Fans who don't happen to like the Boston Red Sox, and/or infamous villainous catcher A.J. Pierzynski, have reason to groan Tuesday morning. The 2013 World Series champions have signed him to a one-year contract, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported first.
This clears the way for the end of the Jarrod Saltalamacchia era behind the plate in Boston. Pierzynski is much easier to spell if you're not lazy about it. Pierzynski's ability to grow a bad beard, or any beard, is questionable.
Pierzynski, who turns 37 years old later this month, batted .272/.297/.425 with 17 home runs in 529 plate appearances for the Texas Rangers in 2013. His on-base percentage was a career low. His pitch-framing statistics were, and have been, poor — for whatever those are actually worth.
Though he has a well-deserved reputation for playing the heel — stoked by Pierzysnki's fascination with pro wrestling and a notoriously bad season with the Giants in 2004 — he's actually a good guy to have in the clubhouse. Or at least a neutral guy. The complaints made by Brett Tomko and others in '04 have never been publicly echoed by other teammates in subsequent seasons. He's also very durable. David Ross will continue to be the backup with Boston, complementing Pierzynski from the right-handed batter's box as he did with Salty.
Pierzynski is a "you like him if he's on your team" kind of guy, though Rangers fans didn't seem all that impressed in 2013. He earned $7.5 million this past season. He had been courted by the Minnesota Twins, which would have been a fun reunion. But this also should be fun.
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