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A.J. Pierzynski acted his way on to first base last night

Apr 14, 2010, 8:41 AM EDT

Pierzynski.jpgOK, I’ve finally had a chance to see the video of the A.J. Pierzynski hit-by-pitch. It’s here, and as you’ll see, he was so totally not hit by the pitch. It bounced in the dirt and then hit home plate umpire Tim McClelland, but it never touched Pierzynski, who flopped like a French soccer player. A brief argument ensued, Romero was apparently distracted and the next hitter — Alexis Rios — hit a two-run homer breaking up the no-hitter.

Totally weak on Pierzynski’s part. It’s one thing to have the ump award you a base when the ball doesn’t really hit you — if it happens you put your head down and get down to first before he changes his mind — but Piersynski’s Bette Davis act, complete with the limp and the hobble down the baseline, was pretty damn weak.

But then what do you expect from Pierzynski? This is a guy who spiked Justin Morneau. This is a guy whose own manager said “If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate
him a little less.”  He’s not well-liked, and bush league theatrics like this are part of the reason.

Not that I’m complaining. As I’ve mentioned before, I was a big pro wrestling fan in the 1980s, and I think baseball needs more heels. Pierzynski is not a big enough star to pull that sort of thing off himself, but if someone huge like, oh, I dunno, Alex Rodriguez decided to become baseball’s version of Ric Flair I see no reason why Pierzynski couldn’t be its Tully Blanchard. Ozzie Guillen could be their J.J. Dillion. If they get a couple of guys to be Ole and Arn Anderson they could be baseball’s version of the Four Horsemen. They could start hitting baseball’s faces over the head with metal
chairs and everything.

And it’s not like he doesn’t have experience with this sort of thing.

  1. SouthofHeaven - Apr 14, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    I’ve been saying for years that A-Rod needs to embrace his inner Ty Cobb, minus the racism. He should be waving & sneering every time he gets a hit at Fenway. If people are going to hate him anyway, why the hell not?

  2. Okobojicat - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    How about giving him some credit for getting on base? Romero was throwing a gem of a game, and Pierzynski is a LH hitter against the LH Romero. He was most probably not going to get a hit. His job is figure out a way to avoid an out in order to put his team in position to win.
    Bush League is showing a fake bunt on a 3-0 count.
    Bush League is throwing your glove at ground ball out of reach.
    Bush League is NOT doing anything you can to get on base and help your team win.
    recaptca: shammed the

  3. YankeesfanLen - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    Leave ARod alone! He has a big-ass ring now, and he’ll cut you along the eye.
    Captcha: eyebrows The: maybe the ghost of Groucho is going to manage the Metropolitans to.400.

  4. ditmars1929 - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    I don’t like this sort of behavior, which is one of the reasons why soccer is unwatchable (my God, what a bunch of pussies those players are), but Craig, wouldn’t you chalk this up to “gamesmanship”?
    South, if I were A-Rod, I’d take your advice, but I’d ignore the part about racism. A-Rod could aspire to be the biggest racist on Earth, and he still wouldn’t hold a candle to the citizens of Boston.

  5. Kris - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    His job is figure out a way to avoid an out
    …without being a total douche or breaking the rules.
    Yes, I know this kind of blatant acting/faking isn’t against the rules. But it ought to be.

  6. Jonny5 - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    Okobojicat, What he did was lame. It is a sport and he pretty much cheated. Showing a fake bunt on a 3-0 in nowhere near as lame as what Pee-er-in-sinky pulled in that video. What a chump.

  7. Motherscratcher - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    Is bush-league psyche out stuff. Laughable, man.

  8. TC - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    “Bush League is showing a fake bunt on a 3-0 count.”
    “Bush League is NOT doing anything you can to get on base and help your team win”
    I think you are correct as to the first statement above but the other statement would appear to conflict with that if the batter thinks showing a fake bunt on a 3-0 count actually helps to induce the pitcher to throw a ball.
    I generally think of bush league as something unprofessional but technically wouldn’t violate a rule. I think AJ’s actions more than qualify

  9. Max - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Wow. That was an incredibly lame & pathetic thing to do. No wonder the guy is hated. Keep that sorta stuff to soccer.

  10. okobojicat - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    without being a total douche or breaking the rule
    Where does it say that?
    Listen, I hate AJ as much as the next Twins fan. I think he’s a jackass. But ripping him for getting on base is simply wrong.
    I know this kind of blatant acting/faking isn’t against the rules. But it ought to be.
    So should ever time Jeter sticks his ass out to act like a pitch is inside when its straight down the heart of the plate be illegal. How about when hitters flip their bats away quickly on a 3-2 count on a corner pitch begging for a ball? Or when a hitter ignore the appeal down to first base on a check swing? That’s all acting/faking. Should all that be illegal.
    NO! Its apart of the game. The umpire made a mistake. We should be ragging on the umpire here for being blind and confused by a ball that hit him. Not on AJ for getting on base.
    It is a sport and he pretty much cheated
    No, he didn’t cheat. Cheating is spitballs or taking sandpaper out to the mound in your back pocket. Cheating is cameras in centerfield relaying the catcher’s signs.

  11. Aarcraft - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    How is this any different than when McLouth clearly dropped the ball, then picked it up and acted like he caught it? I don’t recall anyone calling that move weak or bush league.

