Wrestling with A.J.Growing up in the 1980s, A.J. Pierzynski caught the wrestling bug, thanks in large part to the Hulkamania sensation that was running wild across the country.Hulk Hogan transformed the wrestling industry with his charismatic style and popular leg drop, and attracted young kids who have become lifelong fans, such as Pierzynski.“Obviously Hulk Hogan was the man because he was on TV and he was the champion forever,” Pierzynski said. “I’ve met him a few times because he’s from Florida, and he’s a good guy.”Pierzynski has become somewhat of a celebrity in the wrestling world. He’s been featured on WWE’s Monday Night Raw, holds a TNA X-Division belt and also was awarded an ECW belt.Pierzynski talked about his wrestling passion Thursday morning. What was being on Raw like back in 2009? It was awesome. They pulled me out of the crowd in Chicago and got to do it with [former game show host] Bob Barker. I met him and doing the showcase showdown was fun. Wrestling is just something I’ve watched since I was a little kid and I’ve always liked it. What was the storyline with you on Raw? It was something Bob Barker was hosting and did a thing where they ran into the crowd and they happened to pick me. I don’t know why they picked me … there were so many people there. I had no idea, but I was excited. I bid on something and fortunately for me, I didn’t win. The winner had to go in and get body slammed by the Big Show. Do you know a few of the wrestlers? CM Punk lived close to me in Chicago and we became friends. I knew Edge, who retired. I’ve done some stuff with John Cena. My roommate here is a former wrestler, the Demon from WCW, his real name is Dale Torborg and now he’s the White Sox’s minor league strength coach. Didn’t you challenge John Cena a few years ago? Yes, and I still haven’t got a response. I put up my belt, the TNA X-Division one. At the time, Cena was the WWE champ. Finally, have you ever been to a WrestleMania? I’ve been to one when it was in Phoenix three years ago. I sat about the fifth row or so and got tickets through Jerry Lawler. We went to the after-party with all those guys and it was fun. The main event was The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. It was a good time.Number2 Players on the Rangers with more service time than A.J. Pierzynski. With 12.1 years of service, he trails Adrian Beltre (14.096) and Lance Berkman (13.052).He said it“I’m not giving up a watch for a number. I was 32 with the Red Sox, but when I went to the Dodgers some Koufax guy wore it, so we went to 23. But I’ve never been a number guy.” — Derek Lowe, who was given No. 55 by the RangersInjury report RHP Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery in July): Threw bullpen session Thursday. LHP Martin Perez (broken left ulna, March 3): Expected to miss two months. RHP Kyle McClellan (shoulder soreness): Scheduled to pitch in second spring game Sunday. RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John elbow surgery in April): Threw a bullpen session Thursday. RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John elbow surgery in August): Throwing out to 75 feet. C Eli Whiteside (mild left calf strain): Day to day. RHP Wilmer Font (mild shoulder tendinitis): Scheduled to pitch today vs. San Francisco.Videos of the daySee what manager Ron Washington had to say about Jurickson Profar and the WBC, as well as Randy Wells’ postgame interview on our Rangers blog, Foul Territory, at star-telegram.com/rangers.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison