The 2005 White Sox World Series felt more distant after catcher A.J. Pierzynski agreed to play for the Texas Rangers. Now Paul Konerko is the last player from that World Championship team. It almost feels rather melancholy to think that there will be no more of the colorful and sometimes controversial player behind the plate for the South Siders.
It seemed every year A.J. was anointed as the most hated player in baseball and he loved it. Pierzynski is the kind of player from the outside who seemed like a pain and a difficult person to have on a team. He was to some extent. But what you learn being around him for eight years is he is one of the smartest players in the game. He gets under other people's skin because he knows all the nuances of the game better than most — and he lets you know it.
After covering him and Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk, you realize that those types of players are special in baseball. They are perfectionists in a game they love more than you know.