So AJ signed a 1 year, 7.5 million dollar deal with Texas a few days ago.  Cannot believe the Sox wouldn’t nut up and toss him a 1 year deal for 10 million or so; he’s coming off a career year and is the most durable catcher of the last decade.  The guy’s earned it.  I hate to see him go, and think Tyler Flowers is fucking terrible, so this has been really hard on me as well and a lot of Sox fans.  Mark it down – Josh Phegley will be starting by June.

Anyways, I think a big reason I loved him so much as a player was that I saw a lot of myself in him.  I played just like him back in my D3 days.  Savvy baserunning.  Shit talking.  Playing hungover 99 percent of games.  God damn I’m gonna miss that bastard.  It’s only a matter of time before him and the Hawkeroo are teaming up in the booth together.  So without further ado, here’s a list of AJ’s top 5 moments with the Sox.

5. AJ’s go ahead homerun against the Cubbies in 2006 Crosstown Classic at Wrigley

This may have only made the list because of “The Punch”.  AJ, in typical AJ fashion, hits a go ahead bomb off Ryan Dempster in the 9th.  Just rubbing the Cubs’ noses in it.

4. AJ’s walkoff homerun against the Dodgers in 2005

I was actually at this game, and experienced a great father/son bonding moment at it. I went with my dad and sat in our season ticket seats in section 158 right behind the Sox bullpen.  My dad had been buying me beers for me the whole game all up until the last call in the 7th.  I was just a young, supple 16 year old at the time.  After AJ’s bomb we exchanged high fives with everyone (and Man Soo Lee) and walked out to the car.  We had a good 15 minute argument about who would drive home cuz we’d both be over the limit.  Obviously I sucked it up and drove.  I tell this story to this day, and it’s all thanks to AJ.

3.  AJ’s two homeruns against Boston in game one of the 2005 ALDS

Guess who was at this game?  You guessed it, Whitesoxdave.  My buddy Scott and I bought the cheapest tickets we could find.  As soon as we got inside the Stadium, we knew we could sit in better seats, so we paid a young African American ticket taker like 10 bucks to let us walk passed him at the bottom of the Fundamentals Deck.  After we settled into our seats in the Fandeck, Scott and I had found yet another African American fellow who decided he didn’t need to card us for beer.  We took full advantage of this.  The Sox went on to win 14-2 thanks to AJ’s two bombs.  I went on to get a drinking ticket in the parking lot.

2.  “The Punch” in 2006 Crosstown Classic

This video is is the EPITOME of AJ, and this was when the Crosstown Classic was at it’s best.  The Cubs were a big laughing stock this year, (surprise surprise) and the Sox were on their way to another 90 win season.  And I know what you’re thinking – no, I wasn’t at this game.  I was at the game the next day.

1. The “Dropped Third Strike”

Holy shit was this playoff run magical, and AJ was the center of it all.  Did former Sox player Josh Paul drop the ball?  Probably not.  Did the umpire make one of the worst calls ever?  More than likely.  But AJ being AJ runs out the ball just in case and the Sox go on to win.  I still watch these videos and it really brings me back.  We’ll miss ya, AJ.