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View Full Version : The real reason San Fran dumped A.J.


DrCrawdad
04-12-2005, 09:29 AM
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http://www.dailyherald.com/images/mugs/rozner.jpg
By Barry Rozner
Daily Herald Sports Columnist
Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Catch as catch can

Enough with the A.J. Pierzynski story already. The Giants didnít dump him because one pitcher didnít like him. They waived him because Pierzynski beat them at the arbitration table and was in line for another big raise.

Ok, spread the news. We've heard the "clubhouse cancer" for a few months now.

WSox8404
04-12-2005, 09:52 AM
Thats usually the reason. Bad character is usually associated with we don't want to pay him.

mweflen
04-12-2005, 09:54 AM
Yeah, and then he gets hosed financially by all the bad press SF spread.

Good thing Magglio was able to avoid that...

mantis1212
04-12-2005, 10:07 AM
Thats usually the reason. Bad character is usually associated with we don't want to pay him.

Just like with Carlos Lee really - I don't like all this so-called "news" about him being a selfish player and such... we got rid of him so we could have AJ, El Duque, Visciano, and Pods instead. That's a helluva trade if you ask me

tstrike2000
04-12-2005, 11:08 AM
Just like with Carlos Lee really - I don't like all this so-called "news" about him being a selfish player and such... we got rid of him so we could have AJ, El Duque, Visciano, and Pods instead. That's a helluva trade if you ask me

With AJ, it seems his repuatation was the bigger issue. Whatever the case, that's fine with us, he's a good fit here. Very true about the CLee trade, too. We got some speed and another reliever to go in the direction Williams and Ozzie wanted to go. Also, is it just me or does Barry Rozner look an awful lot like Wayne Newton?

DrCrawdad
04-12-2005, 11:26 AM
With AJ, it seems his repuatation was the bigger issue. Whatever the case, that's fine with us, he's a good fit here. Very true about the CLee trade, too. We got some speed and another reliever to go in the direction Williams and Ozzie wanted to go. Also, is it just me or does Barry Rozner look an awful lot like Wayne Newton?

http://www.dailyherald.com/images/mugs/rozner.jpg http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/showbiz.today/images/2001/10/top.newton.wayne.jpg
You may be on to something.

CubKiller5
04-12-2005, 01:00 PM
I think AJ would have earned twice what the White Sox are paying him thru arbitration. Certainly that played a factor. But you can't just dismiss all the quotes from players either.

It's similar to Ozzie saying nobody wanted to pitch to Olivo.

batmanZoSo
04-12-2005, 01:25 PM
I think AJ would have earned twice what the White Sox are paying him thru arbitration. Certainly that played a factor. But you can't just dismiss all the quotes from players either.

It's similar to Ozzie saying nobody wanted to pitch to Olivo.

Simply put, nobody's perfect. AJ is probably a bit testy at times, but so was Carlton Fisk. That doesn't make them cancers. Olivo's a good young catcher, but he has his faults behind the plate. Lee is a fine power hitter, but he's streaky and pops the ball up a lot looking like he's swinging for the fences. Everybody likes the player they got better than the player they had, that's just the way it is.

All I know is AJ was well respected in Minnesota for several years, and to me that outweighs one probably overblown incident reported by a whiny pitcher.

cheeses_h_rice
04-12-2005, 01:35 PM
Well, there is the story of AJ kicking the Giants' trainer in the nuts (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2005/01/15/SPG6IAQNH81.DTL) after taking a pitch himself in the groinal area:

One of those now-it-can-be-told stories the White Sox, A.J. Pierzynski's new employer, surely haven't heard: During a Giants exhibition game last spring, Pierzynski took a shot to his, shall we say, private parts. Trainer Stan Conte rushed to the scene, placed his hands on Pierzynski's shoulders in a reassuring way, and asked how it felt. "Like this," said Pierzynski, viciously delivering a knee to Conte's groin. It was a real test of professionalism for the enraged Conte, who vowed to ignore Pierzynski for the rest of the season until Conte realized how that would look. The incident went unreported because all of the beat writers happened to be doing in-game interviews in the clubhouse, but it was corroborated by a half-dozen eyewitnesses who could hardly believe their eyes.

I'm sure that didn't help.

wdelaney72
04-12-2005, 02:08 PM
I don't care. AJ is here and is the best catcher we've had in a LONG time.

ma-gaga
04-12-2005, 02:12 PM
Well, there is the story of AJ kicking the Giants' trainer in the nuts (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2005/01/15/SPG6IAQNH81.DTL) after taking a pitch himself in the groinal area:

I'm sure that didn't help.

