It turns out the guy that had behavoiral problems everywhere else, had one in Boston too. Who would have guessed?! According to WEEI Pierzynski was a cancer to the team and worse than anyone could have imagined.
This didn't surprise me, and it shouldn't surprise you if you've had any idea of how AJ's career has gone. He's won "Most Hated Player in Baseball" multiple times. There is a story floating out there that says AJ kneed his trainer in the groin after he accidentally had been hit in the groin. He denies that, however. There was the time he barreled over Cubs catcher Michael Barrett then unnecessarily bumped into him after, causing Barrett to punch AJ in the face. All you gotta do it google "AJ Pierzynski Altercations" and you'll get tons of stuff.
So the fact this story came out after Pierzysnki was designated for assignment doesn't surprise me one bit. Here are some excerpts from WEEI's article.
A microcosm of Pierzynski's approach was mentioned by more than one of the backstop's former teammates, who revealed his propensity to spend a significant amount of time looking at his phone while at his locker during games. In one instance, after a particularly rough outing in which the starting pitcher had been pulled early in the game, Pierzynski could be found staring at his phone while the pitcher gave off the appearance of being an emotional wreck just a few feet away. That incident paved the way for at least one complaint to management from a teammate.
Pierzynski's personality wasn't conducive to the Red Sox' way of doing things, saying what he wanted when he wanted without much regard for the greater good. From the dugout, he would yell across the field at the opposition, or ridicule umpires during replay challenges. It made many cringe.
Pitchers started to express their preference to pitch to David Ross, with Pierzynski perhaps the team's worst receiving catcher since Javy Lopez swept through town in 2006. He also made little effort to fall in line with the rest of the lineup in regard to seeing at least a few pitches, a frustration that came to a head when he grounded into an inning-ending double play on a first-pitch fastball after the Red Sox had loaded the bases with three walks in Seattle.
It was just an ugly signing through and through. Like the article says, he was a terrible defensive catcher. He couldn't call games anymore. He didn't even try to frame the zone. He had 5 passed balls, 3rd worst in AL ahead of McCann and Flowers. He has only started 60 games, however, which is 3rd least among AL starting catchers. The two catchers, Derek Norris and our old friend Jarrod Saltalamacchia, are the two that have started less than him and have only 3 and 2 passed balls, respectively. So, mathematically he is in the top 3 for worst AL starting catchers.
While he was at the plate he would swing at the first pitch if it was coming straight for his head. He never took many balls, which the Sox have been known for, for years. He often tried to stretch a single into a double, and with his speed obviously got thrown out. He was a terrible personality that didn't fit the personality of the Sox's clubhouse.
Hopefully with young defensive whiz Cristian Vazquez calling games there will be more energy and better chemistry. With my boy Brock Holt's walk-off hit last night, there seemed to be plenty of energy. Let's keep it going! There's still hope! Ahhhh I'm so excited! #TeamVazquez