• A.J. Burnett

    Posted by on April 18th, 2013 · Comments (122)
    Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA GS IP HR BB SO ERA+
    2005 28 FLA NL 12 12 .500 3.44 32 209.0 12 79 198 116
    2006 29 TOR AL 10 8 .556 3.98 21 135.2 14 39 118 115
    2007 30 TOR AL 10 8 .556 3.75 25 165.2 23 66 176 119
    2008 31 TOR AL 18 10 .643 4.07 34 221.1 19 86 231 104
    2009 32 NYY AL 13 9 .591 4.04 33 207.0 25 97 195 114
    2010 33 NYY AL 10 15 .400 5.26 33 186.2 25 78 145 82
    2011 34 NYY AL 11 11 .500 5.15 32 190.1 31 83 173 83
    2012 35 PIT NL 16 10 .615 3.51 31 202.1 18 62 180 106
    2013 36 PIT NL 1 2 .333 2.63 4 24.0 2 8 35 143
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 4/18/2013.

    .
    So, just what happened in New York?

    Comments on A.J. Burnett

    1. McMillan
      May 30th, 2013 | 10:04 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And then post the rest of it… which was to the effect that the article you cited was written in 2010, AFTER the Yanks signed him, after it was too late. Your whole case is that Cashman or somebody should have known he was a head case and not signed him. That argument of yours was based on information not known at the time of the decision to sign him.

      I think you should re-read the article, or have one of your off-track students provide you with a synopsis of it…

    2. Evan3457
      May 30th, 2013 | 10:26 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Even if your argument is that AJ’s “head-caseness” became an issue, there’s nothing you can pin on Cashman for it.
      You teach high school English?

      Nothing wrong with the English there, because I put the word in quotes, indicating that the writer knows it’s not a real word.

      Not surprised you don’t know that…

    3. Evan3457
      May 30th, 2013 | 10:34 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      And then post the rest of it… which was to the effect that the article you cited was written in 2010, AFTER the Yanks signed him, after it was too late. Your whole case is that Cashman or somebody should have known he was a head case and not signed him. That argument of yours was based on information not known at the time of the decision to sign him.

      I think you should re-read the article, or have one of your off-track students provide you with a synopsis of it…

      Thanks, already read it. There’s not a single source in that article quoting anyone saying Burnett was known to be a “head case” before the Yankees signed him in 2009, as I stated in a reply well above this one.
      The argument you made was wrong them, and it’s still wrong, months later.

    4. McMillan
      May 31st, 2013 | 6:15 am

      “There is a story that illuminates how Burnett could struggle with the Yankees for most of his three seasons in New York but flourish… in his first with [Pittsburgh] … [a]nd the tale dates back two Yankees pitching coaches… [T]he Yankees knew what was wrong with Burnett. It’s the same thing that WAS written on the WARNING label that came with him WHEN they gave him a five-year, $82.5 million deal to leave Toronto… There’s a term for this in baseball. It’s called a ‘head case.'”

    5. MJ Recanati
      May 31st, 2013 | 6:20 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Intelligent enough to have kicked your ass in this discussion…

      Not really. Nice try though.

      Troll someone else.

    6. McMillan
      May 31st, 2013 | 6:34 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      There’s not a single source in that article quoting anyone saying Burnett was known to be a “head case” before the Yankees signed him in 2009, as I stated in a reply well above this one.
      The argument you made was wrong them, and it’s still wrong, months later.

      I’ll go with professional journalists and their sources, M.L.B. coaches and officials, etc. and information and statistics directly contradicting the statement:
      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Ah, the old “not tough enough for New York” canard.

      … before the very predictable responses of a certain high school teacher, with all due respect. But it’s nice to know that chivalry is not dead.

    7. McMillan
      May 31st, 2013 | 6:37 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I thought you took your marbles and went home…

    8. McMillan
      May 31st, 2013 | 6:47 am

      OldYanksFan wrote:

      Yup… some guys wilt under the heat.
      Not a lot of heat up there in Pittsburg.

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Ah, the old “not tough enough for New York” canard. If only it were that simple an explanation…

      “Report: Yankees, Pirates Trying To Close Gap In A.J. Burnett Trade”

      “[T]he Bucs believe Burnett could thrive in a low-pressure market.”

