Chicago losing its South Side Bad Boy

Fan favorite Pierzynski heads to Texas

December 21, 2012

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(WBEZ/Michael Puente)
White Sox fans Peter Musial and Rich Fisher are both sorry to see A. J. Pierzynski leave the Sox for the Texas Rangers.

The White Sox bad-boy catcher A.J. Pierzynski will no longer call the South Side home.

The long-time Sox player has signed a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers.

His departure is leaving a lot of Sox fans saddened by the news.

On the field, A.J. was rude, obnoxious and a thorn to opposing players — all attributes White Sox fans love.

Former Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of A.J.:"If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less."

For loyal Sox fans, like Rich Fisher, A.J. was everything they wanted in a player.

“It’s a shame he left the White Sox. He was a true White Sox player and we’ll miss him,” Fisher said Friday.

Fan Peter Musial says A.J.'s departure is probably needed to bring in younger blood, but it still hurts to see him go.

“He was always there for the team and he was a like a Sox icon," Musial said. "For me growing up on the South Side and seeing A.J. over there, it does hurt a little bit. But what are you going to do?"

A.J.’s departure means only  remains from the Sox 2005 World Series championship team.

Pierzynski is leaving the Sox after having one of his best seasons ever this year, even though the Sox blew first place to the Detroit Tigers and failed to make the playoffs.

In 2012, A.J. hit a career-high 27 home runs and hit .278.

“I liked him. He was good for the team and good for the city. I wish he would have stayed,” Chicagoan Terry Klaus said. “But I guess it’s time to move on and get some new players.”

A.J. is expected to be replaced by backup catcher Tyler Flowers.