This came across my Google reader and while I’m shocked, I’m also not. 215 players voted that AJ Pierzynski was the meanest player in majors.
I understand why opponents don’t like him with what happened in the ALCS with the Angels. The Angels fan at work hates him with a passion. But all he really does is play hard. He does everything he can to win the game. Chicago fans love him and he’s one of my favorite players on the team. I know he had a falling out with Minnesota and I’m not entirely sure what happened there with teammates but I know everyone in the White Sox clubhouse says he’s a great guy. Now I’m not stupid enough to think there aren’t secrets out there that they keep quiet. But I know, everything I hear out of the Chicago media, is nothing but nice.
I love that when he strikes out, he slams his bat down. He’s pissed, at himself. Today he made the final out with 2 men on in a 1 run game and he slammed his helmet down. He wasn’t mad at the umpire, he wasn’t mad at the pitcher or the other players, he was mad at himself. That tells me he cares, he wants to win. Why would you not want that on your team. I see video footage of him all the time goofing off with teammates and the media. When he’s on the field, he’s business. But you see him before games or in video footage outside the game, he’s all smiles.
The SI article doesn’t say anything about the criteria for the vote or even if it was just a write down the meanest player. Technically, it’s not an article but a photo gallery. AJ is the kind of guy you love to have on your team and hate to play against him. That doesn’t make him mean, that makes him a competitor. I for one, am an AJ fan. And I hope he retires as a White Sox because I don’t want to see him on another team.
Here’s a link to the gallery – Sports Illustrated