White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski will probably never come close to winning an MVP award during his career. His name will never be muttered in the same breath as hall of fame catchers Bench, Berra and Campanella. And due to his fiery — and sometimes ‘dirty’ — style of play, A.J. might never be accepted and/or respected by anyone other than his teammates (if he even gets that much).
But one thing will always be true: A.J. Pierzynski makes things happen.
A.J. is the guy you hate to play against because you never know what type of shenanigans he’s going to pull at any given time; he’s the guy you want on your team, whether you like him or not, and he proved why, yet again, in yesterday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Having made a bone-headed base-running play, A.J. cleared his mistake by mustering up another Academy Award winning performance when he purposely threw an elbow to Rays third baseman Willy Aybar, creating the illusion that Aybar had somehow obstructed him on the base path. The ump took the bait, called A.J. safe and awarded him third base, which would ultimately lead to the Sox winning the game.
If your eyes work, you’ll clearly see that the ‘obstruction’ in question was a complete fantasy — entirely created by A.J. and A.J. alone in what has now become just another Pierzynski moment that translated into a win. And while seeing the replay does make me feel a little uncomfortable (because it was ‘cheating’ after all) I cannot deny that a win is still a win no mater how it happens. Tongue in cheek, I can’t help but be glad that A.J. is on the Southside.
But if he isn’t on your team; you probably hate him.
And I can see why: He’s a chatter box. He gets under your skin. He throws temper tantrums. He uses the Jedi Mind Trick on susceptible umpiring crews (see 2005 ALCS) and gets away with it. He creates plays out of nothing — and in doing so — is personally responsible for at least two to three fabricated wins every season. When it comes down to a heated battle for a playoff spot, those two to three wins could be the deciding factor in whether you’re playing baseball or golf in October.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.