Jim Bowden tweeted out the following clip from his MLB Network Radio show on SiriusXM today, featuring the Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski talking about how he landed in Boston as a free agent.
He also talks about some clubhouse chemistry bullshit that I’m sure commenter RADAR will seize on and try to point to as some kind of hard proof that magical warm fuzzy feelings create winning, without the foggiest grasp of the whole correlation=/=causation thing, but that’s not important!
What’s important is, though we already knew this stuff, at the beginning of the interview Pierzynski lays out in pretty plain terms many of the reasons that the Jays seem to find the free agent market so discouraging.
I’ll transcribe the relevant comments, and then groan about them, after the jump– which is also where you’ll find the clip!
Here’s what he said:
It was not an easy decision to go to Boston at all. It was tough– it was a tough decision, not only for myself but for my family. There’s a lot of things that weigh into it; not only the money– which, obviously, is more than you could ever ask for– but also where they are in the country, where they are as far as their chance of winning. I mean, right now, that seemed like the biggest thing. It’s not every day that you get the opportunity, one, to go to Boston, and two, to go to the defending World Series champions.
Asked if he turned down offers of more years and a higher average annual value, he added this:
Yes. I know I turned down years. I don’t know about AAV– AAV is tough, because any time you start getting into a one year deal the AAV tends to go up a little bit. But I know I turned down years in other places. It was one of those things, like I said yesterday, when I did some stuff for the Red Sox and in Boston– you know, it’s hard to say no to the Boston Red Sox when they call. The Red Sox, the Yankees, there are certain franchises in baseball that, when they call, it’s hard to turn down.
I mean… I know, we know! And the fact that Pierzynski is now employed by the Red Sox has to colour his statements at least a little bit. But seriously! That sucks. And don’t think the “which part of the country” bit doesn’t rule out the part of the country in that other country that isn’t even Amurica! for a lot of the like-minded– not that it couldn’t be overcome, as we’ve all heard repeatedly as well, by the other bit about being a championship-calibre organization.
While there are definitely some mercenaries out there, it’s maybe just a little bit outdated to believe that if a team like the Jays backs up a truck with enough money to the house of any free agent, they can land whoever they want, and it’s really just cheap motherfucker Rogers who is holding back all of our dreams. This is hardly the first evidence of that, of course, but it doesn’t make it sting any less– not for us, and not, I’m sure, for the guys in the front office.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pining for Pierzynski here, and I have no idea if the Jays were even interested before turning their attention to Dioner Navarro. But it ssure ounds like they wouldn’t have had much of a chance anyway– except maybe on a deal that made absolutely no sense.
Maybe that’s what the giant truckload of cash metaphor is exactly about, but… I don’t know. As much as we really, really want to think of Rogers as a behemoth with all the money in the world to splash around on things like NHL TV rights or MLSE, it is a business. Big as those deals are, there’s a business case to be made for them. “Who cares about paying Pierzynski $10-million in three years when he’s too broken down to even warrant a roster spot?” isn’t a particularly compelling one. So… I guess I see that side of it, too.
I don’t know, man. Fuck…