Fox Sports hires AJ Pierzynski to be full-time analyst – Chicago Tribune
Pierzynski, who contributed to Fox postseason baseball coverage in 2011, ’12, ’13 and ’15 before ending his 19-season major-league career last year, will work games as well as make regular appearances on FS1’s “MLB Whiparound.”
A member of the 2005 White Sox World Series championship team, two-time All-Star and career .280 hitter, Pierzynski perhaps is as remembered by Chicago fans for getting punched by Cubs catcher Michael Barrett after running into him at home in 2006 as for his savvy in reaching first with two out in the bottom of the ninth on a dropped third strike against the Angels in a tied Game 2 of the 2005 American League Championship Series.
Pablo Ozuna, pinch-running for Pierzynski, scored on a Joe Crede single a few pitches later to win the game and even the playoff series, a critical moment in that championship season.
“If you play against him, you hate him,” Ozzie Guillen, Pierzynski’s White Sox manager, once observed. “If you play with him, you hate him a little less.”
Much as Pierzynski was known for his unapologetic competitiveness as a player, John Entz, Fox Sports executive producer and president of production, said the network appreciates Pierzynski’s confidence as a commentator. “He doesn’t hold back or shy away from topics he feels strongly about,” Entz said.
Pierzynski’s eight seasons in Chicago, from 2005 to 2012, were the centerpiece of a Major League Baseball career that began with the Twins in 1998, included hitches with the Giants, Rangers, Red Sox, Cardinals and concluded with the Braves.