      “Pirates’ Burnett thrives after escape from Yankees”
      The consensus is that he is beneficiary of a change of scenery, mainly in leaving the stress of the Yankees… One NL personnel man echoed the theme of three executives asked about Burnett by saying the righty “is better and the reason isn’t stuff — it’s environment. Burnett is a classic small-market guy; the less the games matter the better he pitches. It’s not unlike… others who have struggled when they went to bigger markets…”

      “Former Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett has pressure lifted with Pittsburgh Pirates”
      “In the first inning of the first game A.J. Burnett pitched at PNC Park, the first three batters reached base on a walk, a single and another walk. ‘I could imagine what that place (Yankee Stadium) would sound like, and there was about two words that came out of the crowd here, says Burnett, the ex-Yankee who is now the elder statesman of the Pirates’ staff. ‘So it’s just different. You’re a little less on edge. Some guys thrive in that.’”

      Give up yet, Ladies?

    9. McMillan
      May 31st, 2013 | 6:50 am

      @ Evan3457:
      Can’t find any articles quoting you as a source?

    10. Ricketson
      May 31st, 2013 | 10:44 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      There’s not a single source in that article quoting anyone saying Burnett was known to be a “head case” before the Yankees signed him in 2009, as I stated in a reply well above this one. The argument you made was wrong them, and it’s still wrong, months later.

      Perhaps it wasn’t considered necessary…

      “Burnett missed [Florida’s] 2003 World Series championship run… recovering from… surgery after making just four starts that season… Burnett missed a golden opportunity to prove himself on the biggest stage in baseball…

      Burnett’s reputation as a HEAD CASE would have been alleviated with a solid postseason performance. Leading the small-market Marlins to a title would have garnered Burnett all sorts of attention…

      A.J. Burnett enjoyed almost six years with [Florida] before THE FRANCHISE ASKED BURNETT TO LEAVE THE TEAM… The Marlins lost [a game] to the Braves and Burnett took exception to manager Jack McKeon’s ways, his team’s effort and the organization in general. Throwing teammates and coaches under the bus is never a good thing. It shows RED FLAGS ACROSS THE BOARD. Losing a game is one thing, but refusing to take responsibility for your part is a totally different issue…”

      Hence the “warning label…”

    11. Ricketson
      July 11th, 2013 | 7:22 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Even if your argument is that AJ’s “head-caseness” became an issue, there’s nothing you can pin on Cashman for it. Nothing. Because it manifested itself starting in 2010, after Burnett helped the Yanks win a title.

      Ricketson wrote:

      “Burnett missed [Florida’s] 2003 World Series championship run… recovering from… surgery after making just four starts that season… Burnett missed a golden opportunity to prove himself on the biggest stage in baseball…Burnett’s REPUTATION as a HEAD CASE would have been alleviated with a solid postseason performance. Leading the SMALL-MARKET Marlins to a title would have garnered Burnett all sorts of attention… A.J. Burnett enjoyed almost six years with [Florida] before THE FRANCHISE ASKED BURNETT TO LEAVE THE TEAM… The Marlins lost [a game] to the Braves and Burnett took exception to manager Jack McKeon’s ways, his team’s effort and the organization in general. Throwing teammates and coaches under the bus is never a good thing. It shows RED FLAGS ACROSS THE BOARD. Losing a game is one thing, but refusing to take responsibility for your part is a totally different issue…”Hence the “warning label…”

      Ah, the old “[A] pitcher’s effort was significant in winning a title therefore if the pitcher had not been signed to a 5-year, $82.5 million contract the team would not have won with a different pitcher” canard. If only it were that simple an explanation…
      And because his “head-caseness” manifested itself well before 2010, as documented above, it can, and should, be pinned on John Cashman’s son.

    12. McMillan
      September 29th, 2013 | 12:01 pm

      @ Raf:
      @ MJ Recanati:
      @ Evan3457:
      McMillan wrote:

      For the years 2006-13, Burnett’s 3 worst years were registered with the $82.5 mil. contract Cashman gave this head case to pitch in a situation he couldn’t handle (2009-2011) in N.Y…

      Ricketson wrote:

      Burnett’s pitching to a 2.57 E.R.A. in Pittsburgh at the end of May.

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Which doesn’t prove that he couldn’t pitch in New York since we already know that his home ERA was better than his road ERA as a member of the Yankees.

      Ricketson wrote:

      No one was talking about his home ERA vs. his road ERA – he did not have the psychological makeup to pitch in a media environment such as New York for a team like the Yankees at home or on the road, as compared to another market such as Toronto or Pittsburgh – at home or on the road.

      He’s doing pretty well in Pittsburgh…

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      You’re a fucking moron…

      Evan3457 wrote:

      MJ’s point stands…

      New York Yankees Should Not Trade A.J. Burnett for Nothing

      Feb., 2012: “… We also cannot predict injuries and Phil Hughes’ performance. If there is a long-term injury in the starting rotation or Hughes shows that he cannot start in the Major Leagues, then you have Burnett there to fill in.

