Ron Washington sounded apologetic when speaking to reporters about not selecting A.J. Pierzynski to the American League roster for this month's All-Star Game. But Pierzynski wasn't buying what Washington was selling.
If (Washington) felt that bad he would have put me on the team, Pierzynski said Sunday. 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.
Rangers catcher Mike Napoli won the fan vote and will start, while Wieters was voted in by fellow players and Mauer was selected by Washington.
Washington needed to select someone from Minnesota, with Mauer and Josh Willingham being prime candidates. But all of the AL outfield reserves -- Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout -- deserved their spot on the team. Willingham could've DH'd, but Kansas City needed a representative, and that went to Billy Butler. Adam Dunn earned the other DH spot.
What it came down to was that someone from the White Sox was going to be snubbed. Had Willingham made the roster, it would've been Dunn. But with Mauer making it, it was Pierzynski.
Pierzynski's best shot was to beat out Wieters for the player vote. No doubt Wieters' hot start to the season -- when plenty of perceptions are formed -- played a part in him winning it, as well as Pierzynski's reputation around the league. In a survey of MLB players published by Men's Journal last month, Pierzynski was voted as the most hated player in the league.
Statistically, though, he stacks up very well against his fellow junior circuit catchers (asterisks denote highestbest stat among these four players, and all stats are of Sunday):
Mauer absolutely deserves to be an All-Star, as he leads the AL in OBP. But Pierzynski leads in all the power categories, which certainly could merit a trip to Kansas City. A half-win difference between Pierzynski, Mauer and Wieters is negligible; there's a legitimate case to be made for all that they're the best catcher in the AL -- especially Pierzynski and Mauer.
So what really messed things up for Pierzynski was Napoli beating out Mauer for the starting spot. Had Mauer won that, chances are Washington would've gone with Pierzynski as his third catcher, even though Napoli's his guy.
Unfortunately for Pierzynski, what may wind up being his best season in a White Sox uniform won't be recognized with an All-Star bid -- at least, for now, since an injury to Mauer, Napoli or Wieters almost certainly would get Pierzynski to Kauffman Stadium.