Reunion between White Sox, A.J. turns on HBP
Reed claims no intent in hitting former teammate with two outs in ninth
ARLINGTON -- The comments from A.J. Pierzynski and the White Sox coming after the pinch-hitter was hit by an Addison Reed fastball in the right elbow with two outs in the ninth of Wednesday's 5-2 Chicago victory went pretty much as expected.
But leave it to White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko and his dry wit to provide a humorous backdrop to this one brief moment of controversy.
After Reed hit Pierzynski in the right elbow, Pierzynski threw his bat to the ground and threw out a few words to Reed and the White Sox in general as he went to first. He then engaged in conversation with Konerko, his teammate and friend with the White Sox from 2005-12.
"He gave me some good material down at first base," said Konerko. "He gave me some laughs, but I can't repeat any of it."
Konerko termed the moment as more of something for the media to look at and try to make a story out of, with any other player getting hit in the same situation probably being overlooked.
"It could have happened to anyone," Konerko said. "It just happened to happen to A.J."
While Konerko was glad to see Pierzynski wasn't hurt by the pitch, he didn't see any reason for intent on the White Sox part unless Reed came out and said it was intentional. Both the White Sox closer, catcher Tyler Flowers and manager Robin Ventura said there was no message being sent.
"You have to throw [Pierzynski] in. You have to show him in," said Flowers, Pierzynski's replacement. "I wanted it elevated and in. I didn't really want it that elevated or that far in. But it happens."
"I was trying to go in and it hit him. It's part of the game," Reed said. "It doesn't matter who was up there. It probably would have went in and hit him. It would have done the same thing."
As for Pierzynski's take on the matter, the durable backstop who could be back in Thursday's starting lineup after struggling with a right oblique strain, said more with less.
"You have to ask them. I'm sure they'll say it wasn't intentional in that situation. I don't know," Pierzynski said. "It's all right. I have been hit harder than that before.
"I have to believe [them]. What else am I supposed to believe? That's not the way you're supposed to play the game and it's fine. It's over."