Chicago Tribune

By: Luis Arroyave

Before I could ask A.J. Pierzynski a question at the White Sox Celebrity Server event on Thursday, the Sox catcher — dressed in a black Texas de Brazil vest — had a question for me: “Want me to make you a drink?” asked Pierzynski at Texas de Brazil (51 East Ohio Street). I don’t normally drink on the job, but I accepted just so I could watch Pierzynski channel his inner Sam Malone at the White Sox charities fundraiser. How did the drink taste? Well, if this was college or a wedding, I would’ve only ordered drinks from Pierzynski the rest of the night. “It’s a caipirinha,” he said matter-of-factly after asking a restaurant employee what the drink was called. “It’s the specialty drink of the house. It goes down real smooth.” I’m not sure “smooth” is the word I’d use. But in Pierzynski’s defense, he did have one of the bigger responsibilities among the seven participating Sox players. While pitcher Matt Thornton stood behind the desserts table with nothing to do and first baseman Paul Konerko simply told guests “Try the Brazilian sausage, it’s really good” at the meats table, Pierzynski poured drinks. “I really wanted to carry around the meat and serve it at people’s tables,” Pierzynski said, “but they wouldn’t let me wear the bowtie.” Pierzynski said it was the players’ wives and White Sox staff who came up with the idea to have players serve guests at the fundraiser. Not only did White Sox charities benefit from ticket sales ($100 per person), but also the tip boxes stationed at each player’s table. When asked who the worst tipper is on the team, Pierzynski responded “Thornton, Konerko and (J.J.) Putz are the cheapest guys I’ve ever met (but) Thornton by far. Without a doubt.” Ironically, when asked who the best tipper is on the team, Thornton, a former waiter, responded, “A.J. – he takes care of people.”

Friday, July 9, 2010