Along with revealing Ozzie Guillen is the least respected manager, Philadelphia fans are considered the worst and Todd Coffey is an unlikely candidate for the pages of their magazine, a Men’s Journal poll of 100 MLB players ranked White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski as the most disliked figure in the game, finishing far ahead of Alex Rodriguez. The Chicago Sun-Times’ Daryl Van Schouwen asked the veteran backstop for an explanation ;
Pierzynski, who is a fan favorite in Chicago, said he’s made enemies in Anaheim because of the trapped third strike in the 2005 ALCS, in San Francisco and Minnesota because he played there, in Minnesota and Detroit because of the AL Central rivalries and Oakland because “I hit a home run in their moneyball year in the 2002 playoffs to kind of end their season.’’
In New York and Boston, where fans are said to be more sophisticated, “they don’t care,’’ Pierzynski added.
Much as it would be a slight stretch to claim the entire city of Chicago has embraced Pierzynski, there might also be uniformed peers who take a very dim view of a team trainer being kneed in the groin for no reason whatsoever.