The baseball season is certainly off to an unethical start.
In Tuesday’s game between the Blue Jays and White Sox, Toronto pitcher Ricky Romero’s gestating no-hitter was aborted in the 8th inning in part because of some deceptive play-acting by ChiSox catcher A. J. Pierzynski. Every era has one player who acquires a reputation for being tricky, a.k.a. “dirty,” and Pierzynski is the current title holder. When he came to bat against Romero, the catcher with the unspellable name took advantage of a pitch that bounced in the dirt near him to hop up and down as if his widdle toe had a ball-induced boo-boo. Incredibly (for even the White Sox announcers were chatting about how obvious it was that the ball hadn’t touched A. J., noting that he wasn’t even hopping on the most plausibly injured foot), home umpire Tim McClelland stood by silently as Pierzynski trotted to first base. Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston protested to no avail, and, not for the first time, A. J. Pierzynski had stolen first base. Now Romero had to pitch from the stretch rather than a wind-up, and the no-hitter (and the shut-out) was no-history seconds later, as Toronto’s Alex Rios hit a home run.