• Ugly Divorce Cause Of A.J. Burnett’s Issues?

    Posted by on December 15th, 2010 · Comments (36)

    Via Mike Silva today -

    “Colin Coward on Burnett divorce The stories are ugly. Wife was vindictive and spiteful. Think of worst divorce you’ve heard and double it”

    I guess this might explain the black eye and poor 2010 season.

    As someone who knows a little about how this stuff goes I am not surprised Burnett struggled. Divorce is right up there with death in terms of how it impacts an individual.

    My best goes to Burnett and hopefully everything turns out well for both parties.

    I wonder if Kate Hudson likes tattoos?

    Comments on Ugly Divorce Cause Of A.J. Burnett’s Issues?

    1. G.I. Joey
      December 15th, 2010 | 1:18 pm

      I’ve always suspected that she was the one who popped him in the eye.

    2. jrk
      December 15th, 2010 | 1:20 pm

      I wonder if Kate Hudson likes tattoos?

      LOL.

    3. Evan3457
      December 15th, 2010 | 1:28 pm

      …then this would be another reason to believe AJ will do better in 2011. How much better, who knows?

      But he just enduredn the worst (healthy) season of his career, and the odds of improving on it must be at least 90%, while the odds of significant improvement are likely in the 50-60% range.

      I would guess the odds of improving back to his usual career norms are about 1 in 3.

    4. Corey Italiano
      December 15th, 2010 | 1:40 pm

      Think we all saw this one written on the wall.

    5. #15
      December 15th, 2010 | 2:50 pm

      @ jrk:
      Beat me to it. Exactly my thought. http://www.katehudsontotherescue

    6. #15
      December 15th, 2010 | 2:52 pm

      I remember that a messy divorce screwed up Knobby too.

    7. MJ Recanati
      December 15th, 2010 | 3:09 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      @ Corey Italiano:
      @ #15:
      How does a divorce take away 1mph on your fastball, the bite on your breaking pitch and take away 1.5 K/9?

      I agree that Burnett may bounce back and I agree that part of his issues may have been personal problems at home. But I don’t think that was the only thing going on last year. He showed signs of age-related decline, if you ask me.

    8. December 15th, 2010 | 3:30 pm

      Amazing. Everything is A-Rod’s fault, isn’t it? ;)

      Speaking of which, how was it newsworthy to put A-Rod on the cover of New York Post being spotted with a woman not his wife, but the media keeps its mouth shut about a bitter divorce when the player has one of the worst seasons ever pitched by a Yankee? I think it was, and is, relevant.

    9. Corey Italiano
      December 15th, 2010 | 4:15 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I have never been divorced, so I cannot speak on the gravity of that situation. But, I have gone through a few tough situations in my day, and yes it has affected my work. Granted I hack code, not pitch. But I can see the correlation. If you’re not focused on what you’re doing, you’re not going to perform to your maximum potential.

      Imagine having all that crap at home to deal with, then going out to the mound and not having the best stuff or your location is way off. With all the frustration built up, I could easily see how that could snowball into a horrible outing time after time.

      To be clear, I’m not definitively saying anything here. It could be this that caused him to sour on the mound. It could be that he’s declining with age. Heck, he could have just had a bad year regardless of outside circumstances. All that I’m saying is that I could see how it could affect him on the mound.

    10. #15
      December 15th, 2010 | 4:15 pm

      MJ,
      To me it looked like he was wound tighter than a drum most of the year. He covered it reasonbly well in interviews, etc… To me he always seems “schooled” in how to answers questions (not necessarily a bad thing in NY, see DJ for example), but his on-mound body langauge and his inability to work out of trouble looked to me more like a guy that was stressing. I could easily see his drop off from 2009 as a lack of abilitly to focus. Don’t care who you are, slamming doors, daily screaming arguments, and flying objects (?) in the home will spill over into the workplace. If the story is true, and his focus suffered for it, shame on him for his on-field performance. He’s got several years to make up for it. 2011 would be a great time to start.

      Lisa,
      To be clear, I wasn’t taking a shot at A-Rod. Just, rather, extolling the palliative virtues of K-Hud. Players own personalities can serve to make them big targets or little targets. Still, I’m kind of amazed it’s taken ’til know for some dirt to surface.

    11. MJ Recanati
      December 15th, 2010 | 4:22 pm

      @ Corey Italiano:
      @ #15:
      I hear you and understand what you’re saying. But I don’t see how focus has anything to do with velocity. Mechanics, maybe. I don’t buy velocity.

    12. EHawk
      December 15th, 2010 | 4:49 pm

      MJ…I think it would effect his velocity…Say he was up all night fighting with his wife and was exhausted mentally and physically and had to pitch the next day…you aren’t going to be 100% and therefore losing velocity could easily occur. If you head is not in the game it effects your performance and that mean velocity and control. If there is any position on the field where you have to be focused all the time its pitching. Lets hope AJ’s personal problems are behind him and he can worry about pitching well this year and focus on that.

