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Lip Man 1
01-07-2005, 12:01 AM
Itís funny how sometimes you can get information.

Thursday night I covered the Montana / Idaho State menís basketball game for the Associated Press in Pocatello.

As luck would have it, one of the game officials is an executive with the Minnesota Twins. I wonít say his name but if you are that set to find out who he is, you can probably look on the Big Sky conference web site for the list of their officials or perhaps on the Twins web site.

Heís been officiating for at least the past five years. He does it because he likes it and because it helps keep him in shape. Every year we talk when he comes to town.

About thirty minutes before the game I say hello and ask him if he heard the news about A.J.

He didnít know about it so I told him that he signed a one year deal with the Sox for 2.25 million dollars. The first words out of his mouth were..."Good for the j** off..."

At first I thought he was joking but after an awkward moment of silence he started to blush and said "I guess I shouldnít have said that."

I asked him what kind of player A.J. was and he said, "heís a very good player. Heís the type of guy that you love to have on your club because he has the ability to get inside the heads of the other team, managers and even umpires. You want him on your team and if youíre the opponent you hate him."

Then I asked about the stories out of San Francisco, how he supposedly is a bad clubhouse guy and so forth. All he said to me was "heís different, thatís probably all I should say."

The last thing he said to me was "Looks like weíll (meaning the Twins) be seeing a lot of him this year."

Take it for what itís worth.

Lip

HomeFish
01-07-2005, 12:03 AM
All he said to me was "heís different, thatís probably all I should say."


Does this bring up an earlier discussion about him that now resides in the Roadhouse to anyone else?

Cubbiesuck13
01-07-2005, 06:52 AM
I hope that this is true. He sounds like a Rodman type player everyone wants on their team but everyone wants to badmouth if he isn't. I don't think he will be a cancer, and if he is then we will be in trouble because this team has no leadership... Yet. Hopefully someone will step up and take that role.

34 Inch Stick
01-07-2005, 07:16 AM
He is a trade and and outright release away from his days as a Twin. He could probably justify the trade in his head because of Maurer. The release is a thing that tends to sober these guys up. In addition he saw the market for him. People were not falling all over themselves to get him, even though he is an All Star caliber player at a critical position. A one year deal for little money is a no lose deal. The money is small enough that he can be released if he is an annoyance.

samram
01-07-2005, 07:18 AM
The thing about this situation is he really has to become a better teammate this year, or he will find it increasingly difficult to find work. Being let go by three teams in three consecutive seasons would look really bad. Maybe the fact he's a catcher gives him some leeway because that's such a valuable position, but after a while, I would think teams would rather not deal with the problems he brings.

Nick@Nite
01-07-2005, 07:25 AM
Does this bring up an earlier discussion about him that now resides in the Roadhouse to anyone else?Nope... the thread in the Roadhouse was simply an inane exchange between a few who were arguing about the use and meaning of a certain word.

A.T. Money
01-07-2005, 07:28 AM
All that is fine with me. Maybe the Twins exec is pissed because they traded him to make room for a "future star" that has been on the shelf most of the year. They may never admit it, but they miss his presence and production, and now he'll be on the other side.

I'd be bitter too.

gosox41
01-07-2005, 08:09 AM
He is a trade and and outright release away from his days as a Twin. He could probably justify the trade in his head because of Maurer. The release is a thing that tends to sober these guys up. In addition he saw the market for him. People were not falling all over themselves to get him, even though he is an All Star caliber player at a critical position. A one year deal for little money is a no lose deal. The money is small enough that he can be released if he is an annoyance.
Exactly, and AJ has every incentive to get his head out of his butt and focus if he wants to make the big money. The only reason the Giants released him was his clubhouse behavior. A guy with his number and arbitration eligible should be making about $5 in this market and teams should even consider signing him to a long term contract. The fact that he was able to sign for less then he made last year should be an excellent wake up call to get it right.

And like you said, if he turns out to be a cancer he can be released or maybe even traded to a desperate team in a playoff hunt. If he's helping the Sox win that much, not many are going to care about his issues.




Bob

Frater Perdurabo
01-07-2005, 08:24 AM
Lip,

Obviously only you know what your source said and how he said it. So, what was your impression of your source's comments? Do you think that signing A.J. was a good move that will help the Sox?

Lip Man 1
01-07-2005, 12:11 PM
This is strickly my opinion but based on the comments from the official and the way he said them, then being embarassed over the initial word he used to describe A.J., I must conclude there were definite issues surrounding him with the Twins in the clubhouse.

Remember winning solves a lot of problems. The Twins were winning so the 'issues' weren't that important. Last year with the Giants having some rough times during the season suddenly those same issues did become important.

