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Pierzynski 2.0: Josh Donaldson has reignited an old rivalry

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Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Oh hello there, friends!

Sorry it’s been a hot minute since you’ve heard from me, but I was having technical difficulties logging into my account here. And let’s be honest.. the Twins just haven’t been very interesting this season. But tech support has brought me back, and there’s even some interesting Twinsiness to write about. Hooray!

I’ll tell you what, Josh Donaldson has given us some dramatic gold over the last few weeks. He might not be bringing as much rain as we’d hoped (though he is up to 12 home runs), but he’s finally brought some excitement to this very blah-to-Twins-Territory season. I don’t think the Twins have had a bigger douchebag feather-ruffler on our team since AJ Pierzynski (who, coincidentally, ended up going to the Sox himself and being an even bigger douchebag there than he was here).

For those of you who’ve been living under a rock, let me set the table for you:

About a month ago, Donaldson stated that pitchers are cheating and using illegal substances on the ball while pitching. He said he had receipts, y’all. He wasn’t pulling punches and called out guys like Gerrit Cole for diminishing spin rates after the ban on sticky substances took effect. The sticky-ban has caused some serious delays in games, such as this nonsense with Joe Girardi and Max Scherzer last week after Girardi called for a THIRD check on Scherzer just a day after the ban was being enforced:

And then our old friend Sergio Romo went all Romo on the ump when he was accused of using a substance on the ball and decided he’d drop his pants. God I miss having him on our team.

And this past week, MLB saw its first suspension of a pitcher in Mariners’ Hector Santiago after umpire Phil Cuzzi (yes, the same asshole that called Joe Mauer’s post season double foul and likely caused the Twins post season curse) claimed to have found a foreign substance in Santiago’s glove. Santiago has been suspended for 10 games and is appealing saying it was legally sweat + rosin that had transferred to the glove from the ball. MLB legit took the glove in for analysis, and Santiago said “If they’re going to do all this science stuff, it’s going to be sweat and rosin. We’ll be all right.”

ANYWAY...

This week, all things anti-Donaldson heated up when JD hit a homer off of Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito and as he crossed the plate, he exclaimed (presumably to Trevor Larnach, who was standing there) “Hands not sticky anymore!”. Giolito later called him out for being a “fucking pest”. Giolito also mentioned he got the win and the Twins are in last place. (At the time, they were in third, thank you very much. As of this writing, the Twins are currently <checks notes> a half a game ahead of the Royals and in fourth so.. suck it Giolito? Wait... No.) Despite Donaldson’s pair of homers in the series, the Sox just swept the Twins out of Chicago.

The boos coming from the stands toward Donaldson as the games went on the crowd got drunker livelier reminded me of the days of yore when Twins fans loved to hate on their former-catcher-turned-White-Stockings-backstop AJ Pierzynski. On paper, we Twins fans didn’t have a leg to stand on when it came to the AJ hate. AJ was traded to the Giants for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser - one of the greatest deals the Twins ever made. Not only did we get some stellar pitching from said deal, but thanks to the trade Joe Mauer, the baby Jesus himself, could be called up to be the Twins every day catcher, and yet Twins fans utterly despised AJ and all of his assholery. All one has to do is Google “AJ Pierzynski Asshole” and you’ll get a myriad of stories about why he was so hated - he was a supposed jerk to his teammates (any of his teams), and he was a jerk to his opponents (it was SO satisfying to see Michael Barrett punch AJ in the face).

Turns out, if you Google “Josh Donaldson Asshole”, you also get a laundry list of reasons he’s kind of a butthole as well. I’ve heard some unsubstantiated rumors of Donaldson being kind of a jerk to his teammates in the Twins clubhouse too - though I won’t spread those rumors since it’s hearsay from a third party. And it brought to mind the quote from former Sox manager, Ozzie Guillen, when he said in regards to AJ Pierzynski “If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less.” I feel like this is where we are headed with Donaldson - he’s our AJ. Or, he’s our Steve Stifler, if you will:

As a result of Josh Donaldson’s mouth running amok, we have this reignited rivalry with the Twins and White Sox that we haven’t seen since the mid-to-late 2000’s, during the days of the Piranhas and Ozzie Guillen and it’s kind of the only thing interesting the Twins have going on these days. So when I’m at the game on Monday with the Sox in town, I’ll certainly be sitting back with all the popcorn. I won’t care about the score, I’ll just be waiting for Donaldson to get punched in the face. Or for him to punch someone else in the face. Or for the Twins to start a sweep of the Sox and also start the unimaginable run to first place, fueled by JD’s fire. The 4th of July fireworks this weekend will have nothing on the upcoming Sox series and I. Am. Here. For. It.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend everyone!

xoxo,

Marea

PS: You can hear me talk a teeny bit of baseball on the most recent podcast of Moon, PJugg and Hobbs.

Poll

How do you feel about Josh Donaldson

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Love him and the fire he brings
    (51 votes)
  • 14%
    Totally ambivalent
    (19 votes)
  • 22%
    I really can’t decide
    (30 votes)
  • 24%
    Hate him, he’s a total classless jerk
    (32 votes)
132 votes total Vote Now