Pierzynski: I'm over the whole All-Star thing

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Pierzynski: I'm over the whole All-Star thing

A.J. Pierzynski has said about all he has to say regarding his exclusion from the American League roster for next weeks MLB All-Star Game.

Despite a strong case and many supporters inside and outside the White Sox clubhouse, Pierzynski was not named to the roster by Texas manager Ron Washington, who is in town as the Rangers and White Sox begin a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field tonight.

On Sunday, Washington expressed remorse for having to leave Pierzynski off the team. Pierzynski responded harshly at the time, but toned down his comments Tuesday in the Chicago clubhouse.

Im kind of over the whole All-Star thing, so its nice to hear but at the end of the day it doesnt change anything, Pierzynski said about Washingtons comments. Im looking forward to four days at my house, and getting away from baseball and just hanging out with my family.

Thats a different tone than Pierzynski had Sunday.

If (Washington) felt that bad he would have put me on the team, Pierzynski said then. He had an opportunity to do it and he didnt do it. Obviously he can feel as bad as he wants, but he didnt feel that bad.

For his part, Washington wasnt interested in rehashing his decision or reiterating his initial statement. He also didnt want to respond to Pierzynskis rebuke.

I said what I had to say about AJ, and it came from my heart, Washington said. After that, I have no more comment on that. I said what I said. I was asked a question. I brought up Pierzynskis name, thats about it.

Pierzynski is far from the first player to feel snubbed by the All-Star Game selection process. Its an annual event that sometimes overshadows the roster announcement itself.

He deserves to go, but this happens every year and its happened for years and years and years, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. Its nothing new. He deserves to go. Hes played great. But unless they expand the rosters, this is something were going to talk about all the time.

Ventura added he felt Alex Rios also deserved a spot on the team.

Pierzynski is having one of his best seasons in a White Sox uniform. He is batting .285 with 14 home runs and 45 RBI. He leads AL catchers in RBI and is second in home runs, slugging percentage, OPS, runs scored and average.

AJ has been by far one of our most steady offensive guys, but you could say that about (Alejandro) De Aza and Rios, too, said Adam Dunn, one of two White Sox who were named to the AL team. Those guys had tremendous first halves and deserved to go, but I realize you cant take the whole team.

Pierzynskis exclusion came down to Washington choosing Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer as the squads third catcher. Rangers catcher Mike Napoli won the fans vote and will start. Baltimores Matt Wieters won the players vote.

By rule every team must be represented, and Mauer was a clear choice as the Twins sole selection. Mauer leads the AL in on-base percentage and is third in batting average entering Tuesdays action.

When youre picking teams sometimes a lot of people will get snubbed, not because you wanted to but thats the way it is, said Washington, who also managed the AL All-Star team in 2011. You only have so much that you can do and you try to do the best with what you have to do. You cant please everyone.

You got to move on. Thats just life, theres nothing you can do about it. Im certainly not going to apologize for what we put together. We tried to do the best we could.

Making things especially interesting is that Pierzynski and Washington are in the same stadium for the next three days.

Pierzynski said hes known Washington for a while and got to know him a little better during the Rangers run to the AL pennant last season while working for FOX Sports. But he had no plans to confront Washington regarding the perceived snub.

I will say hello to him -- Ive known him for a long time, Pierzynski said. Ill wish him luck and thats it.

Funky style has Todd Frazier leading White Sox in stolen bases

Funky style has Todd Frazier leading White Sox in stolen bases

It may not be very pretty, but it’s hard to argue with the effectiveness of Todd Frazier’s stolen base technique.

Despite employing a walking-lead style that his manager loves to harp on, Frazier swiped two more bags in Sunday’s victory over the Cleveland Indians. Frazier’s 14 stolen bases this season not only leads the team, it’s also the most by a White Sox third baseman since Luis Salazar also stole 14 bases in 1985.

“He’s got that sneaky little stolen base thing where he sneaks off there,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He looks like a fan ran on the field. It works. I don’t know how to explain it, but it works.”

Frazier has learned how to make it work.

Successful only 58.5 percent of the time in his first three minor league seasons, Frazier adapted his style after he and Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan discussed his leads. Frazier, who was successful in only 24 of 41 tries between Cincinnati’s Rookie League team and Double-A, said the talk resulted in an alteration and drastically improved results. Frazier’s success rate increased to 81.8 percent at Triple-A as he was successful in 36 of 44 tries.

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Frazier has converted 57 of 85 tries in the majors (67 percent), including 14 of 19 this season.

“Basically every time I stole a base my first move would be coming up in the standstill,” Frazier said. “(Morgan) taught me the walking lead, basically because the more you get your momentum going toward the base I have one or two steps ahead of somebody. We went over that a little bit, I started working on it in Triple-A and I’d get about 15 stolen bags a year. I’m not the fastest guy, but if I can a step ahead and get two or three or four when the guy throws it they’re not going to be be able to throw it. Sometimes I’ll get picked off and you’ll be like, ‘What is he doing?’ But I’ll take five or six of those a year to get to second base and get two big runs there for us.”

Frazier’s steals on Sunday led to two of three runs scored by the White Sox. Even more important (for the purposes of bragging rights), the stolen bases gave Frazier the team lead over Adam Eaton, who has 12 steals.

“I told Eaton I was going to get him, no problem,” Frazier said. “I told him ‘I’m coming for you,’ and I got two today so I took the lead, which is pretty cool.”

Ventura still isn’t quite sure how Frazier does it. But he’s impressed nonetheless.

“He’s not a normal looking base stealer, but he’s able to create some havoc when he’s out there” Ventura said.

Preview: White Sox host Rays in series opener tonight on CSN+

Preview: White Sox host Rays in series opener tonight on CSN+

 

The White Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, and you can catch all the action on CSN+. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: James Shields (3-11, 7.11 ERA) vs. Drew Smyly (7-11, 4.86 ERA)

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