Friday, August 1, 2008

Mailbox Joys: The Playa Haters

As soon as it was confirmed that A.J. Pierzynski's 2008 Allen & Ginter card was indeed a short print, I went to eBay to get one before the prices shot up. I saw one at a dealer that I've dealt with before. It had a low price and another card was thrown in.


I received the package today and got my A.J. A&G card and an Orlando Cabrera A&G card to boot. I'm sure the pairing was accidental, but it strikes me as odd. A.J. and Orlando Cabrera are both known to instill hate in fans.

A.J. gets booed almost every place he goes, but none more so than the Metrodome and Wrigley Field. I know why he gets booed at Wrigley Field, but it wasn't until a Twins fan mentioned why he gets booed in Minnesota did I truly understand the phenomenon.

A.J. has bested the Cubs in many a crosstown game. This really sticks with the Cubs fans. Not only does A.J. play for the Sox, he steps up his game against the Cubs. I always have heard that A.J. gets booed in Minnesota because he was traded. I have now come to understand that A.J. gets booed there because of his style of play. He's known as a bushleague type of player.

OK, I can see that. A.J. seems to find himself in the thick of controversy more than the average player. Basically, he gets in situations a lot. He also tries to push the envelope to get his team in a better position. I can respect that. It's the fans' right to boo. I can respect that too. What I don't quite get is this is the same type of play that he's had his entire career. The same type of playing that got him cheers when he was playing for the Twins.

Orlando Cabrera, not only gets the fans upset, he rubs his own teammates the wrong way. He has called up to the scorer's booth, during a game, to dispute an error called on him. Twice. This year. He also got into a verbal, and almost physical, altercation with Jermaine Dye. Orlando took it upon himself to pad his stolen base stats and steal third base while Dye was at bat. It distracted Dye so much, because he wasn't aware of it, that he ended up striking out.

I can see both points on that one, but the verdict is in on O.C. This is why I've taken to calling him Mr. Selfish. Orlando Cabrera doesn't seem to be a team player. He appears to care more about his personal stats. That's fine, if you are out of the playoff hunt, but not when your team is holding onto first place for dear life. That type of play ends up hurting the team more than it helps.

Even if the players could be considered flawed by some, the cards themselves are gorgeous. Two down, seven to go!


Laurens said...

On the other hand, it is hard to make value judgements on these guys for/against.

You may believe OC is actually worse than the two, but if the following story doesn't get you pissed off about Pierzynski's demeanor, I don't know what will.

Steve Gierman said...

That knee to groin story has already been proven false. It was spread by Brett Tomko and a few other players in the Giants organization that didn't get along with Pierzynski. On a side note, Joe Borchard is $100 richer for hitting a home run off of Tomko in a Spring Training game. A.J. told everyone in the Sox clubhouse that he would pay $100 to anyone that hit a home run off of Tomko. Borchard was the only one that got a home run that day.

Slette said...

I remember when AJ was traded to the Giants, he made some comments along the lines of being betrayed by the Twins organization and he was never too excited about Joe Mauer waiting in the wings to take his spot at catcher. I always liked AJ and when I go to a Sox game at the Dome I always cheer him. I'm also usually the only not wearing Sox gear.

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