Atlanta Braves and the AJ Pierzynski Retirement Non-retirement Saga
By Fred Owens
To Retire or not to Retire-was that the Question?
About a half hour after O’Brien’s first tweet came a retraction in another tweet. Word of his retirement was premature Pierzynski said in an interview and the cigars came from Julio Teheran celebrating the birth of his son . . . a month ago,
That was a non statement worthy of a politician. This morning AJ’s phantom hamstring reappeared and he was once again placed on the 15 day DL. That hamstring injury is I suppose the same one that appeared when the Braves wanted to activate Tyler Flowers and didn’t want to send Anthony Recker through waivers. After one start and a couple of pinch hit appearances it is once again a DL worthy injury. The Mark Bowman piece linked above had this jewel in it as well.
"Pierzynski wasn’t present at Turner Field on Sunday, but Blake Lalli was. The Braves brought Lalli up from Triple-A Gwinnett to serve as a third catcher for the remainder of the season."
What? The Braves call up Lalli – at best a AAA catcher who played more first base that catcher this season – to act as our third catcher? I suppose this allows Snitker to use Recker/Flowers as pinch hitters if needed but it’s . . . well odd.
In his 389 PA Lalli posted a .256/.301/.328/.628 line with one home run so his bat isn’t a factor and calling him up required adding him to the 40 man roster, a spot he certainly will not hold onto when the season ends.
This morning DoB offered this take.
Yes it would be bad but it would have been bad all year and Gwinnett is just a few miles down the road. This is clearly organizational spin or a badly thought out answer to a question he had no answer for. In any case it’s BS (blatantly silly).
That’s A Wrap
There are 20 games left and if my math is correct AJ is eligible to return on September 26 for the for the final six games of the season. I expect him to do that even if he doesn’t play.
I have no idea why he needed the time away from the team, but clearly this was a planned event. His celebration of the tenth inning single followed by the dugout antics seemed to make that clear.
I don’t buy the cigars for Julio’s baby report either. Maybe he did supply the cigars but the baby was born a month ago. He’s had multiple occasions to celebrate that including after his recent win; why wait?
The Lalli call up reminds me of the J.C. Boscan call-up a few years back. Boscan had been with the Braves a while but never been called. In 2010 he got his first call and made one PA. In 2011 he got another September call and made four appearances. The Braves released him after that season.
The red herrings surrounding this whole schmooze and the spin we’re hearing now is generating a lot of press. We won’t know quickly – and may never know – exactly why it happened but it did bring a quote to mind,
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Maybe all of this signifies nothing as well but, it sure is peculiar.