Ozzie Guillen: 'Sad about' A.J. Pierzynski getting designated for assignment

July 15, 2014 - 3:21 pm

MINNEAPOLIS -- When Ozzie Guillen managed A.J. Pierzynski from 2005-11, two clashed frequently while together in the White Sox clubhouse. Yet Guillen ultimately appreciated what Pierzynski offered his team, and so given his feelings about Pierzynski's value, the former manager -- in Minneapolis as a TV commentator for the All-Star Game -- said that he was not expecting to see his former catcher released by the Red Sox last week. "I am [surprised] because I don't know the reason. That's up to them, the reason," said Guillen. "A.J., when I was with him, I think he did a tremendous job. Obviously, when you don't pitch well, you don't hit well, I think the reason they did it is because they have a prospect coming up. I think that's a good reason to do it, but in the meanwhile, you have to be inside to know about what was really going on. I was sad about it, but hopefully A.J. can get a job." Though Guillen spoke highly of Pierzynski's character as a winning baseball player, he was not shocked by the idea that Pierzynski may have had a difficult time fitting in with the Red Sox. "A.J. is not always an easy guy to deal with," said Guillen. "I know A.J., for some people when you see him, he sounds arrogant. I think one thing about A.J. that I always appreciated is that he shows up to play every day. He shows up to play and he shows up to win. He's the type of guy that, when he's not winning, he gets upset and sometimes says things he shouldn't say. But one thing I love about A.J.: No one in Boston -- no one, and I respect the clubhouse, I respect the manager and I respect the fans -- but nobody in Boston can say A.J. is not a winner. He is. ... He shows up to win. He's not just showing up to play, he's showing up to win, and some people can't handle that. One thing A.J. Pierzynski has is a winning attitude."