‘Did a pitcher get a save while drunk?
It’s a question that’s been making the rounds in local baseball circles, with allegations that it actually happened in the US Major League Baseball World Series.
Former All-Star catcher A. J. Pierzynski (47-retired), who played in the Major Leagues for 19 years, told the US online publication Foul Territory on Wednesday (12 June) that he once pitched drunk in the World Series.
According to Pierzynski, the incident occurred on 25 October 2005 in Houston during Game 3 of the Chicago White Sox-Houston World Series, which went to 14 extra innings. The White Sox scored two runs in the top of the 14th inning to take a 7-5 lead, but soon found themselves with runners on second and third in the bottom of the inning.
Mark Burley (44-retired) came on in relief. Burley, who had previously started Game 2 of the World Series and allowed four runs in seven scoreless innings, was back on the mound just two days later and got Adam Everett to fly out to shortstop on three pitches to earn the save. Riding a three-game winning streak, the White Sox went on to win Game 4 to clinch the World Series for the first time in 88 years.
Pierzynski, who started the game as the White Sox’s starting catcher and was replaced in the ninth inning, said, “At that point, Burley was drunk on the mound. He wasn’t just drunk, he was full drunk,” Pierzynski said of the situation.
“Starting pitchers never drink on the day they pitch,” he continued. But it’s different for the guys in the bullpen,” he said, adding, “What do you do when you’re sitting in the bullpen for a four-hour game,” suggesting that on-field drinking was not uncommon for bullpen pitchers at the time.
Burley, who made his major league debut in 2000 with the White Sox, is a legendary pitcher who compiled a 214-160 record in 16 years in the big leagues before retiring in 2015 with Toronto. He was also a five-time All-Star pitcher. He won 16 regular-season games in 2005, the year he earned the “Drinking Save,” and posted double-digit wins in 15 consecutive years from 2001 to his retirement season. 안전놀이터
While non-pitching beasts in Major League Baseball don’t openly drink alcohol, there have been cases of chewing tobacco mixed with whiskey. One South American player who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their heyday was known to mix honey and whiskey in his chewing tobacco before a game, the first thing he would do in the clubhouse after putting on his uniform.
To a reporter who looked at him curiously at the time, he laughed and explained the process. First, the chewing tobacco is unwrapped and a certain amount of honey is squeezed out of a plastic tub. He then looks around and adds a miniature whisky that they give out on aeroplanes when no one is looking, mixes it up with a spoon, pops it in his mouth, and is ready to play that day. We don”t know what his blood alcohol level was at the time, but it was a real “drinking game”.