A.J. Pierzynski plans to play again in 2015

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A.J. Pierzynski told the media after the Cardinals’ loss to the Giants in Game 5 of the NLCS that he intends to play baseball again in 2015, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. With Yadier Molina starting and Tony Cruz backing up, Pierzynski’s future doesn’t lie with the Cardinals.

More, via Goold:

“I want to play, obviously,” said Pierzynski, who came to the Cardinals after being released by Boston in July. He will be a free agent next month. “Physically I feel good. I still think I can contribute. I don’t know what will be out there, but I want to play.”

The catcher, who turns 38 at the end of December, put up a .251/.288/.337 slash line with five home runs and 37 RBI in 362 plate appearances during the regular season with the Red Sox and Cardinals. It was easily the worst season of his 17-year career. However, he was productive at the plate with the Rangers in 2013, so it’s tough to make any concrete judgments about his ability to play going forward.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?