Pierzynski still enjoys playing the villain at Wrigley

Pierzynski still enjoys playing the villain at Wrigley
April 17, 2013, 9:30 pm
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A.J. Pierzynski looked out at the rooftop building on Sheffield Avenue and felt like order had been restored in Wrigleyville.

If Pierzynski isn’t going to be here in a black-and-white White Sox uniform taunting fans, at least there’s the blue “Eamus Catuli” sign marking how many years it’s been since the Cubs won the division, pennant and World Series.

“I’m just happy they put the sign back up in right-center field,” Pierzynski said. “I’m not going to lie. Last year they took it down and I was really disappointed because I always liked looking at that sign.”

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The new Texas Rangers catcher didn’t get booed on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, but that was because the storm postponed the game. He heard it the night before, the same way Ozzie Guillen did with the Miami Marlins last season, when he pointed to where he wears his 2005 World Series ring.

“That was my favorite sign,” Pierzynski said. “They brought it back up for old time’s sake, so I’m proud.

“How long it’s been since they’ve won…what? 104 (years) now? It’s still going.”

There will be the lasting image of Michael Barrett punching Pierzynski, and Cubs-Sox just won’t be the same next month without someone who enjoyed being the villain and playing up his WWE persona.

“Especially when I first got here, the Cubs were really good,” Pierzynski said. “It was really fun to play in those games. Everyone expected something special to happen. Most of the time, it involved something (with me). People were just waiting for something to happen.

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“The fans here have always been great to me. They boo and they yell and stuff, but they never cross the line here. They’ve always been very cordial and very fun. I expect nothing less.”

Pierzynski’s got a one-year, $7.5 million deal with the Rangers, and the Cubs view Welington Castillo as a long-term answer behind the plate. But Pierzynski wouldn’t rule out the idea of one day playing on the North Side.

“Sure, I mean, why not?” Pierzynski said. “If they needed a catcher and I was out there, sure.”

No one ever envisioned Mark Buehrle in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform either, and Pierzynski recently got in touch with Paul Konerko to ask what it was like to face the old teammate.

This time Pierzynski thanked new teammate Lance Berkman for taking the heat: “I’m just happy Lance said what he said so he can get some of that instead of me.”

As the negotiations for the Wrigley Field renovation plan drag out, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram quoted Berkman as saying: “If they’re looking for a guy to push the button when they blow the place up, I’ll do it.”

Berkman has been giving great quotes like that for years now after all those trips to Clark and Addison with the St. Louis Cardinals.

“I understand what he’s saying, because it is a bit of an outdated facility, but now they’re trying to update it,” Pierzynski said. “Once you get on the field, it’s a pretty cool place to play. You’ll look up and see all the fans and the rooftops. It is a special place with the nostalgia and the history.”

Maybe Pierzynski can parachute in for the Lakeview community meetings to make sure that all the new signs don’t block his view of “Eamus Catuli.”