Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Much Ado About Nothing

Give credit where it’s due: the Chicago media is great at ginning up controversies where there are none.

Like Sully’s claim that some White Sox players are “getting tired” of Saint A.J.’s antics:

Pitcher Mark Buehrle said Pierzynski's remarks to North showed little respect to backup catcher Toby Hall.

"I think it is disrespecting Toby," Buehrle said before Sunday's game. "It's kind of saying: 'You can't do your job.' I don't see where he has to be in there just because it's a big rivalry. That doesn't matter. He needs a day off. Whether it's against the Cubs or anyone else, he needs a day off."

Buehrle was not surprised that Pierzynski was putting himself ahead of his team with his public griping, putting Guillen in a tough spot.

"It's just A.J.," Buehrle said. "Everything I keep hearing is 'Oh, A.J. is not in the lineup. He's a big part of this team and with the big rivalry, and with him being such a part of it because Cubs fans don't like him … ' We don't look at it that way. And I'm sure Cubs fans don't care if he plays.

"He can't play every game. Yeah, it's a big series, but that's why we signed Toby—to play against [selected left-handers]."

Buehrle believes Pierzynski enjoys playing the role of the villain at Wrigley Field because he craves the attention.

For those who didn’t follow every moment of the Cubs/White Sox series, here is what the Saint said on a radio program that prompted Buerhle’s rebuke and a profanity-laden tired from Ozzie Guillen:

I don't make the lineup and Ozzie has the ultimate decision. It's his decision. I'm not going to go in there and complain. … I'm just going to do what I'm asked to do. Of course it's frustrating and of course I'm disappointed. It's the Cubs-Sox and it's fun. It's what it's all about.

As the kids say: Oh…snap? More like what Gertrude Stein said about Oakland: There’s no there there.

That was pretty rational for the Saint. The guy wants to play (nothing wrong with that), but this wasn’t a full-on tantrum. At least not enough to make a sane person think the guy was dissing a teammate. I’d like to know how the reporters posed the question to get Buerhle’s reaction.

Buerhle later blew the “controversy” off as a misunderstanding, which it most likely was. He can still be friends with his catcher while disagreeing with him, or thinking that he runs off at the mouth too much. That’s how a lot of adult relationships work.

Maybe some White Sox are weary of Saint A.J.’s shenanigans. But does this tempest in a teapot have enough weight to be the straw that broke the camel’s back?

I doubt it. But anywhere there’s a camel’s back, you can be sure to find the media, ready to pile on.

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