NYSS - An Abortion of New York Sports Journalism

Origin of A.J Burnett's Pie in the Face Routine

Trading quips on the eve of our fantasy matchup this week, my opponent Matt, suggested that his pitcher A.J. Burnett (who's on a 2 start week) will be "pied in the face" at the end of each triumphant victory. Subsequently catapulting his team to victory and ensuring that mine continues to anguish among the slop suckers and cellar dwellers.

In case you've been living under a rock (I just socked myself for using that cliché) the "Pie in the Face" routine refers to when a baseball player was instrumental in his teams victory - typically after he gets a hit in his last at bat to win the game. When the pieing occurs, it is usually when that heroic player is being interviewed by a TV person in a post game interview.

Personally, I think that this practice of shenaniganism is exhausting and predictable. The novelty value at first was worth keeping the television on during the insufferable post game interview, but then it grew as old and tired as the players hackneyed response to the "how does this feel to hit a walk off home run?"

I wanted to know the origin of this embarrassing yet congratulatory
event. The actual first pie in the face was in 1909 by Mr. Flip who was known for short slapstick comedy gags where he essentially gets chumped after annoying someone for 30 seconds or so. Here is what I believe to be the first ever pie on camera.

But that only wet my appetite for pie related historical knowledge, I had an insatiable craving for more. Particualry how A.J Burnett got involved. According to Will Leitch, the baseball tradition originated May of 2009, during the weekend of walk-off wins against the Twins. Alex Rodriguez was the first victim after a game winning home run and then Johnny Damon was next the following day.

Pieing has spread all over the east coast as Angel Pagan of the Mets and Shane Doucherino for the Phillies have been known to pie. Future Mets Torturer Stephen Strasburg also got pied after his impressive 14 strikeout MLB debut.

The white substance is usually shaving cream although A.J. respects his slapstick elders by keeping it whipped cream. There is no tin or crust unfortunately. Just a white towel and a uncanny ability to reach around that he likely developed after years of practice. Why Does A.J Pie you might wonder? Apparently, when in Toronto Burnett said, “Matt Stairs got me in Toronto with the Gatorade cooler, I was doing an on-field interview. I got orange Gatorade all over me.”

Yup that makes sense. I hope you enjoyed this pie article.

Best Pie in NYC
Head nod to NY Times, New York Magazine and Wiki

Views: 3057

Tags: aj burnett, face, pie, reach around, yankees


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Comment by Dan on June 22, 2010 at 9:30am
Comment by pops on June 22, 2010 at 9:27am
After last night's fiasco, Burnett should pie himself BEFORE he pitches.

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