Monday, February 13, 2012

Just Do It

     Almost 4 years ago, right handed pitcher A.J. Burnett signed with the New York Yankees for 5 years and $82.5 million dollars. At the time it was signed, Burnett was coming off a season in which he won 18 games and struck out 231 batters, best in the American League, and the signing was deemed a very good one, albeit and an expensive one for such an injury-prone starter. In the first year of his contract, Burnett was good, not great, winning only 13 games. The following years were a nightmare for him and Yankees fans everywhere. His earned run average skyrocketed to over 5 runs a game and he hit batters and threw wild pitches at an unparalleled pace, leading the lead with 19 of the former in 2010, and 25 of the latter last year. The only thing Burnett has achieved during his stay is becoming the highest paid 5th starter the league has ever seen. The only reason I can think of for Burnett's catastrophic fall is his environment, New York City and Yankee Stadium. He has pitched in the AL East for 5 years now, first with the Blue Jays, and now the Yankees, but thrived with the Jays, so division isn't a factor. Nor is the stadium, as his ERA+, or adjusted ERA to match the stadium, was below the league average by at least 13% in the last two years. The only reasons could be a change in mechanics or just a bad environment.

      Javier Vazquez was in a similar situation. When he pitched for the Marlins, he was amazing, but after going to the Big Apple, he floundered, on one occasion hitting 3 batters IN A ROW, tying the dubious major league record. It seems that he and Burnett just can't handle pitching for the most popular, scrutinized, and iconic organization in all of professional sports.

     Luckily for everyone, Burnett is being dangled in a trade. The Pittsburgh Pirates, always the bottom dwellers, reportedly are interested if and only if the Yankees eat most of his remaining salary, reportedly worth $33 million. Burnett could possibly veto the trade due to his moderated no-trade clause in his contract, in which he has chosen 10 teams he would never, ever, EVER, want to go to. It is very likely that Pittsburgh is one of those teams, due to their overall, for lack of a better word, suckishness. However, it may be in his best interest to go to the National League and pitch where expectations are low. The only team in his new division, the NL Central, that could potentially harm him would be the Cincinnati Reds.

Image Retrieved From :

1 comment:

  1. Hahahah suckish,
    hey nice post billy i really liked this one!