Big League Stew - MLB

It looks like we can strike "Secret Service agent" from the list of possible post-baseball gigs for Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski(notes).

Clint Eastwood's "Frank Horrigan," Pierzynski was decidedly not during Monday night's 4-0 loss to the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas. Placed in the line of fire on a sixth-inning foul pop-up by Adrian Beltre(notes), Pierzynski was unable to make the play as the ball came crashing down into the owners box containing former President George W. Bush, team president Nolan Ryan and their wives.

The ball bounced without harming anyone but I mean, still, A.J ... their lives were in your hands, Dude! (Everyone together now: "This is our concern, Dude.")

In Pierzynski's defense, the play was a difficult can of corn to haul in as he had to wrap himself around the protective screen in order to even make an attempt. And it wasn't until the play was over that he realized the play had put him in a prime position to hail the chief.

From the Associated Press:

"Obviously, I knew (the former president) was there," Pierzynski said. "When I saw the ball go up, I actually thought I had a chance to catch it. I was going to reach around. I needed about another foot and then I realized I almost jumped in the president's lap. It was funny. I had Nolan Ryan and George W. Bush sitting within 5 feet of each other." [...]

"I told him just 'cause he was the president doesn't mean I wouldn't jump on top of him [...] He and his wife got a good chuckle out of it. It was a light moment."

A light moment indeed, and another memory that President Bush — who used to the own the Rangers in his pre-presidential days — can paste into his scrapbook of recent baseball memories. There was the first pitch before Game 4 of last year's World Series, taking in another game with Jim Nantz and his opening day pitch to start the 2009 season.

Nolan Ryan, however, looked like he could put Pierzynski into a headlock after the ball almost hit Ruth Ryan (that's her wearing red in the screencap above).


"Calmer than you are, dude."

Only kidding, of course. That's Ryan's famous face from the Rangers' infamous collapse during Game 1 of last year's ALCS against the New York Yankees. During the real play, Ryan made a slapping attempt to shield the three other flinching patrons in the owner's box, but also failed.

Better strike him from that Secret Service list, too.

Big BLS H/N: Eye On Baseball for the screencap

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