Wikia

ArmchairGM Wiki

A.J. Pierzynski

12,202pages on
this wiki
Talk0
Full Name: Anthony John Pierzynski Primary Position: C
Height/Weight: 6'3"/240 First Game: September 9, 1998
Birthdate: December 30, 1976 MLB Experience: 10 years
Birthplace: Bridgehampton, New York
Bat/Throw: Left/Right


Biography

Anthony John "A.J." Pierzynski [peer-ZIN-skee] (born December 30, 1976 in Bridgehampton, New York) is a Polish Catholic Major League Baseball catcher who has played for the Chicago White Sox since 2005. Pierzynski formerly played with the Minnesota Twins (1998–2003) and San Francisco Giants (2004).

Pierzynski is well-known for his often brash and disrespectful demeanor. Incidents with players and the media have earned Pierzynski the reputation of being among the more disliked players in the league. However, his forthrightness and strong desire to win have won the hearts of many White Sox fans.

Pierzynski and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

On October 12, 2005, Pierzynski was involved in one of the most controversial endings in baseball playoff history in Game 2 of the 2005 American League Championship Series versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. With the score tied with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Angels pitcher Kelvim Escobar apparently struck out Pierzynski to end the inning. When Josh Paul, the Angels catcher, rolled the ball to the mound and left the infield, Pierzynski ran to first base in case the umpire ruled that the Angels catcher did not field the ball cleanly (Dropped third strike), meaning he would have to either tag Pierzynski or throw to the first baseman to record the out. Umpire Doug Eddings indeed ruled the catcher did not catch the ball, and Pierzynski was awarded first. A pinch-runner, Pablo Ozuna, replaced Pierzynski, who stole second base. Third baseman Joe Crede delivered a base hit three pitches later to give the White Sox the win. The White Sox then swept the next three games to reach the World Series. In the last game Pierzynski and Escobar were involved in another bizarre play with two out, when Escobar tried to tag Pierzynski out with an empty glove. Pierzynski was initially called out, then awarded the base, and Crede again hit the winning run home.

Escobar and Pierzynski met again on April 29, 2006, and Escobar hit Pierzynski with the third pitch he threw at him. Escobar had said before the game that he was intending to hit Pierzynski with a pitch during the game. While Pierzynski didn't score, the White Sox won the game 2-1 giving Escobar the Loss.

Pierzynski and the Chicago Cubs

On May 20, 2006 Pierzynski was in an altercation with Cubs catcher Michael Barrett after a collision at home plate. Pierzynski was the runner on third base when Brian Anderson hit a fly ball to left field. Pierzynski tagged from third in an attempt to score. Barrett was set up at home plate to receive left fielder Matt Murton's throw. As Pierzynski reached home plate, he collided with Barrett. The collision knocked Barrett, who had not yet received Murton's throw, back several feet behind home plate. After the collision, Pierzynski enthusiastically slapped home plate. As Barrett got to his feet, the two came together again. Barrett grabbed Pierzynski with both arms and struck Pierzynski just below the left jaw with his right fist. Both benches cleared. Seconds later, Brian Anderson and Cubs right fielder John Mabry were involved in another confrontation. The four were ejected.

Following the game at a press conference, Barrett, Pierzynski, and Cubs Manager Dusty Baker all commented on the play. There was some disagreement about why Barrett struck Pierzynski. Barrett indicated that Pierzynski stepped toward him at the end of play, and he just reacted badly. Pierzynski indicated that Barrett may have struck him because Barrett did not have the ball yet when the collision occurred. In baseball it is a legal play for a runner to collide with the catcher at home plate when the catcher is attempting to block home plate in order to put a tag on the runner.

High school career

Pierzynski attended Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, where he won All-State honors in baseball. New York Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon was one of Pierzynski's high school teammates.

