On the day his one-year, $7.5-million deal with the Texas Rangers was made official, catcher A.J. Pierzynski attempted to put to rest any thoughts of a lingering feud with Rangers manager Ron Washington.
Last July, Pierzynski criticized Washington for snubbing him in selecting the American League All-Star team, despite posting 16 home runs and an .865 OPS before the break.
After Washington said that he felt bad for Pierzynski, the catcher said, "If (Washington) felt that bad he would have put me on the team. He had an opportunity to and he didn't do it. Obviously, he can feel as bad as he wants, but he didn't feel that bad."
The 15-year veteran, who finished with career highs in runs (68), home runs (27), RBI (77) and OPS (.827), and the seventh-year manager both told reporters on Wednesday that they have moved on, according to ESPN.com's Richard Durrett:
"It came up (at the lunch), and I made a joke of it," Pierzynski said. "It was over as soon as it happened. You're disappointed as a player because you want to go to the All-Star Game and be honored that way.
"I know he was in a tough spot," Pierzynski said. "It wouldn't change how I feel about Ron Washington because I know what he's done in this game and where he stands. I'm over it and hopefully we can move on from that also."
Washington said Wednesday the whole episode is "old news" and that he's moving forward, claiming he is pleased to have Pierzynski on the Rangers.
"I always believed he did anything and everything he had to do to try to beat you," Washington said.
Pierzynski, who Washington named Texas' starting catcher, also responded to questions about his reputation, as he is considered unpopular among players and coaches for his strong personality. "The only thing [Rangers fans] need to know about me as a person is that I want to win," he said.