Jonny Gomes says for anyone worrying about A.J. Pierzynski causing a negative effect on the Boston Red Sox — don't. He's a "good dude."
Gomes, who has become a guardian of sorts and a clubhouse leader for the Red Sox, says in a post at NESN that Pierzynski's mental game — to get under the skin of opponents — doesn't make him a bad guy. Especially if he's on your team:
“His background’s well-documented. I think he’s one of those guys, people talk about hating to play against him, but his teammates got his back all the time,” Gomes said. “I think what’s kind of unique about how fast it happened is that this Red Sox clubhouse — Red Sox style of play — I think was stamped last year. You can’t be a bad apple and come into this clubhouse. Bad apples just roll down the hill. You come in with a different approach than we’ve got going, it rolls downhill, which is unique and hopefully I stick and it sticks for a long time."
Also, if you happen to be an opponent of Pierzynski and he starts jabbering during and at-bat, just "Turn around and tell him to shut the hell up," Gomes says. Actually, that works if Pierzynski's a teammate, too.
Regardless, if he doesn't work out for whatever reason in Boston, it won't be a big deal to say good-bye at age 37. Pierzynski's one-year contract is for $8.25 million. After putting up career-best numbers with the White Sox in 2012, Pierzynski batted .270/.297/.425 with 17 homers for the Rangers in '13 — not too far off his career averages. He also walked a career-low 11 times. Now that's obnoxious.
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