramon Castro.

UPDATE: FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal adds a "not so fast" report, tweeting that the Jays are not close to a deal with Pierzynski and that the White Sox are still very much in the hunt to retain their catcher.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 30, 2010 7:01 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 7:10 pm
 

Dodgers eyeing former Red Sox

Johnny Damon The Dodgers  are short an idiot from the 2004 Red Sox now that Manny Ramirez is gone, so the team is looking at Johnny Damon and Jason Varitek, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com is reporting .

Rosenthal notes the Dodgers have contact with "virtually every free-agent catcher" -- including Rod Barajas, A.J. Pierzynski and Miguel Olivo. The team is talking to Russell Martin, but if no agreement is met by Thursday, the deadline for tendering contracts, he'll likely become a free agent.

Along with martin, A.J. Ellis and Hector Gimenez are the only catchers on the Dodgers' 40-man roster. Martin suffered a labial tear in his right hip and has yet to start running, Rosenthal reports.

Damon served primarily as a designated hitter for the Tigers, but would need to play left field for Los Angeles, replacing Scott Podsednik, who came over late in a trade from the Royals to replace Ramirez.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com