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Pierzynski, Monroe have different stories on bump

DETROIT -- A bit of bumping at home plate, and once again A.J. Pierzynski was in the middle. Who else?

The Chicago White Sox catcher was involved in yet another dustup, this time tangling with Detroit's Craig Monroe after the Tigers DH hit a grand slam in Wednesday night's 5-2 win.

Monroe was celebrating with teammates at the plate when
Pierzynski bumped him. Naturally, the two players saw it
differently.

"He apologized when it happened, and he apologized the next
time he came up," Pierzynski said Thursday morning before the
series finale in Detroit. "I was just standing in the catcher's
box. Where was I supposed to go?"

Monroe claimed that Pierzynski threw an elbow at him.

"When I came back up, I asked him if the elbow was really
necessary," Monroe said. "He understands the game. That was the
biggest moment for the Detroit Tigers in a few years, and we were
celebrating. I didn't understand the elbow."

The Tigers have the best record in the majors. The World Series
champion White Sox are trying to catch them in the AL Central.

Pierzynski, who got punched by Chicago Cubs catcher Michael Barrett after a home-plate collision in May, denied hitting Monroe.

"I put my arm up to brace myself when he ran into me," he
said. "This was his fault, and I'm getting the blame. I thought
this was over last night, but now he's changing his story. That's
kind of bush."

Neither Detroit manager Jim Leyland or Chicago's Ozzie Guillen
were aware of the incident. But Guillen wasn't surprised that
Pierzynski was involved.

"A.J. is in the middle of everything," he said. "It usually
isn't his fault."

Monroe wasn't as charitable.

"This is just A.J. being A.J., and that act is getting tired,"
he said. "He wants to get into your head and get you away from
your game plan. This is how it is going to be when we play them
from now on. If you want to drill me every time I'm up, drill me."

While Guillen stressed that he didn't have any problem with
Monroe, he seemed disappointed that the incident was a story.

"Back when I played, baseball wasn't like this," he said. "If
you were mad about something, you did something about it. Michael Barrett didn't like what A.J. did and hit him. I didn't see
anything wrong with that.

"You do what you need to do, and you take your 10-game
suspension or whatever."

Pierzynski was not in the starting lineup Thursday, getting the
day game off after a night game as he has in the past.

Chicago returns home for a weekend series against Texas, and
will face Vicente Padilla on Sunday. In June, Padilla hit
Pierzynski twice, and Guillen said it was intentional.

"If Padilla does something this time, believe me, we'll do
something about it," Guillen said Thursday. "If he doesn't, we'll
play baseball, but I'm going to protect my players."