  12. Charles Gates - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    …and the 5th umpire booms down from above, ‘Halt,’ as the clouds break allowing beams of radiant sunlight to enter the arena as the collective inhales one uniform gasp in anticipation of a declaration from the blue omniscient, though to refer to one as ‘blue’ is considered blasphemous as they deem likening themselves to a Smurf is to take their names in vain. They await the judgement. Shall it take eons or nanoseconds for it to be decided whether the sinner should be banished OUT? Alas the time in purgatory exists for just a fateful moment, one consisting of a few pushes of the REW button and an investigatory look into the past, aided by High Definition in 1080p, for the 5th umpire to declare final judgement: But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of a man’s judgement yea, I judge not mine own self…rather I deem that ball struck not Peer-er-in-sinky. He is sententenced to finish the rest of his bat in the batter’s box until it completes in accordance to the rules.

  13. Moses Green - Apr 14, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    You astutely notice there is but one difference. Now we know what’s in a name. If McLouth does a little acting to get an edge and try to win, it’s a “heads-up play”. If it’s A.J., it’s bush-league. Apparently a stinking rose by any other name is still garlic.
    Pierzynski is unbelievable, true throwback player. All he wants is to win, and he’ll do damn near anything to get an edge. At this point he has probably made more heads-up plays per game than even the Peoples’ Heads-Up Champion, Derek Jeter.

  14. TC - Apr 14, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    I agree this sort of behavior shouldn’t be against the rules, but since acting in an un-sportsmanlike way violates social norms (well, I hope it does), we should look upon the act disfavorably with a collective harumph and there should be nothing wrong with that.
    It’s AJ’s perogative to ignore that and cast himself as a douche/villain.

  15. Charles Gates - Apr 14, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    That means it’s extra important.

  16. Kris - Apr 14, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Yes, that stuff is all unsportsmanlike and an affront to the game. It’s all “bush league”, to varying degrees. I know it’s impossible to codify “don’t be a douche” in the official rules, but one can dream.

  17. Matt - Apr 14, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    Back when I was coaching (OK, it was 11 year old girls) the ump couldn’t see if there was a tag. He asked my second baseperson and she said no, I didn’t tag her.
    I couldn’t really yell at her for telling the truth, as she was 11, but I wasn’t exactly using it as a teachable moment.
    However, if Pierzynski sneaking on base is wrong (presuming he knew he didn’t get hit), perhaps we can just turn the game over to sportsmen and ask the infielders about phantom tags and being off the bag for double plays and the like.
    And maybe football players can call holding on themselves.
    If Pierzynski’s a dick its not because of this. Go watch girl’s softball.
    As to ARod… Remember when he knocked the ball out of the glove in the playoffs; or shouted “I got it” as he rounded third. I’m just saying… ever since he joined the Yankees he has embraced the role of the heel. Its just that he’s a Yankee so no one can differentiate.

  18. Kris - Apr 14, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    Perhaps you could have used the teachable moment instead. Your second basegirl did the right thing.

  19. MarkH - Apr 14, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    “Bush League is throwing your glove at ground ball out of reach.”
    Rule 7.05(c): that’s a 3-base error, not a bush play.
    Interestingly, the rule doesn’t say what happens if your throw your glove at the ball and *miss*. Isn’t the intent the important thing, but just success?

  20. Wooden U. Lykteneau - Apr 14, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    A-Rod could aspire to be the biggest racist on Earth, and he still wouldn’t hold a candle to the citizens of Boston.

    The citizens of Atlanta, Georgia beg to differ.

  21. IdahoMariner - Apr 14, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    after watching that video, I think you should apologize to French soccer players.
    Yes, it’s not against the rules, and yes, he’s all about winning, yada, yada, yada…
    but this is right up there with A-Rod trying to knock the ball out of the glove as he ran to first … just lame. Can’t we agree that it’s best when we try to win and NOT look like a tool?
    As TC noted already:
    we should look upon the act disfavorably with a collective harumph and there should be nothing wrong with that.
    It’s AJ’s perogative to ignore that and cast himself as a douche/villain.
    And it’s our perogative to harumph and point out to our kids that when he does that he looks like a total tool.

  22. IdahoMariner - Apr 14, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    I also have now, finally, figured out my ambivalence towards Mike Sweeney. Ever since he came to the Mariners last year, I’m supposed to love him because everyone does, he’s a great guy, etc. — but I just have been very “meh” with a puzzling undercurrent of hostility. Now I realize that Sweeney’s mug looks a lot like AJ’s when the batting helmet is on, and this is the pic of AJ (or one a lot like it) that I always see, and always with stories like this. I will now redirect that undercurrent of hostility back to its appropriate target: AJ. Tool.

  23. twinsfan - Apr 14, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    All doucheness aside (he is one) from the video it actually may have ticked the end of his cleat, close enough for the ump to sort of have to give it to him. Unfortunately Inge didn’t get that interpertation last year….

  24. YANKEES1996 - Apr 14, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    Saw the video, it was an Oscar Award winning performance…BIG CHEATER!

  25. D-Luxxx - Apr 14, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    You know, it didn’t hit him, but whatever, the ump missed it. Call me crazy, but I actually like A.J. He’s cocky and arrogant on the field, and I think I’d probably punch him if I had to play against (or with) him, but he’s one of those guys you love to hate. I’m with Moses, the McLouth play was the same type of thing, and nobody was calling that cheating or bush league.

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