It is very likely that when baseball's annual Winter Meetings conclude in Nashville next week, Paul Konerko will be the last man standing from the 2005 World Champions.
With a number of teams like the Rangers, Dodgers and Yankees eyeing quality catching and the Sox apparently ready to give the primary backstop duties to Tyler Flowers, it looks like A.J. Pierzynski has played his last game in a Sox uniform.
Although his defensive skills aren't what they were, A.J. is being highly coveted, coming off the most productive season of his career in 2012 with his 27 homers, 77 RBIs and .278 average, earning the Silver Slugger award at his position.
It is certainly understandable that the Sox want to turn the page, but the loss of the soon-to-be 36-year-old Pierzynski will be bittersweet. Despite his baseball-wide reputation of being the game's biggest jerk, A.J. has been terrific in his eight seasons on the South Side. A World Series ring in his first year with the club, two All-Star appearances, his competitive spirit and year-in and year-out durability are at the top of the list of his accomplishments in addition to his 2012 performance.
But when all is said and done, A.J. might very well be best remembered for smartly running to first base on a dropped third strike in Game 2 of the '05 American League Championship Series vs. the Angels, which set the stage for the victory after the Sox lost Game 1. Between the ALCS and World Series, the Sox never lost another game on their way to the title.
Pierzynski was always in the middle of things for the White Sox and for a while at least it will seem very strange to see him playing in another uniform.
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