As I write this, it’s about 2 PM on Thursday afternoon. We’re, apparently, in the final 24 hours of the Yankee career of one A.J. Burnett. While ditching Burnett for some small return will likely make the Yankees a bit better in 2012, I’m still not wild about the deal. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be devastated if Burnett isn’t in the Bronx anymore, but I won’t be skipping down Grand Concourse singing victory songs either.
Perhaps this is a bit of bias. I know that A.J. Burnett has not been an effective starter for most of the last two seasons, but I always liked the guy. I thought he was a good teammate and a fine competitor. Though the results weren’t always great, Burnett took the ball every five days (which was probably the most shocking thing during his tenure with the Yankees, considering his previous injury history) without complaint. There were times, of course, when I was cringing along with all of you, but I still had a soft spot for A.J. the man, even if I soured a lot on A.J. the pitcher. I was excited when he first signed and defended him at his lowest moments.
As I write this and digest, I guess I won’t miss A.J.’s pitching all THAT much. His starts were certainly maddening to watch, if only for the fact that the stuff usually didn’t match the results. Still, you always held out hope for the occasional gem and he was fun at times and he was never a bad guy. The Yankees may not have gotten exactly what they wanted out of Burnett and I’m fully aware of that, but like I do most of the time, I rooted for the laundry. If you’re gone soon, A.J., I’ll miss you. Thanks for Game 2 of the 2009 World Series and all the pies.
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