MINNEAPOLIS -- A.J. Pierzynski remembers walking into SoxFest for the first time in January 2005, shortly after signing on as a free agent, turning to his wife, Lisa, and talking about how weird he felt seeing all the White Sox stuff around.
After all, Pierzynski had spent three seasons as the Twins' everyday catcher, doing everything he could to take down the White Sox and help Minnesota win the American League Central. Suddenly, his enemy had become his employer.
That same feeling will be dealt with by Francisco Liriano on Tuesday night, when he makes his first start for the White Sox at Target Field, against a Twins team which gave him the baseball for 156 appearances and 130 starts. With one phone call late Saturday night, Liriano moved from the bottom of the division to the top and to the team that was the victim of his only no-hitter.
"I haven't been thinking about [Tuesday's start] because I don't want to get too excited, too nervous," said Liriano, who met with the media prior to Monday's series opener with the Twins. "I'm going to go out there and do my job and help the team win some games.
"It feels weird. I faced the White Sox so many times. But there's nothing I can do about it. Just do my job and try to fit in."
Pierzynski planned to talk with Liriano after Monday's game and before Tuesday's contest about what he likes to do and how he likes to pitch. The two players who once were traded for each other prior to the 2004 season now will be forming a battery for the White Sox against the franchise with which they first found fame.
"He's had some success. I know that. He's been an All-Star," said Pierzynski. "He's thrown a no-hitter against us. He's been really good so we'll try to focus on the positives and hopefully bring that out of him. Hopefully, we get the dominant left-handed pitcher like we've seen him be before."