If you didn’t hate A.J. Pierzynski while he was a member of the Minnesota Twins, then you were doing things wrong as a Sox fan. Pierzynski was an antagonist during his playing days with Minnesota and wasn’t beloved by many Sox fans. That was until he was signed as a free agent before the 2005 season.
After his brief stint with the San Francisco Giants in 2004, Pierzynski would become one of the better free agent signings for the Sox. Pierzynski would play eight seasons with the Sox but no season was as important to the franchise than 2005. The catcher would have a solid year for the Sox in 2005 as he hit .257 with 16 home runs.
Pierzynski would be involved in controversy during his time with the Sox. First in 2005 during the ALCS against the Los Angeles Angels. During game 2 of the 2005 ALCS, Pierzynski advanced to first base on what was ruled as a dropped third strike. Pierzynski would later be replaced by Pablo Ozuna who would later score the game-winning run on a Joe Crede double to tie the series.
The second controversy Pierzynski would be involved in as a member of the Sox came in 2006. Many Chicago baseball fans remember this quite well. Pierzynski and Cubs catcher Michael Barrett got into a bench-clearing fight in a crosstown contest in the Spring of 2006. This led to Pierzynski becoming hated by many Cubs fans but beloved by Sox fans.
Pierzynski’s signing might not have been huge news before the 2005 season, but it can be stated that his signing was one of the best in franchise history for the Sox. Currently, Pierzynski is a broadcaster for Fox Sports. It would be nice if he could someday become a broadcaster for the Sox as he will always be loved by Sox fans.