Coming to Terms with the Inevitable: Parting with AJ

AJ Pierzynski – will he stay or will he go?

Unfortunately, we went through this same dilemma after the 2010 season so are all too familiar with the stress and suspense it brings. But at the very last minute, we got AJ back for two more years. And now, after he’s had a career year at age 35, we risk losing him yet again.

AJ became a fan favorite by helping lead the Sox to a World Series title in 2005. Credit: Getty Images

Now it appears that this year we’re much more likely to let him go than we were two years ago. Something about Tyler Flowers and money … I understand that baseball is a business and the team has a lot to consider in terms of what makes the most sense as a whole financially. That being said, it would be very hard to part with AJ, who has been a fan favorite since he arrived – and winning a World Series didn’t hurt either.

But, if we have to part with AJ because he’s ultimately too expensive, I’ve come up with a step-by-step process to cope … you know, the five stages of grieving.

  1. Denial – AJ can’t leave. He can’t. He’ll be back, right? Kenny, Jerry and Rick wouldn’t do this to us. They wouldn’t. AJ is here to stay.
  2. Anger – “Oh come on, you can shell out ridiculous amounts of money for Jake Peavy and Adam Dunn, but not AJ? AJ was here before all of them! Does the last seven years mean nothing to you, Kenny? Jerry? Rick? AM I TALKING TO MYSELF!?”
  3. Bargaining – If you re-sign AJ, I will attend every home game. Or can we just get rid of people who rarely play as opposed to AJ who have caught the 30th most innings of all-time. We better at least bring him back as a broadcaster for the team.
  4. Depression – AJ … please don’t go. You can’t go.
  5. Acceptance – Well, I didn’t want Buehrle to go and didn’t think I’d survive that instance, but I did because I was able to acknowledge the talent of Peavy and Chris Sale and it turned out okay. If we can do it once, we can do it again.

I am no expert when it comes to the intricacies of the baseball contract and how these things work. What I do know, however, is that if AJ leaves, it will be a difficult adjustment for White Sox fans. Flowers is not exactly the most consistent hitter and hasn’t started much, but the talent is there. If the GM believes in him, we should believe in him at least for a while.

With the Yankees and their seemingly bottomless pit of money showing interest in AJ, the outlook does not seem to favor the White Sox. But with a player that’s been so integral to the White Sox for so long, it’s hard not to have hope.

Posted by GSB! Contributor, Reva Friedel