      … all it takes is an injury or two and you are searching for someone to hold down the fort in the fourth and fifth slots of the rotation.

      … we are talking about the Yankees, not a payroll limited team. The Yankees should not be in the business of dumping salary for nothing. Especially when the contract ends after the 2013 season and the luxury tax level does not rise until 2014.

      It just does not make baseball sense.”

      Pittsburgh Pirates Are a Major Force to Be Reckoned with

      Jul., 2013: “… This staff is led by a REFRESHED A.J. Burnett. With a 12-3 record and a very respectable 3.52 ERA, Burnett has all but PUT HIS STRUGGLES AS A NEW YORK YANKEE BEHIND HIM…”

      Pittsburgh Pirates: 7 Reasons the Bucs Can Still Win the Wild Card

      Aug., 2013: “… McDonald and A.J. Burnett have had their recent issues, they are capable of winning pitchers’ duels and/or beating elite offenses [in September and October] because they have ace-quality stuff…”

      A.J. Burnett-led Pirates upend Reds, take wild card lead

      Sep., 2013: ” PITTSBURGH — [The head case] walked into the Pittsburgh dugout after falling two runs down to Cincinnati… when his catcher decided it was time for a little pep talk.

      ‘I told him, “That’s all we’re giving up today,” and he said, “Yes sir,”‘ Russell Martin [the former New York Yankee catcher replaced by .207-hitting Chris Stewart in New York] said. ‘That’s his attitude. If you give up a couple, it’s not the end of the world…’

      Something the VETERAN ACE and his resilient club do better than just about anyone else in baseball.

      … Pittsburgh responded behind Burnett, who scattered four hits in seven strong innings to lift the Pirates to a 4-2 win and a one-game lead… for the top spot in the NL wild-card race.

      ‘Go out, it’s a big game, it’s a big series, you want to attack,’ Burnett said. ‘We were able to do that and get through seven somehow. I felt like I got stronger as it went on.’

      Burnett struck out a season-high 12 against three walks and became the first right-hander in the 126-year history of the franchise to top 200 strikeouts in a season…

      ‘The story of the game is we didn’t score enough runs,’ Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ‘We just couldn’t get much going against [the head case]. We got some runs early, then he settled down.’

      … Pittsburgh reduced its magic number to three behind Burnett…”

      Pirates’ General Manager discusses playoff rotation, re-signing A.J. Burnett

      Sep., 2013: “The Pirates are very interested in bringing A.J. back next season; BURNETT WOULD LIKE TO FINISH HIS CAREER [IN PITTSBURGH].

      … [Pittsburgh] seems open to bringing in a backup for Russell Martin next year [and the club has not been reported to have an interest in trading for Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, or Austin Romine].

      … Huntington strongly hinted that the club will carry four starters if they reach a divisional series. A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton seem to be locks.”

      A.J. Burnett’s Pittsburgh Renaissance

      Sep., 2013: “The Pittsburgh Pirates’ success this year has been analyzed from a variety of angles, and one of the more fascinating aspects of it… is an enhanced use of infield shifts based on spray-chart data.

      … [the head case] was recently quoted in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review as saying, “I have a problem with (expletive) shifts.”

      There’s a bit of irony here because no pitcher has benefited more from the Bucs’ use of shifts than Burnett, who has been REBORN IN PITTSBURGH over the past two seasons, and pitched one of the best games of his career on Friday night, shutting down the Reds over eight innings in a 4-1 victory…”

    13. Evan3457
      September 29th, 2013 | 3:05 pm

      So, he’s still a head case in Pittsburgh, or he isn’t?

    14. McMillan
      September 29th, 2013 | 8:08 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      So, he’s still a head case in Pittsburgh, or he isn’t?

      @ Evan3457:
      He’ll always be a head case – a head case more comfortable pitching in a small market, and certainly more comfortable pitching anywhere other than New York.

    15. McMillan
      September 29th, 2013 | 10:58 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Then why did he pitch better for the Yankees in NY than he did for them on the road?

      @ Raf:
      Why don’t you try ruminating about Brian Cashman’s sex life? Baseball seems to be a bit out of your depth.

    16. Evan3457
      September 30th, 2013 | 1:34 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      So, he’s still a head case in Pittsburgh, or he isn’t?
      @ Evan3457:
      He’ll always be a head case – a head case more comfortable pitching in a small market, and certainly more comfortable pitching anywhere other than New York.

      But if he happens to help the Pirates win a title, and I would rate the chance of that to be pretty small, does it matter if he’s a head case or not? He’d have two rings.

