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Don’t worry, A.J. Pierzynski says — playoffs are White Sox’ goal

Chris Sale

Chris Sale

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Updated: April 5, 2012 8:25AM



GLENDALE, Ariz. — A.J. Pierzynski agrees with Paul Konerko but says he’s as motivated as ever to play in the postseason and win a World Series, even though he has a ring from 2005.

‘‘I know once you’ve been there, you want to do it again. If you haven’t, you want to get there to know what the feeling is like,’’ Pierzynski said.

‘‘My motivation is always to get to the postseason. The ultimate goal is to play in the postseason and win a World Series.’’

The only other Sox left from 2005 is captain Konerko, who said Tuesday the season can be successful without a playoff appearance. That caused a stir.

‘‘I understand what he was saying, and he and I talked about it,’’ Pierzynski said. ‘‘I get it. People don’t realize how hard it is to make the playoffs in baseball. In 2006, we won [90] games and didn’t make it. It was still a really good year — most people would kill to have that kind of year — but it didn’t work out.’’

Konerko said these Sox are capable of making the playoffs, and that’s his goal, too.

‘‘I agree with what he said,’’ Pierzynski said, “but the ultimate goal is to always make the playoffs and make a run at winning the championship. If you get to the playoffs, anything can happen.’’

Viciedo slam

Chris Sale pitched two scoreless innings while Gavin Floyd gave up five runs — including a grand slam to Dayan Viciedo on a hanging slider — in two innings in Saturday’s intrasquad game won by Team Dunn over Team Konerko 8-4.

It was another small step in Sale becoming familiar with a starter’s routine.

‘‘He threw some first-pitch breaking balls for strikes and moved the ball around effectively,’’ said Pierzynski, who was 2-for-2 with an RBI double.

Floyd was unfazed.

‘‘It was kind of good to struggle early and be able to work through it and make pitches,’’ he said.

Before the game, Adam Dunn — who walked and scored and struck out looking against lefty Eric Stults — boasted of having a ‘‘secret’’ pregame motivational speaker. Turns out it was Kosuke Fukudome, whose speech in Japanese didn’t stop the team from whooping it up anyway.

‘‘That was fun,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘It was fun seeing the camaraderie.’’

Batting second . . .

Ventura likes left-handed-hitting Pierzynski in the 2-hole in the lineup against right-handers.

‘‘He’s always a tough out,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘Not that he steals a lot of bases, but he handles the bat great and does the appropriate things. He’s one of those guys who will hook it if you have to or put it the other way if they shift on him.’’

Ventura prefers Konerko fourth. Konerko batted third most of last season, but Ventura doesn’t want him behind Pierzynski. Both are slow, especially Konerko.



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