The Minnesota Twins recently ended another free-agent chase close but no cigar. The Boston Red Sox finalized their one-year $8.25 million deal today with free agent A.J. Pierzynski, leaving the Twins to begin a new search for the right player to place Joe Mauer behind the plate.
While it’s obvious that Pierzynski’s veteran experience and proven talent would surely have helped the struggling Twinkies on the scoreboard, have we forgotten who we’re talking about here?
Statistics aside, A.J. Pierzynski is the biggest jerk in baseball. Don’t believe me? Think I’m just a scorned fan bitter at the former Twin who betrayed his loyal Minnesotans when he joined the wretched Chicago White Sox in 2005 and spent game after game trash talking his former teammates? While I won’t deny that this is all undoubtedly true; I’m not the only one with a sour taste in my mouth about the guy. The newest member of the Red Sox was voted by his peers in the MLB as the meanest and most hated player in the league in 2012, and has ranked near the top of the list numerous times.
I’d say the Twins should cut their losses here. Why would we want a guy around that has been said by other players to treat players with less than five years experience in the league like “peasants”, in addition to being “a prick to guys on his own pitching staff.”
His former manager Ozzie Guillen once accurately described Pierzynski saying, “if you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less.”
Back in 2007, Pierzynski showed up with the White Sox and clipped beloved former Twin Justin Morneau in the ankle when he ignored baseball etiquette and planted his foot on the fair side of first base on two occasions.
More recently in 2012, Pierzynski loudly called Twins pitcher Nick Blackburn a “piece of sh**” to his face — on our field.
The biggest flaw of the guy is that he really just can’t seem to shut his mouth. The Twins may not be known for our recent accomplishments, but the entire organization— fans included — has managed to maintain a classy reputation despite our trying frustrations. The Red Sox can probably afford some negativity in the dugout, but the Twins sure can’t.
Pierzynski’s decision to sign with the Red Sox in reality allows the Twins organization to save face whether they realize it or not. Are we really that desperate that we’re willing to tuck our tail between our legs and beg for a player who outwardly trashed us after we loyally supported him for his first six seasons in the Major Leagues? Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but the Twins should be relieved to avoid the reluctant moral dilemma of accepting Pierzynski back into the Minnesota community.
Enjoy your new headache Boston. Feel free to leave him in Bean Town when you come to Target Field — he’s not welcome here.
Caroline Ponessa is a Minnesota Twins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter @RantCaroline