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.