Are you entertained? Pierzynski launches new show

March 20th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Scott Merkin’s White Sox Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A.J Pierzynski is an entertaining person and extremely knowledgeable where Major League Baseball is concerned.

Wait, let me think about the first part of that sentence. No, no, I’ll stick with entertaining.

So, it wasn’t a surprise when I heard the former White Sox catcher, who was an integral part of the 2005 White Sox World Series championship, now is a part of a new program called “Foul Territory.” The independent live baseball digital show allows the FOX analyst to be a little less structured and have a little more freedom while talking about his sporting passion.

“Yeah, I’m having fun with it,” Pierzynski said during a recent interview. “It’s kind of a new thing. Now talk to me in a year and hopefully it’s the same feeling. I think it will be, just because the one good thing about baseball, where it’s different than a lot of other sports, is it’s every day.

“Once the season starts, we will have something to talk about every day. Somebody is going to do something. Someone is going to do something crazy or funny or dumb or some play is going to happen, and you can dissect anything for 30 minutes if you really want to. It’s pretty easy to do.”

“Foul Territory” runs five days a week, with Pierzynski on Monday through Thursday with Scott Braun and Erik Kratz. Todd Frazier and Adam Jones, two interesting and accomplished former players, also are part of the lineup, with Jason Kipnis, Brock Holt and Lorenzo Cain as guest hosts.

“I’m sure I’m leaving somebody out,” Pierzynski said. “But a bunch of guys that just know a lot of people, just like to have fun. It keeps me involved with the FOX games I do and keeps me involved where I have to pay attention to what’s going on. I like talking baseball and talking to the players and the people involved.”

One obvious avenue is talking about the respective teams with the respective guests. But the show goes deeper than just on-field results, with a focus on getting to know players.

“We’ll go wherever they lead us,” Pierzynski said. “If they want to talk about the new rules, we’ll talk about that.

“If they want to talk about their Instagram page or their dog, we’ll go there. It’s just a free-flowing conversation with players to let people know they are more than just robots and baseball players. They are human beings.”

The new show brought Pierzynski to Twitter at @aj_pierzynskiFT, which made me chuckle heartily because he’s not exactly a social media supporter. It’s a topic we can discuss, along with University of Michigan football, when I get a chance to go on the show.

“Listen, Twitter is a valuable tool. So is Instagram and all those social media platforms,” Pierzynski said. “I just don’t like people knowing what I’m doing in my life. I don’t need the ‘I’m going to this place’ or ‘I’m at this place’ or ‘at dinner at this place.’ It just seems unnecessary for me.

“For news and other things with occupational stuff, I get it. I understand why people use it. There’s a lot of information out there.”