This is really weird, but... somehow, it worked?
When A.J. Pierzynski was announced in the line-up and came to the plate Tuesday—the first time he has visited Minnesota as a player since 2014—he was not greeted with the chorus of boos that has been customary over the past 13 years. Heck, there were even some cheers (which I know for a fact, because I was at the game, cheering.)
This might seem unremarkable to some, but it didn’t go unnoticed by others—including A.J. himself. In fact, David O'Brien, a beat writer for Atlanta, wrote an entire, extended article on the matter. O’Brien explained:
[A.J.] just does his thing, comes to the ballpark every day, arrives early, works hard, meets with his starting pitcher and goes over hitters, etc.
Then he goes out, hears varying degrees of boos in almost every road ballpark when his name is introduced, shows no emotion in response, and goes about his business.
But don’t think he doesn’t notice, even if he doesn’t show it. I say this because Tuesday night, there were very few boos at Target Field when he was introduced. There might actually have been as many cheers as boos, at least from my vantage point in the pressbox.
This surprised Pierzynski, who has heard the boo-birds for years whenever he returned to Minneapolis, the place where he began his career and played parts of six seasons through 2003. ....
“It was kind of weird they didn’t boo me,” Pierzynski said after the game, his 10-year-old son Austin standing nearby as reporters interviewed the aging catcher. A.J. smiled. “Then again I think no one in the stands remembered that I played here it was so long ago. There was actually some claps, which was a little bit different.”
He added, “I’ve always enjoyed playing here. People have always been good to me — away from the field obviously. In the town, the city. It’s the first time my kids have been here, and they’ve been able to have a good time yesterday, see some people, see Minnesota.”
I don’t want to take all the credit for this, because it probably wasn’t due to my complete serious blog post earlier this week. A.J. has a point: fans may have simply forgotten about him or gotten over it. Maybe people are just apathetic about all this baseball stuff these days. No one can really no for sure.
But screw it. It was all me and the glorious readers at Twinkie Town. We did it. We didn’t boo A.J. and we confused the crap out of him. We deserve all the credit.
On that note—let’s get the band back together.