A.J. is a definite risk... however it was one the Sox had to take. A combo of Ben Davis and Jamie Burke was a disaster waiting to happen.

By the way Ken Rosenthal of The Sporting News got back to me this morning. I had e-mailed him the same story that I posted on WSI. His reply was that the official's comments fit in with the general consesus of A.J. around baseball.

Take it for what it's worth.

Lip

samram
01-07-2005, 12:15 PM
This is strickly my opinion but based on the comments from the official and the way he said them, then being embarassed over the initial word he used to describe A.J., I must conclude there were definite issues surrounding him with the Twins in the clubhouse.

Remember winning solves a lot of problems. The Twins were winning so the 'issues' weren't that important. Last year with the Giants having some rough times during the season suddenly those same issues did become important.

A.J. is a definite risk... however it was one the Sox had to take. A combo of Ben Davis and Jamie Burke was a disaster waiting to happen.

By the way Ken Rosenthal of The Sporting News got back to me this morning. I had e-mailed him the same story that I posted on WSI. His reply was that the official's comments fit in with the general consesus of A.J. around baseball.

Take it for what it's worth.

Lip
Well, it's pretty clear there are issues involved with AJ- catchers who can hit .300 from the left side and drive in 75-80 runs aren't a dime a dozen, so the fact he's bounced around for the last two years is telling. However, the teams he's played on tend to be in contention, if not playoff teams.

Lip Man 1
01-07-2005, 12:19 PM
Let's put it this way. A.J. has never suffered a losing season in MLB since he came up for good with the Twins.

Lip

tstrike2000
01-07-2005, 12:35 PM
Like some of you eluded to, A.J. is willing to do just about anything to get this reputation "off his back." It sounds like it'll hopefully be a team first attitude which I think will be a fit in the Sox clubhouse. That's one positive to having Lee and Maggs gone is the prima donna attitude is a little lower. Plus I think guys like Konerko and Big Frank will help keep him in line if he starts to become a problem. Like Bob said too, if he performs at his previous levels offensively, Sox fans will forget about his past issues.

34 Inch Stick
01-07-2005, 12:38 PM
In addition, I feared when he came to bat against the White Sox more than anyone besides Koskie.

I predict he will hit .300 and hit 15 homers and 35 doubles this year.

Frater Perdurabo
01-07-2005, 12:56 PM
Like some of you eluded to, A.J. is willing to do just about anything to get this reputation "off his back." It sounds like it'll hopefully be a team first attitude which I think will be a fit in the Sox clubhouse. That's one positive to having Lee and Maggs gone is the prima donna attitude is a little lower. Plus I think guys like Konerko and Big Frank will help keep him in line if he starts to become a problem. Like Bob said too, if he performs at his previous levels offensively, Sox fans will forget about his past issues.

Ozzie ought to be able to keep his clubhouse issues in check as well. I'm more concerned that he is able to work well with Sox pitchers, given Daver's reservations.

Ol' No. 2
01-07-2005, 01:07 PM
Ozzie ought to be able to keep his clubhouse issues in check as well. I'm more concerned that he is able to work well with Sox pitchers, given Daver's reservations.That's my concern, too. I'd rather have a .220 hitting catcher who worked well with his pitchers than a guy hitting .300 but who's never on the same page as the pitchers.

SEALgep
01-07-2005, 01:25 PM
That's my concern, too. I'd rather have a .220 hitting catcher who worked well with his pitchers than a guy hitting .300 but who's never on the same page as the pitchers.Worst comes to worse, we have the ability to go back to Davis and Burke. No big deal, it is a worthy risk. The guy is different, but he wants to win, and that's something the team in general has in common. I understand concerns, but I think things will work out with him. He may be unconventional, but so is Ozzie. Shoot, they may be perfect for each other, allowing Ozzie to get the most out of AJ, while the club house in tact.

Ol' No. 2
01-07-2005, 01:27 PM
Worst comes to worse, we have the ability to go back to Davis and Burke. No big deal, it is a worthy risk. The guy is different, but he wants to win, and that's something the team in general has in common. I understand concerns, but I think things will work out with him. He may be unconventional, but so is Ozzie. Shoot, they may be perfect for each other, allowing Ozzie to get the most out of AJ, while the club house in tact.I don't know if Burke has options left. He's been up and down for several years, so I would tend to doubt it. If not, then they would have to trade or waive him.

Paulwny
01-07-2005, 01:31 PM
That's my concern, too. I'd rather have a .220 hitting catcher who worked well with his pitchers than a guy hitting .300 but who's never on the same page as the pitchers.
I agree to some extent.
Veteran pitchers, of which the sox have 3, have the ability to know what they want to throw and can usually call their own game. With younger pitchers it's different but, almost every team is sending pitch calls from the dugout in critical situations. With the pitching coaches taking control of calling the game very few catchers call the shots, just my opinion.

