Ten years ago today, the fifth-place Chicago Cubs played the first-place Chicago White Sox, lost 7-0, and gave us one of the most purely satisfying moments in baseball history, when catcher Michael Barrett responded to A.J. Pierzynski running right over him at home plate even though he didn’t even have the ball by punching Pierzysnki right in the goddamn face:
Few people have ever been more punchable than Pierzynski, who, aside from being famously loathsome, has a face that just cries out for punching. Watching Barrett hit him right in the goddamn face was everything anyone who ever wanted to do so could have hoped for.
One of the best things about Barrett hitting Pierzynski in the face was that photographers caught Pierzynski making a blank, dopey expression even as Barrett’s righteous fist was coming directly at his face.
All these years later, Pierzynski is, inexplicably, still playing in the major leagues. No one who has seen him play in the last 10 years has looked at him and thought about anything other than the feeling they had when they watched him get punched right in the goddamn face.