Monday night might have been A.J. Pierzynski's worst performance of the season. At the plate, he could not pick up Wei-Yin Chen's fastball, striking out three times and popping out foul in his fourth try. In the field, he made a nice play to recover a pitch in the dirt to get an out at home, but he also failed to even look to turn two with the bases loaded.
No explanation was given for that play -- in the gamethread, Rhubarb lip-read that Pierzynski didn't know if he was touching home. It didn't cost the Sox, though, as Crain had two outs in him.
It was a rare off night during what's been a terrific season for Pierzynski, but it wasn't without its redeeming moment. Then again, even that came at Pierzynski's expense. Really, nothing went his way.
Leading off the fourth, Mark Reynolds scored a direct hit on Pierzynski's mask with a foul tip:
Home plate umpire Tim McClelland gave him a little room to regroup, which was more than his manager offered. Some great MASN camerawork showed Pierzynski looking into the dugout as Ventura tried to keep a straight face. Once Ventura confirmed Pierzynski was OK, well:
If nothing else, this exchange inspired me to learn how to GIF.
That's a provocative and superficial headline for a magazine feature that takes a much more open-ended look at Hawk Harrelson. Bryan Smith spends a day with the Hawk, getting his backstory and the development of the "Hawk" persona, and ultimately wondering what his legacy will be as the last of the over-the-top homers.
Worth noting: Smith quotes our Fergie3108 from this post, and describes his relationship with Darrin Jackson and Steve Stone. We know that Harrelson and Stone sit extremely far apart, but he also notes that they "are cordial and professional but say little between innings and almost never look at each other."
Other broadcasters have made note of the physical distance between Harrelson and Stone. During the Yankees series, Michael Kay and Ken Singleton wondered how well that arrangement works for calling games. The road booth offers just as much space, but Kay said it would seem highly unnatural to be that far apart.
Then the YES camera cut to Kay, showing Kay calling the action with his arm around Singleton. I laughed.
- How Baseball Announcers Subtly Favor American Players Over Foreign Ones - Adam Felder & Seth Amitin - The Atlantic
Larry linked to it in the comments on Monday, but it's worth pointing out if you missed it. There are a couple flaws, at least in terms of how they describe the nature of player procurement, but it's still worth reading as a reminder to think more about adjectives.
- White Sox Go Retro in Loud Mouth Golf Trousers - White Sox Facebook page
- Photo-analysis: The White Sox hit the road - White Sox Observer
- Attack of the Colorblind Duffers - Poetry in Pros
The White Sox Facebook page offers clearer photos of the nutso golf attire the Sox wore to the airport after Sunday's victory. Brett picks up on James' post by offering some insight behind some of the choices.
- Floyd has elbow strain, no structural damage | whitesox.com: News
- Axelrod likely Sox's starter Wednesday, for now - chicagotribune.com
Gavin Floyd's MRI turned out OK, but it's similar to the forearm issue that put him on the DL earlier in the season. With four days until rosters expand, there's no reason for the Sox to do it again, but Ventura isn't going to try to bypass his spot. Instead, he's reshuffling his rotation, with Dylan Axelrod ready to step in unless Ventura changes his mind. Tonight's game may have an impact on my feelings about it, so I'm going to wait a little bit.
Last week, I noted the Bruce Levine story saying the Sox would host the Miami Marlins, and play the Cubs in back-to-back two-game series. Mark Gonzales says those two-game series pose major travel problems for umpires, so the tentative schedule is exactly that.