For those wondering if A.J. Pierzynski was just misunderstood during his time with the San Francisco Giants, I’m going to go ahead and disagree. Granted, most of the people who defend Pierzynski are members of the media who like him because he’s quotable.
However, senility aside, I’ll take Tim McCarver any day over that jerk who plays for the White Sox.
Buster Posey doesn’t block the plate anymore. It’s a smart decision, a strategy that hasn’t even been brought up for months and certainly won’t get in the way of Posey winning his first National League MVP Award this year.
Posey didn’t need to block the plate to tag out Prince Fielder, who looked as if he was wearing one of those inflatable sumo suits as he rounded third base in the second inning. Still, Pierzynski couldn’t help but take a jab at Posey when Fox let him run his mouth as they showed a replay of Gregor Blanco chasing down Delmon Young’s double, then throwing to Marco Scutaro who relayed the ball to Posey as Fielder made his slide.
Pierzynski: Well, first of all, the ball goes into the left field corner. It’s hard for the third base coach to decide what to do. You see (Blanco) overrun it. Right there, (Gene) Lamont, sometimes you wonder ‘why did he send him right there?’ Second and third with no outs, with Jhonny Peralta coming up. And then Buster Posey, who everyone knows is told not to block the plate, if you watch the slide right here Prince Fielder, his knee is bent instead of straight. And he’s kind of up in the air. And also the guy on deck has to tell him to slide to the outside because of the fact that Buster Posey’s not going to try and block the plate. Especially with Prince coming down the line.
McCarver: Plus A.J., when you receive a ball from the left side of the field, Scutaro in that particular instance, you’ve got to stay inside the line. There’s no way to block the plate with Fielder, because if you block the plate then that’s going to obscure the throw from Scutaro.
Pierzynski: No, but the throw I thought, Tim, was inside enough where he could’ve held his ground. If you watch, Buster takes a step to the inside. It frees up a whole lane for Prince to slide to the outside and do the swipe tag…
McCarver: You got to throw it inside the line. Fielder’s running inside the line. I mean, if you throw it to where Buster is blocking the plate, it hits Fielder and goes awry. That’s the way I saw it.
Pierzynski: Okay, I just think you have the ability as a catcher to kind of keep your leg in there and not take that slight step to the inside and clear up the whole plate. And kind of maybe force him to the area of the plate you want him to be, which would be to the outside. I know Buster had the horrible injury last season. But that’s just, as a catcher, you know Tim as catching, sometimes that’s par for the course and you got to take it as part of the game.
Yep, Pierzynski dropped a “par for the course” and “part of the game” in the same sentence. After a wildly successful defensive play by a catcher who is more than twice the player he is.