The Groin Punch and the Ketchup Sock
Found these interesting tidbits in a GQ article about the "Ten Most Hated Athletes."
9. A. J. Pierzynski
Google the phrase clubhouse cancer and the ﬁrst two results will be stories about Chicago White Sox catcher A. J. Pierzynski. Teammates and members of the media use those words and others—unprofessional, immature, arrogant, aloof—to describe him. His baseball misdemeanors are legion: chirping at the opposition, bitterly contesting balls and strikes (very stupid for a catcher, who must win goodwill for his pitcher), and venting his frustrations on opposing ﬁrst basemen. “He doesn’t have a lot of baseball etiquette,” says one ex-teammate. “He’ll deliberately step on your foot at ﬁrst base, then say, ‘Man, I didn’t mean to do that!’ ”
The most telling of the many, many (seriously, you wouldn’t believe how willing people were to talk about this guy) Pierzynski anecdotes we heard took place during spring training in 2004. Pierzynski, crouched behind the plate, took a pitch to the groin. Rushing to his aid, trainer Stan Conte asked him how he felt. “Like this!” Pierzynski grunted, then savagely kneed Conte in the balls.
4. Curt Schilling
“Between the white lines, it’s all real,” says one reporter who has covered Schilling. “But outside the white lines, there’s a huge gap between the man and the image he projects.” Take, for instance, Schilling’s self-glorifying display during Congress’s steroid hearings last March or his absurdly patriotic open letter to America on ESPN.com after 9/11, for which his teammates mocked him on a late-night bus ride with a chorus of “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy.” “They know what he’s about,” says the sportswriter. “I’d say a large percentage of them like him—every fifth day. He wears on people.”
On days he doesn’t pitch, Schilling is notorious for striking TV-ready poses on the dugout stairs. (His manager in Philadelphia, Jim Fregosi, dubbed him Red Light Curt.) “He’s somebody who’s always positioning himself in terms of what’s best for Curt Schilling,” says ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, who described Schilling as “the consummate table for one.” (Speaking of which, Schilling also has a reputation for sneaking into the clubhouse late in games to get a head start on the buffet.)
So avid is Schilling’s longing for the spotlight that some of his peers raise doubts about his now legendary turn in the 2004 postseason, when he pitched on an ankle tendon that had been sutured in place. During Game 6, cameras cut repeatedly to the bright red stain on Schilling’s sock. It was blood, right? “The Diamondbacks people think he definitely doctored that sock,” says the sportswriter. The ex-teammate laughs: “All around baseball, people questioned that. It was funny how the stain didn’t spread.”
Not shocked about AJ, and I've always been suspicious of why a bloodstain stays as red in the sixth inning as it was in the first.
Oh Barry Bonds was #2 but you really don't need an anecdote to tell you he's a prick.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 1:16 PM