Pierzynski joins FOX for playoff coverage

Pierzynski joins FOX for playoff coverage

Pierzynski joins FOX for playoff coverage
CHICAGO -- A.J. Pierzynski has rarely been at a loss for words or solid baseball analysis during his seven-year tenure with the White Sox. His pointed commentary and assessments come in good times and bad for the South Siders.

Those skills will be put to good use by the durable and talented catcher during his next gig, which is an off-the-field assignment. Pierzynski is joining FOX Sports as a pregame and postgame analyst for coverage of the 2011 American League Championship Series and the World Series.

Host Chris Rose, fellow analyst Eric Karros and Pierzynski will be live on-site for every postseason broadcast on FOX. Pierzynski will make his debut on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT, when the network presents exclusive live coverage of Game 1 of the ALCS.

His first destination has yet to be decided, with both Texas and Tampa Bay and the Yankees and Tigers entering Monday tied at one game apiece in their respective Division Series.

"Nothing beats the intensity of playing in the playoffs and World Series," said Pierzynski, in a statement released by FOX Sports on Monday to announce his addition to the broadcast. "But if I can't be a part of the action on-field, joining the MLB on FOX team is the next best thing.

"Everyone knows that I'm not one to hold back. So I'm looking forward to watching this season's best teams compete this October, and giving fans my honest opinion about their performance."

During this past season, Pierzynski made his first trip to the disabled list in a 14-year career during which he has hit .284 with 128 homers and 658 RBIs. Pierzynski fractured a bone in his left wrist when he was hit by a Bruce Chen pitch on Aug. 12, but returned with the fracture still healing to extend his streak with at least 1,000 innings caught to 10 straight seasons.

"It's something special for me, personally and professionally, that I can hang my hat on," said Pierzynski of his iron-man streak behind the plate. "It says I was able to run out there for 10 years every day, putting in the time on and off the field."

Aside from this consistent on-field work, Pierzynski has ventured into the world of TNA Wrestling. He has served as both a fan favorite and a heel during his entertaining work with White Sox Minor League conditioning coordinator Dale Torborg, who wrestles under the name "The Demon."

Monday's announcement about Pierzynski was made by Scott Ackerson, executive vice president/coordinating pregame/studio producer of FOX Sports Media Group.

"A.J. is intelligent, engaging and candid -- with a bit of an edge -- every attribute we look for in an analyst," said Ackerson of the White Sox starting catcher for the 2005 World Series champions. "He has 14 years of experience at the Major League level, and he himself has had tremendous success in postseason play.

"We're confident he'll provide our audience contemporary insight and will be a major asset to our broadcasts."

In 30 career postseason games, Pierzynski has a .300 average (30-for-100), which includes five doubles, five home runs, 17 RBIs and 16 runs scored.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Being Ozzie Guillen, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.