Today was like any other Thursday in my life. It was one of my days off, so I was just hanging out in my house. I cleared out the shows from my DVR that I hadn’t watched, I did some dishes, I found something to make for dinner. Just a typical Thursday.
Then I got a text message from my boyfriend at 4:36 p.m.: “AJ close to one year deal with Texas, according to Rosenthal.”
My heart sank. Tears started falling, and then I saw it become more widely reported on Twitter. This is the end.
My love for AJ has been well-documented here and elsewhere. You’ve all heard about how much I adore him and why I adore him. I won’t rehash it here. I could write this long-winded ode to everything AJ Pierzynski, but it won’t be any different from what I’ve written before.
I’ve spent a lot of the offseason, wondering and worrying where AJ would go. I hoped he would stay here, but I knew that there was a possibility that he would be leaving. I heard various places: Yankees, Rangers, Dodgers. I followed this story like my life depended on it.
When the news broke, my Twitter mentions blew up with concern from my followers. They all know how much AJ means to me too. It’s kind of funny that when people hear AJ Pierzynski news, they all turn to me.
But now it’s the end of an era. AJ Pierzynski is on his way to Arlington to play for the Rangers. And they’re getting one hell of a player.
His numbers make him look kind of average. A lifetime .284 hitter with 155 home runs and an OPS of .753. Statistically average. But it’s more than just numbers that make AJ the player he is. The way he handles a pitching staff, the way he aggravates opposing teams. I can’t list all the ways AJ is valuable to a team. It’s something you notice when you watch him play over time. I can only hope he keeps playing the way I’ve watched him play, even though it will be in Texas.
On August 23, AJ will be back in Chicago with the Rangers. I, for one, will give him a standing ovation, either in the ballpark or in my living room.
Thank you for everything, AJ. For playing in a way that made me fall in love with the sport, for giving my favorite team everything you had for seven years, and for changing my life by making me love baseball. I wish you nothing but the best, and I hope you make Rangers fans as proud as you have made me as a White Sox fan. I owe you more than I could ever repay. Best of luck, and I will miss you terribly.