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White Sox great A.J. Pierzynski gives his take on the team, new MLB rules

White Sox great A.J. Pierzynski gives his take on the team, new MLB rules
White Sox great A.J. Pierzynski gives his take on the team, new MLB rules 03:18

CHICAGO (CBS) – A.J. Pierzynski helped the White Sox win the 2005 World Series and he was back to throw out the first pitch for Monday's home opener.

CBS 2's Joe Donlon spoke with him about what the start of the season means to the players.

Donlon: "How many opening days were you a part of? You played for a lot of teams, and what did opening day mean to you as a player?"

Pierzynski: "I mean I'd have to count … I know I'm over 10. Yeah, it was a lot. You know opening days at home are more special. When you get that home opener, just to have everyone, you get to see everybody again that you missed all offseason and connect with them or reconnect with the fans. Those are what mean the most. When you take the field for the first time and they introduce you and the crowd gives you the salute, that's what it's all about. That's why you play and that's what means the most."

Donlon: "How do the Sox look this year to you?"

Pierzynski: "They looked great the first four games. They look different. They look energized. The defense definitely improved. I think their starting pitching is going to be good. The lineup looked good. I mean they went to Houston and split, which is a big deal. That team is really good. So to win two of the four there when they're all jacked up and they get their World Series rings, that was a big deal and they looked good. I'm excited to watch them all year."

Donlon: "So you were a catcher. I'm wondering what you think of the new rules changes, especially the pitch clock."

Pierzynski: "The more the merrier. The quicker the better."

Donlon: "You like it?"

Pierzynski: "Oh, absolutely, because you can put pressure on the hitter. [Former White Sox pitcher] Mark Buehrle would be one of the best. He put pressure on the hitters. So as a pitcher and defense, if you can put pressure on the hitters, they have to speed up. As a hitter, you're trying to slow the game down. As a pitcher and a catcher, you're trying to speed the game up for them."

Donlon: "You're throwing out the first pitch today."

Pierzynski: "I am."

Donlon: "And you have something special for Sox Charities going?"

Pierzynski: "I do yeah. We decided, because they asked me to throw out the first pitch, I wanted to give back to the White Sox and the White Sox community so I asked [Executive Director of White Sox Charities] Christine O'Reilly-Riordan what we could do and we came up with, I'm new on social media. So every follower I get, is $1 toward Sox Charities up to $25,000 and I'm up to about 15,000, so we're going to do a check presentation here before the game and give money back to White Sox Charities and the community for supporting me and for all the support they game me as a player."

Donlon: "What did it mean for you to play here?"

Pierzynski: "I loved it here. People always ask 'What was your favorite place?' Chicago by far. The fans were always behind me no matter what, good days, bad days. I could count on the people that were here, the fans to cheer you, to express their support and just have your back."

Donlon: "There was that World Series too, wasn't it?"

Pierzynski: "Yeah I mean that helped a little bit. But of course, you win a World Series in a place, that definitely helps. Still, even when I would come here as a visitor, I always loved coming here as a visitor and getting to play here for eight years and enjoying my time. It's a special, special place."

Pierzynski took some time out to talk to CBS 2 from preparing for his podcast called "Foul Territory."

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