A.J. Pierzynski was introduced as the Braves’ latest acquisition yesterday, and he was in character. From Mark Bowman of MLB.com:
“I’ll do whatever it takes to help my team win,” Pierzynski said. “If you need me to fight the guy, I’ll fight the guy. I’ll do whatever it takes because I want to win the game. For three hours, I don’t care who is pitching [against my team]. Mark Buehrle is one of my good friends. But when we’re facing him, I want to kill him. Then afterwards, we’ll go out and get a beer.”
That pretty much captures what Pierzynski has been about his whole career. He probably does the back-and-forth thing better than a lot of players, which is part of why he’s always been more polarizing, but you don’t last in baseball until you’re 38 if people within the game think you’re a complete jackass. At least you don’t if you’re not a superstar. Which is to say that, while a lot of fans hate Pierzynski, people inside the game probably grok what he’s all about.
He is rather fascinating, though. Probably the closest thing baseball has to a hockey goon. Put some glasses on him and he’s a Hanson Brother.
Shocked Craig Biggio made the Hall of Fame, dudes. I mean, look at him in this picture and look at him now. The guy had over 100 pounds of extra weight and was several inches taller when he played! Steroids are nothing. This guy had the Super Soldier Serum!
Curt Schilling: wonderful pitcher. But a guy who probably needs to stop, you know, saying things.
The latest thing he said was that he didn’t get the Hall of Fame votes John Smoltz got because the voters are biased against him because he’s a Republican. Here he is on WEEI today, trying to get his head around John Smoltz’s support:
“I think he got in because of [Greg] Maddux and [Tom] Glavine. I think the fact that they won 14 straight pennants. I think his ‘Swiss army knife versatility,’ which somebody said yesterday, I think he got a lot of accolades for that, I think he got a lot of recognition for that. He’s a Hall of Famer,” Schilling said. “And I think the other big thing is that I think he’s a Democrat and so I know that, as a Republican, that there’s some people that really don’t like that.”
Actually, Smoltz is not a Democrat. He has been reported to be “an avowed Republican,” and has been courted for political office in the past by the Republican party. Here are Smoltz’s political contribution records. Note the little “Rs” next to the candidates’ names. Oh, and Smoltz once compared gay marriage to beastiality, which tends not to be a pinko-liberal stance.
So, shockingly, Curt Schilling is full of crap about something. I know that may be hard to accept, so if you need a minute to gather yourself, please, take it.
UPDATE: Schilling is tweeting now that he was just kidding about that, but go listen to the interview (relevant part starts at the 6:45 mark). While, yes, the hosts laughed when he said it, there is no suggestion that he was just joking. And then, immediately after that, he goes into a non-joking thing about how the media is biased against people like him, suggesting that he does in fact have a persecution complex about all of this.
The Braves announced today that they have signed reliever Josh Outman. The lefty gets a one-year major league deal.
Outman, 30, pitched for the Indians and Yankees last year, posting an ERA of 2.86 in 40 games. He’s a LOOGY, so he only pitched 26 innings. He walked 16 dudes in those innings, though, which — yuck. Two were intentional, presumably to get to lefties, but still.
In other news, the Braves once employed Bob Walk. And, if they wanted to, could go out and get Grant Balfour.
I’m assuming he held the news a day so’s not to steal the thunder of the Hall of Famers, but journeyman infielder John McDonald has announced his retirement.
McDonald played for eight teams over a 16-year major league career [checks Baseball-Reference.com. Totally does a double take, realizing that, yes, McDonald was a 16-year big leaguer]. He lasted that long because, for most of his career, he was a downright spiffy defensive shortstop who could handle second, third and even play some outfield. There are a lot of guys who profile as utilitymen. Not many stick around as long as McDonald did. Keeping him from starting was a pretty poor bat, but nobody’s perfect.
So, so long, former Indian, Blue Jay, Diamondback, Pirate, Phillie, Red Sock, Angel and Tiger! Enjoy retirement.