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Cosmic VarianceBy Sean CarrollFeb 3, 2006 9:31 PM

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You know who I would not want on my baseball team? 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 othersâ€"unprofessional, immature, arrogant, aloofâ€"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. "You just want to choke him," says the ex-teammate, who has also played against him. "You want your pitcher to hit him in the head."

Via Gapers Block.

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