Cheeses, that's got to be completely fabricated. If you can find a quote by AJ admitting to this, then I'll believe it happened. But until then, this is a twisted rumor and nothing more. Even the story doesn't interview the trainer, it's just from some "unnamed source".

The incident went unreported because all of the beat writers happened to be doing in-game interviews in the clubhouse, but it was corroborated by a half-dozen eyewitnesses who could hardly believe their eyes. Said one source, as reliable as they come:

There's no way that ALL the beat writers missed this. They have like 14 of them. Give me a quote by Conte calling out Pierzynski. This just smells like crap. :gulp:

The Giants let him go because of money. He beat them last year in arbitration, he was going to beat them again this year, and they didn't want to pay him the $4.5MM it would have cost to keep him. I heard him on an interview describing the arbitration process after he won his case.

Apparently the Giants based their entire arbitration argument on AJ's spot in the order (8th, predominantly with the 2002 Twins). Therefore his salary should be equal to an average 8th spot catcher.

He sounded bemused and a little frustrated by the process. They apparently repeated over and over, "he batted EIGHTH! in the lineup!". It really made Sabean sound like a moron. Apparently nothing else mattered.

:gulp:

cheeses_h_rice
04-12-2005, 02:37 PM
Cheeses, that's got to be completely fabricated. If you can find a quote by AJ admitting to this, then I'll believe it happened. But until then, this is a twisted rumor and nothing more. Even the story doesn't interview the trainer, it's just from some "unnamed source".

There's no way that ALL the beat writers missed this. They have like 14 of them. Give me a quote by Conte calling out Pierzynski. This just smells like crap. :gulp:

I left off this last sentence from the SF Chronicle article:

Said one source, as reliable as they come: "There is absolutely no doubt that it happened."

Keep in mind that this is the biggest paper in San Fran reporting this, not some sports blog or anonymous message board. The incident is recounted so specifically -- why would it smell like crap?

BankHoldUp
04-12-2005, 02:40 PM
That SF Chronicle story is amazing. I understand some of the skepticism towards it, but this isn't sourced from Weekly World News...this is a very reputable paper with a lot of credibility. The Chronicle broke the entire BALCO case with unnamed sources and they have more or less proved correct. Assuming this story is accurate for a minute, AJ did a stupid and classless thing. But I'm more than willing to give the guy a chance, especially considering everything I've read from the White Sox clubhouse has said AJ is not as bad as he is made out to be. This is a horrible story that I'm sure AJ would love to take back. But it is also a one-sided negative portrayal. And as they say, the truth about AJ probably lies somewhere in the middle.

BarbG
04-12-2005, 02:59 PM
Maybe I just have too much experience and knowledge of the "newspapers" in this town, but...

"Reliable as they come" sources usually aren't afraid to give their NAMES, especially in a case like this.

mweflen
04-12-2005, 03:03 PM
Well, a guy who's just taken one to the jewels is usually in a pretty wacked out mental state. I mean, just look at the reactions of guys who get beaned even on an arm or whatnot. Sometimes, they just fly into a rage. Not that it justifies it...

But if AJ helps us get to the WS, I bet there would be a line of Sox fans around the block willing to take a kick in the groin to get there...

batmanZoSo
04-12-2005, 03:29 PM
Well, a guy who's just taken one to the jewels is usually in a pretty wacked out mental state. I mean, just look at the reactions of guys who get beaned even on an arm or whatnot. Sometimes, they just fly into a rage. Not that it justifies it...

But if AJ helps us get to the WS, I bet there would be a line of Sox fans around the block willing to take a kick in the groin to get there...

As a Sox fan, it comes with the territory to get kicked in the groin regularly. What's an extra shot?

Man Soo Lee
04-12-2005, 03:37 PM
Well, there is the story of AJ kicking the Giants' trainer in the nuts (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2005/01/15/SPG6IAQNH81.DTL) after taking a pitch himself in the groinal area:

I'm sure that didn't help.

In an interview on one of the national ESPN radio shows during spring training, A.J. denied that anything like this happened.

