White Sox catcher and agitator A.J. Pierzynski, who is providing analysis and frosted tips during FOX’s MLB playoff coverage this year, was asked by Dan Patrick today (hat tip: Chicago Tribune) about the Boston Globe report that one reason for the Red Sox late season collapse was a propensity for their pitchers to partake in beer and fried chicken during games.
Patrick inquired as to whether AJ and any of his teammates had ever done the same, and AJ responded, well, he responded like really only he can or would; thusly:
“Yes, absolutely I have before,” Pierzynski told “The Dan Patrick Show.” ”Sometimes you’re just really struggling and you just say, ‘Hey, you know what, I need something to calm me down and let’s have a beer.’ A couple of us will do it together, and sometimes it works out.
“It’s just, sometimes you just need a rally beer. If you’re in extra innings and you’re in about the 15th inning and you really need to get going again, that sometimes works for you.”
He apparently clarified that he wouldn’t have a whole beer, just a few sips. (Yes, because a few sips of a beer for a guy of AJ’s size will have a relaxing effect…)
Look, I’ll admit that the White Sox have driven me to many a rally beer during my days watching (mostly suffering) this constant enigma of a franchise. But I have to say that I’d never considered the players doing the same thing during a game.
There was also this from AJ:
He also said that he and other Sox players drank shots before one of the 2008 Division Series playoff games in Tampa.
For the record, the White Sox lost that series in four games, but AJ went 5-13 (.385). Maybe everyone should have been taking shots!
I don’t really have a whole lot of analysis to add to this post. I’ve never been in a baseball clubhouse before, so I don’t know what the typical rules, regulations, and norms are, but I do think it’s a bit jarring to hear a professional athlete admit to grabbing a beer during competition. Maybe this is more common than we/I thought? I don’t know.
I’m just waiting for the report that Adam Dunn was shooting heroin, smoking meth, and dissolving LSD on his eyelids in between at bats. That remains the only logical explanation for his complete tumble off the cliff this year. (Unless the sips of beer did it. Hmm…)
Update: I don’t know why I found this so funny, but this is what I saw just now upon doing a Google search for A.J.’s name:
I wonder if the second headline is related at all to the first? Obviously not, but the juxtaposition made me chuckle. (Leave me alone, it was an awful season and I’m still bitterly trying to find ways to laugh about it.)
In closing, here are some random pictures of AJ Pierzynski enjoying drinks with some blonde at a bar. (No word on if these are “rally shots” or not.)
Image source: Sportress of Blogitude
Image source: Here