Players You Hate and Players Who Surprise You


I try and follow Joe Posnanski’s blog as religiously as possible because, well…the man is a great sportswriter and he’s a Royals fan as well, so it’s kind of a no-brainer. I read a recent post in June about the importance of having athletes you despise and taking every opportunity you can to root against them. For some reason it really resonated with me. This, and a series win over the White Sox earlier this week, has given me cause to muse on an athlete I ostensibly root against at all opportunities.

So in honor of Joe and his post on “clemenating” certain athletes while loving others, I’m conducting a fake interview with A.J. Pierzynski (who I love to hate) and Matt Treanor (who has pleasantly surprised me this season).


Everything below is entirely made up. Pierzynski and Treanor have way more important things to do than talk to me.

Ethan Evans: A.J.! How you doin’, Man?

A.J. Pierzynski: Oh, I’m okay I guess. Your boys gave us a little bruising last week, but I guess we’re still ahead in the standings….And I went 4-8 in the series. That’s not too shabby. *chuckles*

EE: Well, it’s tough being the best fans in baseball, but we try to take pride in the small things and take our lumps everywhere else.

A.J.: I don’t know about you guys being the best fans in baseball. The best fans are the ones that root for winning teams.

EE: Agree to disagree, Chump. Let’s segue into a little discussion about haircare.

A.J.: Ah, I know where this is going. You like the blonde locks, eh?

EE: Honestly A.J., I just have a hard time understanding why a grown man keeps insisting on bleaching his hair blonde.

A.J.: Ethan, in my line of work…well…it’s good to stand out from the pack. You have to ask yourself, “How can I make myself well-known?”

EE: I can’t say that trying to look circa 1999 is a way to make yourself well-known.

A.J.: To parrot yourself…”Agree to disagree.”

EE: I’m just saying that the last time that I remember it being cool to have bleached hair I was spending a lot of time at the skating rink trying to get girls to couple-skate with me while N’Sync played in the background.

A.J.: And I’m telling you, if you’d have bleached your hair, those girls would have been chasing after YOU! You’d have been a hot commodity.

EE: Golly, where were you 12 years ago, Dr. Love? Let’s move on. Tell me what it was like to participate in a spot for the W.W.E. with Bob Barker?

A.J.: Honestly, Ethan I gotta tell you….It was a blast. That man is a national treasure!

EE: FINALLY! Something we agree on! It was alway a dream of mine to get on Price is Right and get a shot at playing Plinko.

A.J.: Plinko is kind of a stupid game.

EE: And there’s the A.J. I know and love. What do you think about the people who stipulate that wrestling is all as fake as your hair color?

A.J.: Set me up pretty good there, huh? Well, I know for a FACT that wrestling is-

EE: Honestly, A.J., I don’t really care. I just wanted to make another joke about your hair.

A.J.: You think you’re pretty funny don’t you?

EE: I desperately try to have my moments. Let’s introduce our other guest we have today…Mr. Matt Treanor.

Matt Treanor: Ethan, it’s great to be here today. A.J., you’ve been a pretty good catcher for the White Sox over the past couple of years.

EE: He hasn’t been that good….mediocre at best.

A.J.: I’ve been that good.

EE: Matt, you’ve been kind of a guy that has snuck up on me this year. With Jason Kendall‘s return unknown at the beginning of this season, there was a little bit of a question mark as to how solidified our backstop might be. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Brayan Pena, but  he is largely unproven and I was a little nervous about having him as our everyday catcher. Then, lo and behold, we snap you up at the end of spring training and you come out and perform pretty adequately for us, at least in my opinion. Granted, you’re only batting about .220 this season, but your OBP is a full hundred and thirty-four points higher than your batting average at .354. Your OPS is also almost fifty points higher than Jason Kendall’s was at the end of the season last year. Now I know that we still have half a season to go, but I think you’ve come in and done a pretty good job. Anyone who talks to me knows how big of a sucker I am for players who can get on base. What’s your approach at the plate?

MT: I just try to be as patient as possible. What’s the difference between a walk and a single? I’m on base either way right?

EE: You’re preaching to the choir, Matt.

A.J.: You know, what you guys should have done was make a trade for me at the beginning of the season. Career statline: .285/.324/.746…..You wanna talk about a little pop out of the catcher’s position? I’ve got some pop for ya.

EE: A.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. not. I I never want to feel like I have to root for you. I’ll gladly take Michael Barrett as a bench player though. We can pinch-hit him just so he can punch you in the face.

A.J.: That was a sucker punch and you know it.

EE: Whatever helps you sleep at night. Matt, let’s talk about your greatest achievement as an athlete in your career thus far.

MT: What would that be?

EE: It’s undoubtedly your marriage to Misty May-Treanor. How in the world did you pull that off?

MT: That’s too long of a story for us to go over here.

EE: Not a problem my friend…but kudos.

MT: Who’s a female athlete crush that you’ve had Ethan?….and don’t say my wife.

EE:….Hmmm, I’m going to have to say Danica Patrick.

MT: You like the lady race-car drivers huh?

EE: Well, yeah. Also she could drive me around everywhere. I’m really lazy when it comes to driving. We could have that Morgan Freeman/Jessica Tandy thing from “Driving Miss Daisy” going on. Except Danica’s a lot prettier than Morgan Freeman.

A.J.: You’re kind of a weird dude, aren’t you?

EE: It’s not my fault that you’re a tool and have no respect for the cinema.


Thanks for letting me have the chance to mock Pierzynski. I know you all have athletes that you loathe as well. Share them with me. I love commiserating. On a very different but equally important note: Be sure to watch the All-Star game and root for Aaron Crow. I’ve been hearing so much the past few weeks from Royals fans about how little he’s proved and how little he deserves to be there. Guess what? He may not have spent a lot of time in the majors and it’s probably pretty unlikely that he’ll even get to play on Tuesday, but he deserves the support of his hometown fans. He’s a guy who’s been pretty good for a rookie and we as fans should always back up our boys.

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