I agree with ma-gaga that it's hard to believe that nobody would have seen this and reported it at the time.

swanson24
04-12-2005, 03:41 PM
One of those now-it-can-be-told stories the White Sox, A.J. Pierzynski's new employer, surely haven't heard: During a Giants exhibition game last spring, Pierzynski took a shot to his, shall we say, private parts. Trainer Stan Conte rushed to the scene, placed his hands on Pierzynski's shoulders in a reassuring way, and asked how it felt. "Like this," said Pierzynski, viciously delivering a knee to Conte's groin. It was a real test of professionalism for the enraged Conte, who vowed to ignore Pierzynski for the rest of the season until Conte realized how that would look. The incident went unreported because all of the beat writers happened to be doing in-game interviews in the clubhouse, but it was corroborated by a half-dozen eyewitnesses who could hardly believe their eyes. Said one source, as reliable as they come: "There is absolutely no doubt that it happened." (Bruce Jenkins San Francisco Chronicle)
The San Francisco / Oakland Press will stop at nothing to smear his name through the mud. If all these stories are true. How come it was never reported when he played in Minneapolis for the Twins. Bottom Line the Bay Area baseball writers have launched and will continue the A.J. smear campaign. Lets stand by our new catcher!

mweflen
04-12-2005, 03:45 PM
As a Sox fan, it comes with the territory to get kicked in the groin regularly. What's an extra shot?

:reinsy
As a part of the White Sox' new Fantasy Experiences, I, Jerry Reinsdorf, will add a warm, personal touch to your fan experience by kicking you in the groin for $100 - no, $250. $500 on Cubs dates. Lower Deck patrons only, please, I can't be bothered to climb up 80 ramps just to deliver a nut-shot.

Ol' No. 2
04-12-2005, 04:10 PM
Well, there is the story of AJ kicking the Giants' trainer in the nuts (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2005/01/15/SPG6IAQNH81.DTL) after taking a pitch himself in the groinal area:



I'm sure that didn't help.1. All witnesses are unnamed - dead giveaway.
2. The sportwriters missed it because they were ALL in the clubhouse while the game was going on - dead giveaway.
3. They go out of their way to point out that their unnamed witness is "as reliable as they come". If he's so reliable, how come he doesn't have a name? - dead giveaway.

cheeses_h_rice
04-12-2005, 04:15 PM
The San Francisco / Oakland Press will stop at nothing to smear his name through the mud. If all these stories are true. How come it was never reported when he played in Minneapolis for the Twins. Bottom Line the Bay Area baseball writers have launched and will continue the A.J. smear campaign. Lets stand by our new catcher!

Pierzynski's been a jerk and a hothead for years, so it's not as if the San Fran writers are making this stuff up out of whole cloth. I'm not even sure what there is to gain by the SF sportswriters talking about the groin-kneeing incident after AJ already signed with the White Sox; I mean, if they wanted to smear him and drag him through the mud, wouldn't they have printed this earlier? The incident in question happened during Spring Training 2004, after all.

As for the inference that even discussing a player's negative actions somehow equates to not standing by him...well, I'll leave that sort of mushy psychology up to Dusty Baker.

Whitesox029
04-12-2005, 04:19 PM
1. All witnesses are unnamed - dead giveaway.
2. The sportwriters missed it because they were ALL in the clubhouse while the game was going on - dead giveaway.
3. They go out of their way to point out that their unnamed witness is "as reliable as they come". If he's so reliable, how come he doesn't have a name? - dead giveaway.
but it was corroborated by a half-dozen eyewitnesses who could hardly believe their eyes.
4. Dead giveaway. half a dozen witnesses--at a spring training game? I would hope the Giants play in a town where more than 6 people show up at their games.

balke
04-12-2005, 04:41 PM
I bet the source was Tomko :D:

Fredsox
04-12-2005, 04:43 PM
Pierzynski's been a jerk and a hothead for years, so it's not as if the San Fran writers are making this stuff up out of whole cloth. I'm not even sure what there is to gain by the SF sportswriters talking about the groin-kneeing incident after AJ already signed with the White Sox; I mean, if they wanted to smear him and drag him through the mud, wouldn't they have printed this earlier? The incident in question happened during Spring Training 2004, after all.

As for the inference that even discussing a player's negative actions somehow equates to not standing by him...well, I'll leave that sort of mushy psychology up to Dusty Baker.

Yeah, actually it IS like the SF reporters might be making this up (insert Mitch Albom here, or 60 Minutes, or the NY Times)). No one has corroborated the story, AJ has denied it, and let's take a reality check here for a second: if this really happened it would have been out in the press when it happened, not a year later.

For me, until someone goes on the record and says they saw it happen, I file it under complete bull stuff.

MRKARNO
04-12-2005, 05:08 PM
4. Dead giveaway. half a dozen witnesses--at a spring training game? I would hope the Giants play in a town where more than 6 people show up at their games.