SEALgep
01-07-2005, 01:32 PM
I don't know if Burke has options left. He's been up and down for several years, so I would tend to doubt it. If not, then they would have to trade or waive him.That very well could be, but I accept the risk regardless. I believe it's going to work out.

Ol' No. 2
01-07-2005, 01:36 PM
That very well could be, but I accept the risk regardless. I believe it's going to work out.I agree it's a risk worth taking. If there's a problem, $2.25M is not so much money that they can't eat it, especially since half the season will be gone before such a decision becomes necessary. I like Burke, but there are lots of them around. You could probably get one in trade mid-season for a minor leaguer. From the sound of things, you could probably get Olivo back for a minor leaguer.

rdivaldi
01-07-2005, 01:38 PM
Are you guys just as interested for the first time when AJ goes out to the mound to talk to Garland? AJ just might rip his head off....

Jerko
01-07-2005, 01:42 PM
I haven't read all 44,304 posts on AJ so I hope I am not repeating something here. But, I have to ask my fellow Sox fans this: Why do we hate him so much? Because he was a pain in our asses when he was with Minnesota? Good! Now he can have that effect on other teams. It's like the old saying goes; he may be an *******, but he's our *******. Let's just hope he does well on the field and that the rest of the players are "professional" enough to deal with his clubhouse persona and not let it affect their on-field play.

SEALgep
01-07-2005, 01:43 PM
Are you guys just as interested for the first time when AJ goes out to the mound to talk to Garland? AJ just might rip his head off....That could end up being a good thing.:bandance:

SEALgep
01-07-2005, 01:44 PM
I agree it's a risk worth taking. If there's a problem, $2.25M is not so much money that they can't eat it, especially since half the season will be gone before such a decision becomes necessary. I like Burke, but there are lots of them around. You could probably get one in trade mid-season for a minor leaguer. From the sound of things, you could probably get Olivo back for a minor leaguer.Not to get off topic, but what's being said about Olivo? Generally I know his flaws, but are there recent issues surrounding him?

Baby Fisk
01-07-2005, 02:09 PM
Are you guys just as interested for the first time when AJ goes out to the mound to talk to Garland? AJ just might rip his head off....I've long held to the notion that Garland needs to be yelled at more often to be a better pitcher.

Baby Fisk
01-07-2005, 02:11 PM
Not to get off topic, but what's being said about Olivo? Generally I know his flaws, but are there recent issues surrounding him?There was some rumination over Olivo's tenure in Seattle in this thread. (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=42038&highlight=olivo+seattle)

SEALgep
01-07-2005, 02:23 PM
There was some rumination over Olivo's tenure in Seattle in this thread. (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=42038&highlight=olivo+seattle)Thanks very much.

JKryl
01-07-2005, 02:24 PM
I haven't read all 44,304 posts on AJ so I hope I am not repeating something here. But, I have to ask my fellow Sox fans this: Why do we hate him so much? Because he was a pain in our asses when he was with Minnesota? Good! Now he can have that effect on other teams. It's like the old saying goes; he may be an *******, but he's our *******. Let's just hope he does well on the field and that the rest of the players are "professional" enough to deal with his clubhouse persona and not let it affect their on-field play.
To get back on line with the topic of this thread, there is an article in the Sun-Times today (1/7) that addressess all of this. They interview AJ himself. It seems that Kenny already brought up the subject of AJ's attitude, etc. He (AJ) says that he's aware of the problem, and he intends on being more agreeable this year. We'll see.

Baby Fisk
01-07-2005, 02:33 PM
To get back on line with the topic of this thread, there is an article in the Sun-Times today (1/7) that addressess all of this. They interview AJ himself. It seems that Kenny already brought up the subject of AJ's attitude, etc. He (AJ) says that he's aware of the problem, and he intends on being more agreeable this year. We'll see.Thanks for mentioning the article. LINKY (http://www.suntimes.com/output/sox/cst-spt-sox07.html)

''He's a winner, and he's a hard-nosed guy,'' Williams said. ''From what I understand, some of that hard nose can rub others the wrong way and be misinterpreted.''

Pierzynski said he is aware of his reputation, and while he doesn't feel he deserved everything heaped upon him by his Giants teammates, he does admit to having some growing up to do.

''I know there is a lot of negative stuff out there,'' Pierzynski said. ''All I can say is I will do my best to change that. It's taken an effect on my career. Kenny and I have spoken about it, and I'm willing to do what it takes to fix it. ''I'll talk to the pitchers and other players and move on. What happened in San Francisco is a shame, but I'm looking for a new start and winning games for the White Sox.''