Monday, February 20, 2012

Did The Yankees Sneaky Diss A.J. On His Way Out? (And My Final Words On A.J.)

Check out the A.J.-specific section of the Yankees' press release on the trade:

"Burnett, 35, was signed by the Yankees as a free agent on December 18, 2008, to a five-year contract. In his three seasons with the club, he went 34-35 with a 4.79 ERA (584.0IP, 311ER) in 99 games (98 starts). His 58 wild pitches recorded during his three-year stint with the Yankees (2009-11) were the most for any Major League pitcher over a three-season span since Tony Cloninger threw 62 wild pitches from 1964 through 1966, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

He posted an 11-11 record with a 5.15 ERA (190.1IP, 109ER) in 33 appearances (32GS) with the Yankees in 2011, setting career-highs in home runs allowed (31) and tying a career-high in earned runs allowed, while ranking first with a franchise-record 25 wild pitches – the most by any Major League pitcher in a single season since the start of the 2000s and the fifth most since 1900."

Fuckin' A, man.  Talk about a kick in the ass on the way out the door, huh?  Just skipping the World Series in 2009 and jumping straight to the wild pitches?  That's cold.  And then they follow it up with a more detailed breakdown of his 2011 mediocrity, making sure to mention the HR allowed, touching on the ER allowed, and just in case you forgot about them from the last paragraph, getting right back to the wild pitches.  The all-time high number of wild pitches.  I can't say I recall an instance where the Yankees felt it necessary to discuss a player's shortcomings during his time in pinstripes when issuing a press release confirming he was no longer a member of the team. 

And now my goodbye to A.J.  As a guy who bagged on him constantly and was always expecting the worst from him, I'm happy to see him go.  I don't really give a damn about somebody being a good guy in the clubhouse and a hard worker when the results aren't there to back it up, especially with pitchers.  And A.J. was not a good pitcher while he was with the Yankees.  That's how I feel, that's how I'm going to feel, and nobody is going to talk me out of that.  I'm not going to miss him at all, I would have hated if he was on the team this year, and after this post I am never mentioning him on this site again.  But the Yankees almost certainly don't win the 2009 World Series without him, and I'll never forget that World Series.  That also means I'll never forget about A.J.  I was nervous as hell for Game 2 and he sacked up and got it done.  For that I'll always be grateful, and for that I say good to luck you in Pittsburgh, A.J.  I truly do hope you have success there.

(Bon voyage, A.J. Two-Face.)


Pastor Mikeman said...

Can't argue with any of it. But I think we have to admit up front that the Yankees, for all of their high hopes for AJ when they signed him, knew that they were signing a career .500 pitcher and to expect more out of him than that was wishful thinking. Basically, the Yankees got what they paid for plus a WS title and that was worth the money they ended up eating when they sent him on his way.

Brad V. said...

You hit the nail on the head with that last statement, Pastor. The ring makes all the BS worth it.

But I think the Yankees were expecting more out of A.J. when they signed him. Misguided as those intentions may have been, most likely based off of him having a few good outings against them as a Blue Jay, I think they believed they were getting a #2-#3 starter and that's where they went wrong.