The Red Sox designated catcher A.J. Pierzynski for assignment on Wednesday, mostly because he was unproductive and they had a younger, better option in prospect Christian Vazquez. It was a common sense move.
Pierzynski has long had a reputation for being a bit of a jerk, though it was often played off as a "you hate playing against him but love having him on your team" kind of thing. Apparently that only applies when you're hitting. According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, some Red Sox players were upset with Pierzynski for being on his phone:
A microcosm of Pierzynski's approach was mentioned by more than one of the backstop's former teammates, who revealed his propensity to spend a significant amount of time looking at his phone while at his locker during games. In one instance, after a particularly rough outing in which the starting pitcher had been pulled early in the game, Pierzynski could be found staring at his phone while the pitcher gave off the appearance of being an emotional wreck just a few feet away. That incident paved the way for at least one complaint to management from a teammate.
This sounds too silly to be true. Walk into any clubhouse and at any given time you'll see, like, 10 players wearing headphones staring at their phones or iPads. I'm not saying Bradford's report is wrong, just that on the list of reasons why the Red Sox cut ties with Pierzynski, this should be near the bottom.
What a weird thing to complain about.