If you loved to hate A.J. Pierzynski during all his years with the White Sox, you've got another chance this weekend, as he'll become a member of the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday:
Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski will join the Cardinals for their game against the Cubs on Saturday at Wrigley Field. Pierzynski was in Cooperstown on Friday for the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies but left for Chicago. He’ll back up Tony Cruz, who was given the starting job when All-Star Yadier Molina went down with torn ligaments in his right thumb. He’s out eight to 12 weeks.
Pierzynski is an acquired taste. He did well in Minnesota, but after he was traded to the Giants he wore out his welcome there in one year, subsequently signing with the White Sox as a free agent. As you well know, he became a franchise icon there, and was involved in one of the most memorable brawls in recent Cubs history when he and Michael Barrett got into a fistfight at the Cell during this game, May 20, 2006.
Despite having decent numbers in Boston, A.J. was released by the Red Sox a few weeks ago; apparently he and the clubhouse culture there were not a good fit. He might work out better in St. Louis, where there are a lot of player leaders.
Here's the thing about A.J., and why Cubs fans (and fans of other teams) disliked him so much: He'd do everything he could to help his team win -- even if it skirted the rules. I'd think if he were on my side, I'd be a big fan, and that's the same reason he's so hated by others. In any case, he'll be at Wrigley today. That ought to be an interesting scene.