Is A.J. Pierzynski that dumb, or does he think we’re that stupid?
That is one of the questions worth pondering following the Red Sox’ thrilling 6-5 walk-off win against the Yankees at Fenway Park Saturday, which was probably their best victory of the season. Boston’s lethargic lineup finally woke up in the later innings and overcame multiple two-run deficits in order to beat arguably the most dominant bullpen in baseball.
Alex Verdugo joins the Sox Booth after his walk-off hit against the Yankees
Unfortunately, Pierzynski was narrating the affair. Don’t you think it’s funny that a guy named “Jeter” plays for the Red Sox?
Errors were aplenty on FOX’ Saturday broadcast, with play-by-play man Adam Amin and Pierzynski both demonstrating little knowledge about the hometown team. They called for length out of reliever Matt Strahm, struggled to pronounce Christian Vazquez’ name and said Alex Verdugo was the Red Sox’ hottest hitter, despite his 2-for-21 stretch heading into the contest. When Ryan Brasier struck out Giancarlo Stanton looking, they failed to mention that every strike was off the plate.
At one point, Pierzynski remarked that it “felt like” the Yankees were behind in the game, which would make sense, since they trailed 1-0 in the second inning.
There are plenty of bad color analysts, but Pierzynski is especially odious. He was widely disliked when he played — his peers once voted him the game’s most hated player in an anonymous survey for Men’s Journal — and he’s carried his smug and dismissive attitude up to the booth.
During an excruciating exchange with Chris Sale, Pierzynski railed against the media for creating unnecessary pressure on players, even though he is, in fact, in the media now. “There is so much pressure on athletes and people in the media — not the media, but in sports in general — because of the media that yeah, sometimes we lose it,” he said.
Like many color people before him, Pierzynski is proudly ignorant about facets of the current game, such as expanded roles on team coaching staffs. He outright dismissed Jason Varitek’s job as the Red Sox’ game plan coordinator.
“Is game plan coordinator like offensive coordinator? Special teams coach?,” he chided.
Pierzynski hits the trifecta in bad announcing: he’s uninformed, states the obvious (a two-run lead is better than a one-run lead)!, and displays an unbecoming arrogance. FOX’ lead analyst, John Smoltz, carries many of the those same qualities as well. But at least he’s a Hall of Famer.
Pierzynski doesn’t have the resume to excuse his attitude.