    13. December 15th, 2010 | 4:54 pm

      @ #15:
      I hear ya — I was actually tweaking Steve (who brought up Kate Hudson first) more than you!

      Colin Cowherd, who reported the Burnett stuff, always says about how his own divorce took so much out of him. He predicted all along that Tiger Woods would have a terrible year because of the end of his marriage.

      Frankly, I hope this is what the issue is, as opposed to “can’t pitch well anymore”!

    14. MJ Recanati
      December 15th, 2010 | 4:56 pm

      @ EHawk:
      AJ Burnett made 33 starts and pitched 186 innings. You expect me to believe that his velocity would’ve been fine but for the fact that, like clockwork, each and every night before his start, he and his wife would get into an argument to the point that Burnett was exhausted the next day and was 1mph slower than he was in 2009?

      Come on, that’s just silly.

      I understand that problems at home can affect work performance. We’ve all been there. But you don’t lose 1mph on your fastball over the course of a calendar year just because you and your wife hate eachother. You can have bad starts and be erratic but I don’t buy that you lose velocity on your fastball.

    15. Corey Italiano
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:05 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Mechanics, maybe. I don’t buy velocity.

      But aren’t the 2 related? Isn’t that why Hughes’ velocity was down 2 years ago?

    16. BOHAN
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:08 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      When you’re are a pitcher you have to work on your mechanincs everyday or they can messed up very easily and you need to 100% concentration whenyou’re working on your mechanincs. Its all muscle memory if you’re going a few days in a row without really concentrating on what you are doing during you’re side work you can get thrown off completely and mechaincs aren’t the easiest thing to fix. If he’s going into his side work completely distracted by something at home and not concentrating on what he is doing then he’s going to get messe up.
      Personally I went through my own personal stuff at home and school during my JR year. I wasnt paying attention at practice or anything and my mechanics got completely messed up. I pitched like crap for the first month of the season until I got everything sorta out in my own head.

    17. Raf
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:09 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Not only that, what of all the other years that Burnett performed poorly?

    18. BOHAN
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:10 pm

      Oh, and mechanics are comeplely related to velocity.

    19. Corey Italiano
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:11 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      AJ Burnett made 33 starts and pitched 186 innings. You expect me to believe that his velocity would’ve been fine but for the fact that, like clockwork, each and every night before his start, he and his wife would get into an argument to the point that Burnett was exhausted the next day and was 1mph slower than he was in 2009?

      Come on, that’s just silly.

      No offense but the silly part of this is that you think one fight would only affect one days performance…

      heck I’ve had a relationship end where I’ve been out of it for over a month afterwards. I wasn’t married to the girl, yet it just completely turned my world upside down. Now add lawyers, marriage, kids and family into that situation.

      Also, let’s not forget that Burnett was pretty damn good through his first 11 starts..

    20. MJ Recanati
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:20 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      Also, let’s not forget that Burnett was pretty damn good through his first 11 starts.

      AJ Burnett fastball velocity 2009: 94.1 mph
      AJ Burnett fastball velocity 2010: 93.1 mph

      AJ Burnett fastball velocity in first 11 starts of 2010: 93.2 mph

      If you’re going to argue that Burnett was good in his first 11 starts then how do you explain the decrease in his fastball velocity during that good stretch to start the year?

      If poor concentration affected his mechanics and thus impacted his velocity then what about the beginning of the year when he seemed to be doing just fine?

    21. BOHAN
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:27 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      How do know when all the issues started???

    22. Corey Italiano
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:30 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Well I stand corrected when it comes to the velocity, I didn’t see that data.

      One thing I can say about this is since his velocity didn’t decline from when he was good vs. when he was bad, then there must have been some other thing that affected his performance. I would tend to believe the divorce.

      Either way, I’m just saying that I can see it affecting him. I’m not arguing that this was definitely, without a shadow of doubt, the absolute reason he sucked.

    23. MJ Recanati
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:31 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      AJ Burnett fastball velocity 2009: 94.1 mph
      AJ Burnett fastball velocity 2010: 93.1 mphAJ Burnett fastball velocity in first 11 starts of 2010: 93.2 mph

      The point is that he was doing OK with diminished stuff before his world turned around (or so it seems, anyway).

      If that’s the case, then all we’re left with is wondering who AJ Burnett will be in 2011 with the diminished stuff he had in his first 11 starts. Considering Burnett was pitching to a 3.28 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP and an alarmingly low (for him) 6.68 K/9, I think what happened to him after those 11 starts was perhaps partly caused by his marital problems and partly due to diminished stuff reflected in the decreased strikeout totals.

    24. MJ Recanati
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:34 pm

      BOHAN wrote:

      How do know when all the issues started???

