SANTA CLARA, CA—Following persistent safety concerns regarding the playing surface throughout the regular season, the NFL made firm assurances Friday to both the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers that the bottomless pit in the middle of the field at Levi’s Stadium will be fully repaired before Super Bowl 50.
CHICAGO—Although he has already built a reputation as one of the most offensive players in the game, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said Monday that he will put on his extremely smug game-face on Opening Day and leave it on for the rest of the season. "I think my antics in the postseason proved to my critics that I'm more than just a one-dimensional jackass," said Pierzynski, who trailed only Barry Bonds and Milton Bradley in all offensiveness categories in 2005. "Whether it means 'accidentally' tripping an opposing player right before he crosses home plate or sliding cleats-up into first base on a routine groundout, I am going to focus especially hard on the 'irritating' and 'aggravating' aspects of my game this year. By the end of the season, I'll finally have lost the respect of my coaches, teammates, and fellow major-leaguers." Pierzynski's comments drew the ire of Yankee offensive force Gary Sheffield, who vehemently argued that he is not only the most offensive player in the game, but that his reactionary style of play will earn him a spot on The Sporting News' 2006 All-Defensive Team.