Peavy, Pierzynski fine after apparent argument
White Sox batterymates brush off disagreement with humor
CHICAGO -- The stories of Wednesday night's in-game disagreement between White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy and catcher A.J. Pierzynski not only seemed a bit fictitious but also ended up being dissimilar.
Here's Pierzynski's version of the on-field argument, which spilled into the dugout and clubhouse tunnel and was caught on camera following the top of the sixth of the White Sox 4-3 victory over the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field.
"Well, we were talking about Alabama vs. Florida football," said a smiling Pierzynski, who would have played the part of the staunch Gators supporter. "He has bragging rights because Alabama beat them the last couple times. That's about it."
And now, let's hear from Peavy, who improved to 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA in his last four starts against the Cubs.
"Me and A.J. were actually arguing over who is the better hunter," Peavy said. "A.J. went on a safari this winter. I claimed to be a real hunter, although I can't say I've been out of the States. We got in a pretty heated discussion. He has harvested kudu and a lion. I like to harvest white tail deer. We were kind of going over that. You know how that stuff goes."
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So, what actually happened? Manager Ozzie Guillen hinted it was a "misunderstanding with a sign or whatever," but Peavy said the disagreement "was nothing about what happened on the field."
Trouble began in the sixth, when Peavy, who admittedly did not have his best stuff, gave up a home run to Carlos Pena and then consecutive singles to Alfonso Soriano, Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker one out later to cut the lead from three to one. Guillen came out to get Peavy, and as the right-hander was walking off the mound, he turned and pointed back at the White Sox group standing there, including Pierzynski.
Peavy explained he had a tough time coming off the mound, adding how stuff will be said between teammates at times that "may not sit well with the other."
This discussion continued after Chris Sale pitched out of a bases-loaded jam and Pierzynski returned to the dugout.
Whatever the true reason behind the argument was, the most important part for the White Sox is the utter lack of hard feelings between the two brief combatants.
"Like I said, I love A.J. Pierzynski to death," Peavy said. "He competes his rear end off and has for many years. He won a World Series here. I would like to do that again with him. Me and A.J. have absolutely no beef and have had no beef since I've been over here."
"We're fine," Pierzynski said. "I love Jake Peavy. He's a great competitor, and in the heat of the moment, things happen. And it wasn't a big deal. I guess it was caught on camera. But it wasn't a big deal."
Both Pierzynski and Peavy spoke of how these situations happen more often than they are reported. This one just happened to be part of the White Sox television broadcast.
"It was nothing but us talking about how we were going to get better with each other," Peavy said. "That's the bottom line.
"A.J. won us a ballgame tonight. We are both very passionate people. There was no ill-will, nothing. It's part of playing the game and being a part of a team."
Guillen said the argument was done by the time he looked over, and then joked how the White Sox had to do something without Carlos Zambrano's histrionics from 2010. There certainly was no thought of punishment coming from Guillen -- just making sure the two sides talk things out, and an urging for Pierzynski and Peavy to keep their SEC football and hunting arguments to non-business hours.
"You know how many times I want to kick those guys' butts in the last two months? A lot, but I can't," Guillen said. "First of all, they're bigger than me and I'd get in trouble.
"One thing, when they have a problem, we discuss, we talk about it and then move on. I don't think it was a big deal. But we don't come here to make friends. We come here to win games."