Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Pierzynski Object of Contempt

Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski a cracked the top 10 most hated athletes list, according to a survey by GQ Magazine. It's not surprising that NFL badboy Terrell Owens topped the list -- even beating No. 2-ranked Barry Bonds and No. 4-ranked Curt Schilling. But Pierzynski appears to be rapidly closing at No. 9. According to interviews by writers David Gargill and Nate Penn, opponents and teammates had little good to say about Pierzynski, describing him as unprofessional, immature, arrogant and aloof, with little sense of baseball etiquette. "He'll step on your foot at first base, " explained one player, " and then say (sarcastically), 'Man, I didn't mean that.'"During spring training with the Giants in '04, a pitch hit Pierzynski between the legs. When trainer Stan Conte asked him how he felt, Pierzynski replied, "Like this," and viciously kneed Conte in the groin. Pierzynski also is accused of building ill will among the umpires by bitterly contesting balls and strikes.