<
>

A.J. Pierzynski voted meanest player

Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski is no stranger to negative perceptions, which may be why he didn't get offended by a SI.com poll of 215 players who voted Pierzynski as the meanest player in baseball.

The Philadelphia Phillies' Chase Utley finished second, followed by Milton Bradley -- who's not with any team at the moment -- and the Chicago Cubs' Carlos Zambrano, who recently was activated from the disqualified list and is not with his team.

"I kind of laugh at this one," Pierzynski said Thursday on "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" on ESPN 1000. "What does it mean to be mean? Does it mean I'm mean on the baseball field? Does it mean I'm mean off the baseball field? What does it mean exactly?


"I don't think I go out and hit kids or beat up old ladies. I play to win, and considering I know how hard Chase Utley plays and how much he respects the game -- to finish ahead of him -- I don't take that as an insult at all. Kind of as an honor. Because I know what Chase means and how hard he plays and how much he wants to win. I'm right there, so I look at it like that."

Pierzynski regularly is booed at visiting stadiums, and he was told that's viewed as a compliment.

"Then I must get the most compliments in the league," he said with a laugh.