Robin Ventura's been put through about five dozen interviews over the last week, and the repetition has allowed him to develop a couple of philosophical staples. One of the more prominent refrains: Ventura wanting his players to stay in the dugout, and avoid retreating to the clubhouse while the game is in progress.
Ventura said players often have the urge to check video after their at-bats. A.J. Pierzynski gave another example of what players do, and it'll be interesting to see if Ventura has to answer to it before he drops out of the spotlight for two or three months.
Pierzynski, in response to the Boston Globe article that raised allegations of in-game drinking by various Red Sox, offered his support by saying, hey, he and some other White Sox have partaken in that activity:
"Yes, absolutely I have before," Pierzynski told "The Dan Patrick Show." "Sometimes you’re just really struggling and you just say, ‘Hey, you know what, I need something to calm me down and let’s have a beer.’ A couple of us will do it together, and sometimes it works out.
"It's just, sometimes you just need a rally beer. If you’re in extra innings and you’re in about the 15th inning and you really need to get going again, that sometimes works for you."
It's not worth getting on a high horse about these comments, because if the Red Sox and White Sox create their own version of the seventh-inning stretch in this way, I'm guessing many, if not most, other teams do the same. It's worth questioning the logic, though, and it's interesting for a few other reasons, too. Some are more amusing than others.
*It's kind of amazing how baseball players mess with their body chemistry. I can see it happening in the minors, because it's a struggle for a lot of players to not eat like crap, due to their meager per diems and inconvenient travel schedule. In the majors, they're afforded -- and they can afford -- the very best in actual nutrition, and yet they'll still dabble in depressants and rely on stimulants. Teams could make an extra dollar by selling a sponsorship for the Red Bull-pen, based on the amount of energy drinks relief pitchers use. A couple clubs have taken steps to try to prevent players from developing a habit in the minors.
*Pierzynski later clarified that "he wouldn't drink an entire beer during a game, just a few sips." Color me skeptical.
*Considering Jerry Reinsdorf doesn't much care for non-family-friendly behavior from his players, I wonder if he'll be bothered enough to respond to questions about it. I'd probably wait for other teams to join the least noble "I'm Spartacus!" reenactment in history.
*Try as you might to relate to players when they're struggling, there's always another reminder that their workplace is so very different from (most of) ours.
*The funniest part: With a slight rephrasing, you can turn Pierzynski's response into a series of @DadBoner tweets.
- When the going gets tough, the tough gets going to the clubhouse for some rally beers, you guys.
- Brewskis almost taste better when you're struggling. Really helps you see the pitches better.
- Nothing brings the team together like a ski full of pregame Jagerbombs. Stokes the inner fire with that bold burning sensation.
- Wish this game was over already. Heading down the tunnel for a cold one. Sick of this.
*Adam Dunn is very, very lucky that this topic didn't come up during the season, although it will be waiting for him if he struggles again.
*James at White Sox Observer looked into Pierzynski's numbers in the described drinking situations, and, well...
A.J. Pierzynski in the 2008 playoffs: .385/.500/.462
...which is just a ridiculously small sample size, it's not even worth...
A.J. Pierzynski in extra-innings in 2011: .400/.500/.800
... regarding. Besides, correlation in no way implies...
A.J. Pierzynski in extra-innings for his career: .288/.361/.466
...alright, what the hell.
*And in related news, Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Beer will arrive in stores on Oct. 15.