You’d think Twins fans would think a little more fondly of former catcher A.J. Pierzynski, even if he does now play for a division rival. After all, he played hard for six years in Minnesota, and it’s not like he left - he was traded. Even better, he was traded for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser. They should be throwing this guy dual parades in the respective downtown areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul. But nope. If it were up to Twins fans, they’d name their new stadium “A.J. Pierzynski Should F**k Off And Die In A” Field.
(Showing more exciting out-of-town games sadly not an option.)
As you can see from the poll on the STAR TRIBUNE’s website, fans still carry a torch for ol’ A.J. A torch, in the “villagers storming Castle Frankenstein” sense. The news today actually has nothing to do with Pierzynski, but rather to do with the new stadium’s scoreboard. But when you carry an eternal, unquenchable hatred for a man who dared to only hit .301 and lead the team to two division titles, everything has to do with A.J. Pierzynski. The paper made the mistake of letting fans vote on what the best use of the scoreboard would be. (I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: democracy just doesn’t work–after the jump.)
With all apologies to the folks at the Cell for the Sox-Twins game, the real blackout on Tuesday night took place in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where Middle Tennessee Blue Raider fans ignored the color suggestion provided by their nickname and donned the darkest color of them all in a show of solidarity. The Raiders, wearing black unis for the first time ever, responded by delivering a 14-13 win over Florida Atlantic on a crazy, last-second Hail Mary that sent the crowd of nearly 26,000 into a frenzy. On a 4th-and-8 play, QB Joe Craddock heaved one into the endzone on what ended up being the last play of the game, and MTSU’s Malcolm Beyah pulled it down amidst a sea of, uhhh, mostly other teammates of his. Nice prevent D, there, FAU.
And yes, the White Sox finally got their chance to celebrate with the champagne and all that. Most exciting about the Sox’ first postseason appearance since they won it all in 2005 is that we can finally get a little bit of this guy back in our life:
As you may remember, Steve Perry was adopted as an unofficial mascot by the 2005 Sox after they chose “Don’t Stop Believin’” as their theme song on their “journey” to the World Series title. They even had Perry celebrate with them in the clubhouse after all of the big wins. But, from what I understand, Tampa has Kevin Costner writing its playoff song this year. I don’t know if Perry can hang with the immensely relevant powerhouse that carried Swing Vote to box office records.
In other baseball news, Cliff Lee and Brad Lidge are your comeback players of the year. Lee went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA this season and the Indians were nowhere close to making the playoffs. Last year, he was a crappy 5-8 with a 6.29 ERA and his team came within one game of the World Series. Go figure. Lidge’s career was nearly destroyed by Albert Pujols in 2005, but he bounced back to go 41-for-41 on saves this year.
Speaking of the Phillies, Pat Burrell tweaked his back during batting practice yesterday and his status is unknown going into today’s playoff opener against the Brewers. The Phils are trying to avoid a repeat of last year’s NLDS disaster, when they fell flat on their face and didn’t win a game against the Rockies.
Not satisfied to watch their cross-town rivals sign their GM to an extension after missing the playoffs, the Yankees followed suit by extending Brian Cashman for three years. Now Cashman gets to deal with having like 17 guys who can’t do anything but play a crappy first base.
Maria Sharapova isn’t playing tennis these days, so the only way to sneak in gratuitous photos of her is to talk about who she’s dating. BITTEN AND BOUND says the lucky dude is Charlie Ebersol, son of NBC Sports lord Dick Ebersol and Kate from Kate & Allie.
Not to be outdone by Jason Williams‘ retirement announcement, Jayson Williams is back in the news because one of the investigators in his manslaughter case used a racial slur, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS. Naturally, the slur caused him retroactively to shoot his limo driver.
A.J. Pierzynski, noted ass-about-town, currently leads the majors with a .500 batting average for the Chicago White Sox. Could it be an incredibly small sample size? Could it be luck? Might he have dropped a few hits in that would normally be outs?