The moment it happened I knew it was coming. It shouldn't be worth addressing and, yet, it is.
The Red Sox designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment on Wednesday, and since I hate myself I ended up sifting through tweets like this:
ow bout we go get AJ Back since he got released? Bring bk our REAL catcher Hahn!— White Sox Facebook (@WhiteSxFacebook) July 9, 2014
Rather see AJ strike out, than Flowers!— White Sox Facebook (@WhiteSxFacebook) July 9, 2014
They need to snatch him (A.J) back behind the plate, pay the money. Without A.J. some of the spark went until they got Abreu and Eaton.— White Sox Facebook (@WhiteSxFacebook) July 9, 2014
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says AJ Pierzynski will be designated for assignment. If he's right, hopefully the white sox can BRING HIM BACK.— White Sox Facebook (@WhiteSxFacebook) July 9, 2014
Wait, what are you trying to say?
Let's start with the obvious: A.J. Pierzynski isn't a good baseball player anymore. I'm not sure when it happened, but sometime within the last year or so he went from being a guy whose offense was just good enough to make his defense livable to someone who could neither hit nor defend. He's also 37 years old.
But surely he's better than Tyler Flowers!
Well, yeah. I mean, probably, I guess. But that's not really the point. Regardless of the recent semi-streak of competence, the White Sox aren't contending for a playoff spot in 2014. I don't believe Rick Hahn is delusional enough to think they are, and even if he were, bringing in Pierzynski isn't exactly a move that's going to put the White Sox over the top.
But wouldn't it be awesome to see A.J. in a White Sox uniform one more time?
I suppose, if you're into that sort of thing. But the White Sox already have one roster spot reserved for an aging fan favorite who doesn't actually serve a reasonable purpose (see: Konerko, Paul). Adding Pierzynski means you either A) have to get rid of Adrian Nieto, who remains an interesting developmental project at the very least, or B) DFA Flowers, and Pierzynski isn't enough of an upgrade for that to make any sort of sense.
OK, fine. But I really like A.J.! So where's he going to end up?
A contending team looking for catching help could do worse than taking a flier on Pierzynski, so long as it's not a full-time role. A team like the Orioles could make sense, as they're making a playoff push and are currently trotting out a combination of Nick Hundley and Caleb Joseph (combined slash line of .211/.267/.616).
A team like Kansas City could also make sense. Something called Brett Hayes is currently backing up All-Star Salvador Perez, who has only gotten eight days off all season and is a large, injury-prone body.
Retirement is also a possibility. Pierzynski has logged nearly 15,000 innings behind the plate, so maybe his knees have simply had enough.
If that's the case, I do have one proposal that could make you A.J. lovers happy: Bring him in as a broadcaster. He's shown a penchant for the job while subbing in for Fox during the postseason, so whether it's squeezing him into the TV broadcast booth (I don't see either Hawk or Stone leaving after this season, however), replacing DJ with him on the radio (my personal choice) or putting him in the studio for pre- and post-games, that's a reunion that could make us all happy.
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