The World Series-winning catcher and the front office exchange best wishes and fond memories.
Since the Rangers made their signing of A.J. Pierzynski official, all relevant parties could openly comment on the move. Pierzynski's departure was apparently months in the making, because Pierzynski said calls from the White Sox never led anywhere. So far, he's not holding it against his now-former team:
"At the same time, am I disappointed? Any time you've been eight years in a place, you'd love to go back and I'd like to have finished my career there. But I'm excited and looking forward to a new place and a new challenge. I wish those guys [White Sox] nothing but the best. The organization, you know how I feel about Chicago and the fans there. It seemed like it was time for both sides and I'm sad about that but at the same time I'm excited because it's something new."
"I get it from a fan's standpoint,'' Hahn said. "I've been a fan myself. I was upset when Wilber Marshall left the Bears for the Redskins and when Horace Grant left the Bulls for the Magic.
"At the same time it's incumbent for our department to make the best decisions for the long-term health of the organization and put us in a position to win the most games going forward. And in this instance it came down to two primary reasons ..."
Jerry Reinsdorf had time to prepare a statement, so it's no surprise that his statement is the best:
"A.J. will forever be appreciated and remembered by White Sox fans as a very special member of this franchise. He earned that spot in our hearts. I personally wish A.J. the very best with the Rangers and with the rest of his career. I suspect U.S. Cellular Field will be one ballpark where A.J. Pierzynski will never be booed. He’s earned our cheers."
Doing some end-of-the-year housekeeping:
After Carlton Fisk was arrested in New Lenox, his house in Florida was robbed. It's been a rough end of the year for Pudge, so maybe he didn't want his trouble bleeding into 2013.
Grant Brisbee is going through the hundreds of GIFs he created the past season and categorizing his favorites. This is storystream is seven categories (and counting), and as an example, this one is the winner of the "Baseballs Shouldn't Do That" category:
Speaking of year-end wrap-ups, I like Jayson Stark's collection of strange feats and "accomplishments" from the past season. Adam Dunn gets an extended look for his TTO tendencies, and Philip Humber for his post-perfecto crash.
Repoz keeps track of all public Hall of Fame ballots to project the chances of the Hall of Fame candidates. With 9 percent of precincts reporting, Jack Morris is in good shape, since the public ballot percentage usually ends up being lower than the actual tally. We'll have our big Hall of Fame discussion on Saturday.
Takeaways from the new round of batting practice caps:
- There's only so much you can do with the White Sox color scheme, because it's pretty much the same hat they had a decade ago, as Josh Stewart illustrates.
- Any future expansion team's mascot should have a gigantic baseball for a head, because it ages well.
- The Astros' new logo is a massive improvement
- What the hell are the Braves doing.
I'm pinning this to the featured box here, too, but many of you will be happy to know the right rail is returning. The development team is answering questions/concerns, so if you have any, that link is the place to get them answered the best.