FORT MYERS, Fla. — A.J. Pierzynski and Johnny Manziel are a lot alike in that they are two very polarizing athletes. It makes sense, then, that Pierzynski is pulling for Manziel, who dropped by Boston Red Sox spring training on Saturday.
“Obviously, he’s a great player,” Pierzynski said. “Me being an SEC guy and him being an SEC guy, I root for those guys. I know I liked watching him play. I liked the way he played because he was an amazing player. I think he’ll do good if he’s given the right opportunity. He should be a heck of an NFL guy.”
Manziel, who recently chose to be represented by Fenway Sports Management, soaked up batting practice and situational drills at JetBlue Park on Saturday while donning a No. 2 home Red Sox jersey. Pierzynski, signed over the offseason, saw his first action in a Red Sox uniform at Hammond Stadium, where Boston fell to Minnesota 6-2 in Grapefruit League action.
Pierzynski, like Manziel, has a reputation of being someone who fans either love or hate, so it’s interesting to hear his take on Johnny Football, especially as the Texas A&M quarterback prepares for the upcoming NFL draft. Pierzynski even tossed out one crazy scenario, although the Red Sox catcher quickly made it abundantly clear that he was only kidding around.
“Maybe (Manziel will) come take over for Tom Brady (in New England),” Pierzynski said. “I’m joking. I’m joking. I’m joking.”