Friday, February 17, 2012

Go Easy On A.J.!

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According to the AP, the A.J. Burnett Era in the Bronx is over!

The New York Yankees have officially traded the struggling pitcher to the Pittsburgh Pirates for, pretty much, whatever they can get. And oh yeah, the Yankees will have to eat $20 million of the $33 million still owed Burnett over the next 2 years. The Pirates only need to cough up the remaining $13 million.

Burnett's contract with the Yanks was for $82.5 million over 5 years, so if we do the math, the Yankees will pay him $69.5 million for a 34-35, 4.79 ERA stint in New York. It's safe to say, NOT GOOD for that kind of loot.

However--

In A.J.'s defense, he did have two of the most crucial wins in recent Yankee playoff history. His win in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series was astronomical after Cliff Lee had taken all the air out of the Bronx Bombers in Game 1. In Game 2, Burnett out-dueled Pedro Martinez in a 3-1 Yankee win which shifted the momentum back to New York en route to their 27th world championship.

And in the 2011 ALDS, down 2-1 to the Detroit Tigers, Burnett saved the day by winning Game 4 and sending the series to a decisive Game 5. The Yankees would go on to lose Game 5 to the Tigers but Burnett came thru with some big-time clutch pitching in Game 4 to help the Yankees live to fight another day.

So even though poor A.J. will be run out of town as "public enemy #1" by the take-no-prisoners Yankee fans, I think those two shining moments he had in pinstripes are worth mentioning.

Personally, I'm still a fan of the tattooed and eccentric dude. My only question is-- who will (now) be the "pie man" when the Yankees get a dramatic walk-off win?

NY Daily News

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