Professional wrestling appearances

On December 8, 2005, A.J. Pierzynski appeared on TNA iMPACT!, a professional wrestling television program aired by the professional wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Accompanied by White Sox strength trainer Dale Torborg, Pierzynski presented TNA wrestlers A.J. Styles, Chris Sabin and Sonjay Dutt with memorabilia from the 2005 World Series. The ceremony was, however, interrupted by wrestler Simon Diamond and his "Diamonds in the Rough" faction. Diamond, who was himself once offered a contract by the San Diego Padres, mocked Pierzynski's .256 batting average, telling him that he needed a designated hitter. Diamond then slapped Torborg, leading to a brawl. As a result of the incident, Pierzynski made his professional wrestling managerial debut at TNA Turning Point 2005 on December 11, 2005, accompanying Torborg, Sabin and Dutt to ringside for their match against the Diamonds in the Rough. Pierzynski's team won the bout following interference from New York Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon, who handed Pierzynski a home plate with which to hit Diamond.

Recently, Pierzynski was given a TNA X-Division Championship Replica Belt by TNA, and he announced that the belt would be the (unofficial) award for the White Sox Player of the Game.

Scouting Report

Statistics

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
1998 MIN A 7 10 1 3 0 1 .300 .385 .300 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0
1999 MIN A 9 22 3 6 0 3 .273 .333 .364 2 0 1 4 1 0 0 0 0
2000 MIN A 33 88 12 27 2 11 .307 .354 .455 5 1 5 14 2 0 1 0 1
2001 MIN A 114 381 51 110 7 55 .289 .322 .441 33 2 16 57 4 1 1 4 7
2002 MIN A 130 440 54 132 6 49 .300 .334 .439 31 6 13 61 11 2 1 1 14
2003 MIN A 137 487 63 152 11 74 .312 .360 .464 35 3 24 55 15 2 3 12 13
2004 SF N 131 471 45 128 11 77 .272 .319 .410 28 2 19 27 15 2 0 4 27
2005 CHI A 128 460 61 118 18 56 .257 .308 .420 21 0 23 68 12 1 0 5 13
2006 CHI A 140 509 65 150 16 64 .295 .333 .436 24 0 22 72 8 3 1 6 10
2007 CHI A 136 472 54 124 14 50 .263 .309 .403 24 0 25 66 8 1 1 5 21
Total NL 131 471 45 128 11 77 .272 .319 .410 28 2 19 27 15 2 0 4 27
Total AL 834 2869 364 822 74 363 .286 ? ? 175 12 130 399 62 10 8 33 79
Total 965 3340 409 950 85 440 .284 .328 .430 203 14 149 426 77 12 8 37 106

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A ERR DP TP PB SB CS PkO AVG
1998 MIN A C 6 4 37 33 2 0 1 0 0 4 1 0 1.000
1999 MIN A C 9 6 58 35 2 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1.000
2000 MIN A C 32 27 236.2 160 10 0 3 0 2 10 6 0 1.000
2001 MIN A C 110 102 901.2 611 44 10 7 0 4 44 21 2 .985
2001 MIN A DH 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2002 MIN A C 124 118 1035.2 756 42 3 3 0 2 45 19 0 .996
2003 MIN A C 135 131 1165.2 843 46 6 6 0 5 46 20 0 .993
2004 SF N C 118 117 1022 697 56 1 6 0 7 51 15 0 .999
2005 CHI A C 128 124 1117.2 803 48 1 8 0 7 79 23 1 .999
2006 CHI A C 132 126 1125 796 61 3 4 0 10 90 25 0 .997
2007 CHI A C 130 116 1058 796 46 2 6 0 14 62 20 0 .998
Total C 924 871 7757.1 5530 357 26 45 0 52 432 151 3 .996
Total DH 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Transactions

  • Selected by Minnesota Twins in the 3rd round of the free-agent draft (June 2, 1994 - signed June 9, 1994).
  • Traded by Minnesota Twins with cash to San Francisco Giants in exchange for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser (November 14, 2003).
  • Released by San Francisco Giants (December 16, 2004).
  • Signed by Chicago White Sox (January 6, 2005).

Trivia

See also

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki