There is no question catcher A.J. Pierzynski is a tremendous asset at the plate and behind it. With that being said, he certainly has the capability of wrecking the chemistry inside the Boston Red Sox clubhouse. For that reason, the team signing him to a two-year deal in free agency could be a huge mistake.
Pierzynski has been known to have little respect for the game. Granted, his attitude has certainly improved over the years, but nonetheless, he definitely can be a hard person to work with. He has been known to constantly argue balls and strikes with umpires, at least more than the average catcher does. He also talks a lot of smack to opponents and simply rubs people the wrong way.
It’s true that a majority of the people who dislike Pierzynski are actually opponents, opposed to his teammates. Sure, his teammates over the years have had some issues with him. However, it seems to be one of those things in which he’s a difficult person to handle but he’s their difficult person to handle.
I have to imagine playing for the Red Sox, a team that just won the World Series, will improve his attitude greatly. Suiting up for a team with so much history just makes a person want to respect the game that much more.
As far as Pierzynski the player is concerned, Boston added a heck of a talent. His offensive numbers last season were very similar to Jarrod Saltalamacchia. What’s even better is that he has been more consistent at the plate with his power numbers over the years. He’s also known as one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, which is certainly a huge plus for Boston. In fact, he has a .995 fielding percentage in 11,575 total chances.
It’s disappointing that Saltalamacchia won’t return to the team, but at least the Red Sox will have a productive player to take his place.