    17. McMillan
      September 30th, 2013 | 6:16 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But if he happens to help the Pirates win a title, and I would rate the chance of that to be pretty small, does it matter if he’s a head case or not? He’d have two rings.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But if he happens to help the Pirates win a title, and I would rate the chance of that to be pretty small, does it matter if he’s a head case or not? He’d have two rings.

      If Burnett happens to win a title, Brian “God help the rest of baseball” Cashman will have at least contributed to one World Championship winner, paying $8.5 million of Burnett’s 2013 salary to pitch in Pittsburgh.

    18. Evan3457
      September 30th, 2013 | 10:47 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      If Burnett happens to win a title, Brian “God help the rest of baseball” Cashman will have at least contributed to one World Championship winner, paying $8.5 million of Burnett’s 2013 salary to pitch in Pittsburgh.

      Neatly evaded.

    19. McMillan
      September 30th, 2013 | 11:04 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Neatly evaded.

      @ Evan3457:
      I answered your question in earlier posts.

    20. Evan3457
      October 1st, 2013 | 1:31 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Neatly evaded.
      @ Evan3457:
      I answered your question in earlier posts.

      OK, then he’ll be a head case with one ring.
      Unless the Pirates win in it all. Then he’ll be a head case with two rings.

    21. Mr. October
      October 1st, 2013 | 2:25 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      Burnett has an exceptional amount of talent from the neck down; the problem with Burnett since his time with Florida has been from the neck up. A GM can’t consider the talent of a player from the neck down only.

      The Yankees’ General Meathead (dead from the neck up) should have considered Burnett’s psychological makeup, reputation, etc., before offering him an $82.5MM contract to pitch in the most difficult environment in professional sports – an environment Burnett conceded he could not handle from the neck up after he was finally sent to Pittsburgh.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But if he happens to help the Pirates win a title, and I would rate the chance of that to be pretty small, does it matter if he’s a head case or not? He’d have two rings.

      @ Evan3457:
      To answer your question: it should not matter at all to Pittsburgh that Burnett can not handle pitching for the New York Yankees or the New York Mets.
      Why would that matter to Huntingotn or the Pirates – especially with Cashman paying half of Burnett’s salary?

    22. McMillan
      October 9th, 2013 | 4:57 pm

      OldYanksFan wrote:

      … some guys wilt under the heat.

      … You could see it when [Burnett] was here.

      He would sail along…. but as soon as guys got on base, he would implode.

      He was the Anti-Pettitte.

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Ah, the old “not tough enough for New York” canard. If only it were that simple an explanation…

      Ricketson wrote:

      Burnett has great stuff, but he was not well-suited for New York and as such came with a “warning label,” and was yet another Cashman bust…

      Raf wrote:

      @ Ricketson:
      Then why did [Burnett] pitch better for the Yankees in NY than he did for them on the road?

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      @ McMillan:
      You’re [f-ing morons]… so there’s no sense engaging you any further.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      MJ’s point stands…if AJ’s a head case, most cases (sic) fail…

      Oct. 4, 2013:

      “Cardinals Beat Up on A.J. Burnett, Pirates to Take Game 1 of NLDS With 9-1 Win

      Burnett gave up seven earned runs on six hits before being pulled in the third inning… It was not new territory for Burnett. The starter had been roughed up like this in a postseason game before, so he did not spend much time agonizing over his implosion on the mound…

      ‘The bad thing about it is that it’s happened before,’ said Burnett, comparing his meltdown… to his disastrous pitching for the Yankees in Game 5 of the 2009 World Series…

      … [It] was the fourth time in Burnett’s last six playoff starts that he had allowed five or more runs. It was the second time in his last four playoff starts that he was pulled in the third before getting an out. The last time was when he was in the Bronx, pitching Game 5 of the 2009 World Series when he gave up six runs in two-plus innings.

      So Burnett had some experience in getting over a postseason blow-out. ‘I know I’ll just get ready to take the ball again,’ Burnett said…

      … ‘if I get the chance.'”

      Oct. 9, 2013:

      “Pirates Make Cold (and Correct) Call in Picking Cole over Burnett

      A week ago, it would have been preposterous to suggest Pittsburgh might bypass their most veteran starting pitcher in favor of a 22-year-old rookie in a winner-take-all elimination game in the playoffs. After all, A.J. Burnett led the Pirates in innings pitched and strikeouts in each of the past two [regular] seasons…

      But that was before Burnett imploded against St. Louis in Game 1 of the National League Division Series… reviving memories of his past postseason meltdowns…”

      @ Evan3457:

      “… October isn’t at all like the rest of the year… Regular-season protocol doesn’t matter in October, nor do the feelings of [Burnett].”

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