The Giants play in Scottsdale, which due to its being in Scottsdale, enables the Giants to draw crowds in excess of 10,000 for every single game.

TornLabrum
04-12-2005, 05:24 PM
BTW, if you haven't read it anywhere else yet, you can check out the story of why Tomko labeled AJ as a clubhouse cancer in my article "Sizing Up These Sox" on the home page. Just scroll down to the section on Pierzynski.

MisterB
04-12-2005, 05:45 PM
FWIW, about a month ago Stan Conte begrudgingly confirmed this incident in a radio interview on KNBR.

nordhagen
04-12-2005, 05:57 PM
If the guy has to knee Herm Schneider in the crown jewel area to make us a winner fine by me (and probably Schneider, too).

AJ was one of those guys you loved to hate when he was on the other side - particularly when the Twins were kicking our behinds. I'd rather have this guy than a Ben Davis-Jamie Burke starting combo. Things seem to be working out OK so far with him and the pitchers (and with Widger as the backup)

ma-gaga
04-12-2005, 06:10 PM
FWIW, about a month ago Stan Conte begrudgingly confirmed this incident in a radio interview on KNBR.

If Conte calls out AJ, I'll believe the story. But the way it was written, with unnamed sources "as reliable as they get", it just seemed so far fetched. Why on earth would you use a statement like that? Why not just name the source. You've already called AJ out as a ball-buster, why not finish off the deal?


Regardless, until he knees' Cooper in the groin, continue the AJ lovefest. :cool:

TheBull19
04-12-2005, 07:23 PM
I left off this last sentence from the SF Chronicle article:

...one source, as reliable as they come...



Well, I'm convinced.

If the Giant's let him go because Pierzynski's such a cancer, why didn't they get rid of the other bums on that team? Why aren't any of the sources identified? Sounds like a smear campaign to paint the hometown team in a favorable light. After all, they traded away a player who emerged as one of the top handful of closers in the game for AJ and then signed another age-ed catcher, who's good for about a .220 average, to replace him after they let him go FOR NOTHING. I know there's an unusual amount of good hitting catchers around all of a sudden, but where I come from you don't just let a 28 year old .300 hitting 75 rbi catcher go for NOTHING in return, even a "cancer."


Granted, Matheny's one of the best receivers in the game, but considering they're already fielding a geriatric unit that has had trouble producing offense behind Bonds, its still questionable. It sure will make it easier at the end of the year when their broken down club, unable to score runs and with a poor bullpen, falls short again to explain away, "Yeah, but he was a cancer." I'd think as Sox fans living w/ the tribune, etc, it'd be easy to see through.

cheeses_h_rice
04-12-2005, 08:40 PM
For those non-believers, I e-mailed Bruce Jenkins, who wrote the Chronicle article about the AJ/Conte incident, and even though he didn't personally witness the incident, he wrote back and said, "It does all sound a bit strange, but Pierzynski is lying in his denial (Stan Conte, by the way, will verify the story in the right company, although he's pretty tired of it by now)." He went into further detail surrounding the whole thing, and why this wasn't published at the time -- basically the source who told Jenkins about it decided he didn't want the story to get out, which would basically out him as the source. This was all around the time when the "clubhouse cancer" stuff was exploding.

So, believe what you will. I like AJ as the Sox's catcher, but still believe he rocked Conte in the cojones.

flo-B-flo
04-12-2005, 09:17 PM
As a Sox fan, it comes with the territory to get kicked in the groin regularly. What's an extra shot? First of all my compliments. :) Very funny. This happened one year ago. Why did it take so long to be reported? If AJ gets hit there again I hope it's Frank who asks him if it hurts.

fquaye149
04-13-2005, 02:28 AM
4. Dead giveaway. half a dozen witnesses--at a spring training game? I would hope the Giants play in a town where more than 6 people show up at their games.

Also: I bet yo8u could find half a hundred thousand "witnesses" who saw Babe Ruth call his shot. That does not mean it happened and it does not mean it happened THAT way.

Yeah it would be a great story if AJ kneed someone in the balls, but the fact that it would make a great story does not make it true.

Joe Cowley, king of the unknown sources works for a legitimate newspapers. Do we all of a sudden believe everything we see in the newspaper, despite a lack of sources?

Jayson Blair was doing this in New York for REAL news. And you think someone working in San Francisco on the sports page is going to get called on something that you can't prove DIDN'T happen any more than he apparent can't prove it DID happen?

arf.

