A.J. Pierzynski is accustomed to boos, and, whenever polls come out about baseball's most unpopular players, having his name at or near the top of the list.
"It doesn't bother me,'' Pierzynski said in a recent interview on the subject of being booed on the road. "I actually find it humorous and it gives you a little extra incentive, if anything.''
The latest was a Men's Journal magazine poll of 100 players that identified the Sox catcher as the "most hated player.''
Pierzynski said Wednesday that he's "the easy answer" to such polls.
"I play as hard as I can and I'm not going to back down,'' he said. "If that upsets people, there's nothing I can do about that.''
Pierzynski, who is a fan favorite in Chicago, said he's made enemies in Anaheim because of the trapped third strike in the 2005 ALCS, in San Francisco and Minnesota because he played there, in Minnesota and Detroit because of the AL Central rivalries and Oakland because "I hit a home run in their moneyball year in the 2002 playoffs to kind of end their season.''
In New York and Boston, where fans are said to be more sophisticated, "they don't care,'' Pierzynski added.
Pierzynski's popularity among fans voting for the All-Star game is slightly on the rise. He climbed from fifth to fourth in the most recent tally, claiming 733,282 votes. Pierzynski leads all catchers in the majors with 11 homers 40 RBI.
Two other Sox-related nuggets popped up on the Men's Journal poll: Orlando Hudson was voted the biggest trash talker and former manager Ozzie Guillen the least respected manager.