      I don’t. I was just responding to Corey’s point that Burnett was pitching well in his first 11 starts and the implied argument that Burnett imploded thereafter because of his marital troubles.

      If your point is that he was having problems at home starting before Opening Day and that’s why his velocity was down all year then it begs the question of why he was able to pitch well in those first 11 starts.

      Either way you cut it — Corey’s theory or yours — I’m not buying it.

      I think Burnett can bounce back a little bit in 2011. I’m not saying he’s done. But the decrease in velocity from 2007 (95.9) to 2008 (94.4) to 2010 (93.1) tells me that he’s trending downwards in that department and, as a result, strikeouts would be harder to come by without some sort of other adjustment. He’s a pitcher that lives off his fastball and the sharpness of his breaking stuff. If the fastball isn’t as fast then the breaking stuff needs to be better…

    25. MJ Recanati
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:37 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      One thing I can say about this is since his velocity didn’t decline from when he was good vs. when he was bad, then there must have been some other thing that affected his performance. I would tend to believe the divorce.

      Fair enough. But that doesn’t change my point througout this thread which was that it can’t ONLY be the divorce. I’m getting the impression from your comments and others’ that he sucked BECAUSE of the divorce and that he’ll be fine next year. Given the 1mph decline in his fastball velocity from 2009 to 2010 and the 3mph decline in his fastball velocity from 2007 to 2010, I think it’s safe to say that we’re dealing with a diminished pitcher in some form. Can he still be effective? Perhaps. But it’s not just as easy as moving on from a bad marriage…

    26. Corey Italiano
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:37 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      I don’t. I was just responding to Corey’s point that Burnett was pitching well in his first 11 starts and the implied argument that Burnett imploded thereafter because of his marital troubles.

      I can’t even make that claim because I don’t actually know the timetable from which Burnett had martial problems.

      I’m just saying that it’s a conceivable argument.

    27. MJ Recanati
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:40 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      I’m just saying that it’s a conceivable argument.

      Never said it wasn’t. I’m just not ready to say that all Burnett’s problems come from troubles at home. That’s whitewashing a separate issue about declining velocity which bears monitoring in 2011.

    28. Corey Italiano
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:45 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      That’s whitewashing a separate issue about declining velocity which bears monitoring in 2011.

      I’m on board with that.

    29. bags
      December 15th, 2010 | 5:49 pm

      I’m divorced. It was, as divorces go, amicable. And it was the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with in my life. Totally debilitating.

      I don’t know if it impacted AJ Burnett’s pitching this year. But I wouldn’t be stunned if it did. And, regardless of whether it did or it didn’t, I wish the man the best. Not an easy thing for anyone to deal with. I wouldn’t even wish it on Big Papi or Jason Varitek.

    30. 77yankees
      December 15th, 2010 | 9:58 pm

      Joey Votto had to go on the DL due to depression a couple of years back after his father passed away. Point is, ballplayers are human too and have to deal with divorce, death & other life altering situations we’ve all had to go through and can take a mental, physical and psychological toll to get through.

      Maybe AJ’s preparation in the weight room and the video room suffered because of his situation. Hopefully he can put it behind him and come back strong in 2011.

    31. December 15th, 2010 | 10:10 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      Amazing. Everything is A-Rod’s fault, isn’t it? Speaking of which, how was it newsworthy to put A-Rod on the cover of New York Post being spotted with a woman not his wife, but the media keeps its mouth shut about a bitter divorce when the player has one of the worst seasons ever pitched by a Yankee? I think it was, and is, relevant.

      If A.J. Burnett had been caught banging Madonna behind his wife’s back, I’m pretty sure it would have made the cover of the NY Post too.

    32. Evan3457
      December 15th, 2010 | 10:54 pm

      It wasn’t Madonna, it was the blond stripper in Toronto, or whatever she was.

      First time in my life I can remember a ballplayer’s off the field sexual hijinks being made public, without a crime or a divorce involved. I might be wrong, but I don’t think so.

      Lucky A-Rod.

    33. Raf
      December 15th, 2010 | 11:19 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      First time in my life I can remember a ballplayer’s off the field sexual hijinks being made public, without a crime or a divorce involved. I might be wrong, but I don’t think so.

      Jose Canseco, Wade Boggs and Steve Garvey come to mind.

    34. Rich M
      December 16th, 2010 | 12:23 am
    35. MJ Recanati
      December 16th, 2010 | 7:17 am

      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2010/12/16/2010-12-16_ajs_agent_says_cowherd_off_base.html

      If this is true — if AJ Burnett isn’t getting divorced — then this entire thread furthers my belief that Burnett is in decline.

    36. December 16th, 2010 | 8:16 am

      @ Steve Lombardi: @ Raf: @ Evan3457:

      Evan is right — the reason other players’ extra-curricular shenanigans made the news was because of either the mistress turning them in, or a divorce or lawsuit involved. There is no other case out there like what happened with A-Rod and the stripper.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.