Ol' No. 2
04-13-2005, 09:20 AM
For those non-believers, I e-mailed Bruce Jenkins, who wrote the Chronicle article about the AJ/Conte incident, and even though he didn't personally witness the incident, he wrote back and said, "It does all sound a bit strange, but Pierzynski is lying in his denial (Stan Conte, by the way, will verify the story in the right company, although he's pretty tired of it by now)." He went into further detail surrounding the whole thing, and why this wasn't published at the time -- basically the source who told Jenkins about it decided he didn't want the story to get out, which would basically out him as the source. This was all around the time when the "clubhouse cancer" stuff was exploding.

So, believe what you will. I like AJ as the Sox's catcher, but still believe he rocked Conte in the cojones.I'm still a long way from convinced. Conte supposedly confirmed it on the radio, but did anyone actually hear it or does anyone know anyone who heard it themselves? If not, it's third-hand at best. Conte will verify it in the "right" company? Uh-huh.

Now Jenkins' "source" says he didn't mention it before because he would have been outed as the source. What happened to the half-dozen other witnesses? If this really happened in a stadium full of people, there's no way it would take a year to get out.

jabrch
04-13-2005, 09:34 AM
So, believe what you will. I like AJ as the Sox's catcher, but still believe he rocked Conte in the cojones.

I'm still waiting for that big trade of yours Cheeses!!! :)

cheeses_h_rice
04-13-2005, 09:41 AM
You guys are a hoot.

Just because Pierzysnki is on the White Sox now doesn't mean you have to circle the wagons at every turn.

Does the groin-kneeing story sound plausible, knowing what you know about him?

Doesn't it seem plausible that this story would come out only after AJ left the Giants?

MisterB
04-13-2005, 09:45 AM
I'm still a long way from convinced. Conte supposedly confirmed it on the radio, but did anyone actually hear it or does anyone know anyone who heard it themselves? If not, it's third-hand at best. Conte will verify it in the "right" company? Uh-huh.

I heard the broadcast live. Ralph Barbieri asked him about the article and Conte, understandibly embarrased, confirmed that the incident did happen. He played it down as just a freak occurence done under duress, so he wasn't trying to slam Pierzynski over it or anything.

cheeses_h_rice
04-13-2005, 09:56 AM
I heard the broadcast live. Ralph Barbieri asked him about the article and Conte, understandibly embarrased, confirmed that the incident did happen. He played it down as just a freak occurence done under duress, so he wasn't trying to slam Pierzynski over it or anything.

LIES, DAMN LIES! GO ROOT FOR THE CUBS, YOU LOSER!!!

jabrch
04-13-2005, 10:05 AM
LIES, DAMN LIES! GO ROOT FOR THE CUBS, YOU LOSER!!!

:tealpolice:

Sir, you have the right to use teal...but that shade of green means nothing to me.

cheeses_h_rice
04-13-2005, 10:15 AM
:tealpolice:

Sir, you have the right to use teal...but that shade of green means nothing to me.

Fixed.

:redface:

jmcts
04-13-2005, 10:36 AM
As long as he doesn't kick somebody in the twins while we're playing the Twins, what difference does it make?:o:

CubKiller5
04-13-2005, 11:14 AM
I'm sure there is some truth & fiction to the AJ stories but as someone mentioned earlier Fisk rubbed some people the wrong way as well. A good C always assumes control out there & likewise a position of authority. They act as if they were a coach carrying greater weight than any other player.

I liken it to AJ being like Bobby Knight. Many consider Bobby one of the finest coaches alive today but he's also a very strict disciplinarian. Some guys love that & others hate it. You can't argue with his success. AJ probably doesn't like it when pitchers shake him off & that's going to cause tension between him & the pitchers. You either throw what he's asking for or you're going to be in trouble.

I happen to like that kind of C & I think he's ideal for guys like Garland & Contreras who really don't have the mindset to be pitcher's in the big leagues. The less they have the think the more their raw stuff will come across. Let AJ do their thinking for them. It seems to be working fine so far.

Flight #24
04-13-2005, 11:21 AM
I happen to like that kind of C & I think he's ideal for guys like Garland & Contreras who really don't have the mindset to be pitcher's in the big leagues. The less they have the think the more their raw stuff will come across. Let AJ do their thinking for them. It seems to be working fine so far.

"Hey Jose, throw the fastball more and stop tipping your pitchers, or else......"

I like it!

FarWestChicago
04-13-2005, 12:55 PM
I'll be glad when the season starts and these silly threads go away. Oh wait... :rolleyes: