A report by a radio station in Chicago says the White Sox reached out to Major League Baseball after becoming concerned with message board rumors that A.J. Pierzynski was about to be suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs.
But there's no truth to it, WSCR 670 the Score reports:
Rumors reached a peak Wednesday when they were posted on message boards and they concerned the White Sox enough to inquire with the league office.
The word back from Major League Baseball was that there is nothing to the rumors, according to the league source.
Ah, Internet message board rumors. There's never anything to 'em. Usually. Not counting the Melky Cabrera saga, certainly. Earlier this summer, San Francisco Giants reporter Andrew Baggarly went to Cabrera and asked him about rumors that he was going to be popped for PEDs. Cabrera lied to Baggarly's face, prompting an explicit apology from the reporter. While Baggarly didn't have the details, there turned out to be a story there in the weeds. And Cabrera was prepared to keep lying to protect himself.
As for Pierzynski, it makes sense that someone would start rumors about him. Even though they're unfair.
Pierzynski has frequently been a decent hitter for a catcher. But at 35 years old in his 12th full season in the majors, Pierzynski is having the finest offensive output of his career. Easily. He's batting .281 with a .526 slugging percentage and 24 home runs with an adjusted OPS of 121. His previous high for homers was 18 in 2005, and his OPS hasn't been north of 100 since 2003, his third season in the bigs. Since '04, he has slugged at .413.
So, Pierzynski hitting the ball so well could be a contract year thing. It could be from taking a different approach at the plate. It could be luck — except his batting average on balls in play of .279 indicates a lack of luck. So is his offensive boost due to something else? Some are ready to think so. Adding his unprecedented numbers to Pierzynski's reputation for being roundly disliked and we're bound to have rumors of PED use.
Fans and opponents don't like that Pierzynski will use any advantage to help his team win. Sometimes he'll pick fights. Sometimes he'll play a little dirty. Sometimes, he'll just give a look that makes you want to punch him. So irritating. Some call it gamesmanship, some call it (wrongly) cheating. He's great to have around, honestly — as long as he's on your team.
But Pierzynski taking advantage does not include him taking drugs.
In late August, Pierzynski told Sirius XM's Mad Dog Radio he has been tested for drugs "four or five times at least, if not more" this season. And, if MLB hasn't suspended him, we can only assume he is clean. And he sounded honest enough during the radio interview. He could have been snowing us, though. Melky sounded honest to Andrew Baggarly, too.
But the record right now shows Pierzynski to be clean. That should be good enough for everybody else.
Big BLS H/N: @JoeO670