Twins bomb Burnett as Yanks fall 9-4


The Yankee rotation seemed to find watching A.J. just as arduous as the rest of us did. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

Over the past two seasons, my expectations for A.J. Burnett have slowly diminished. Even on his best days, I find his pitching process torturous. His stuff, which was much better when he was younger, should play better, but his inability to command even his fastball makes for games that slog on. When I watch him on TV, I try to keep myself busy lest I start to find things to throw through the television.

Tonight was A.J. night on my own six-game road trip. It was something I couldn’t avoid, and I was prepared for the worst. I even found myself defending A.J. While walking around Target Field before the game started, I found myself getting defensive as Twins fans dismissed Burnett. “Don’t worry; A.J. sucks,” one fan said to a friend. Now, it might be OK for me to think that about Burnett, but when fans of another team say the same thing about a Yankee, I take it personally. Unfortunately, Burnett’s performance couldn’t settle my silent indignation.

In what was his shortest outing of the season, A.J. Burnett recorded just five outs against a punchless Twins’ lineup. When Joe Girardi pulled an irate A.J. from the game, the right-hander had faced 12 batters and seven of them scored. He walked three, gave up five hits and threw two wild pitches as the Yanks fell by a score of 9-4. With the Red Sox loss in Kansas City, the Yanks maintained their slim half-game lead in the AL East, but the post-game questions focused squarely on A.J. Burnett.

What is an A.J. game with a controversy anyway? This tale begins with a pitch to Joe Mauer that was a close one but called a ball. With two runs in and the Yanks down 4-0, A.J. thew a pitch to Mauer that just missed. Mauer walked, and A.J. was yanked. Eventually, Luis Ayala allowed all three of his inherited runners to score, and the Yanks were down 7-0 against the Twins before the third inning.

The rest of the game was a formality. The Yanks plated a few runs but never had a rally in them. Aaron Laffey made his debut and gave up a pair of runs over three innings of work. He wasn’t particularly impressive against lefties, and he wasn’t particularly awful. As waiver acquisition go, I can’t imagine he’ll be a key part of the Yanks’ October push.

The story that developed during the second inning and after the game though has sparked some debate. When Girardi lifted Burnett, he was caught on camera saying, “This is f**king bulls**t” toward Joe Girardi. Was he talking of his early hook? Of the home plate ump’s strike zone? Burnett left the field and went into the clubhouse, and Joe Girardi followed suit. A few seconds later, both came back out.

During the post-game scrum in the clubhouse, the reporters wanted to know about Burnett, and Joe Girardi didn’t want to talk about it. He grew terse on TV with Jack Curry and wanted no part in this discussion. In fact, he was as angry as he has been during his three years with the team. “I didn’t say anything back to him,” Girardi said. “You can write what you want, you can say what you want, but he was pissed. He thought he struck out Joe Mauer.”

The Mauer at-bat would be the story. Girardi says Burnett was upset about the Mauer at-bat and went into the clubhouse to review the video. The manager and his mercurial right-hander did not exchange words in the recesses of Target Field, and the two professed their admiration for each other. “Me and AJ have mutual respect for each other,” Girardi said. “I cheer for this guy, he cheers for me and we cheer for the team.”

Burnett echoed Girardi’s explanation, and Russell Martin did too. The Yanks’ catcher said he told the departing pitcher that the Mauer pitch was a good one. Burnett reacted to Martin’s statement with anger because he wanted to have a better outing. Frustration, though, was the word of the day. Girardi was frustrated with something — the reporters grilling him, his right-hander who is now 9-10 with a 4.96 ERA, the pitch to Mauer — and Burnett too was frustrated. Whether it was with Girardi or the strike zone or his inability to harness his stuff, it doesn’t really matter.

The Yankee outfielders compared hat styles during the pitching change in the second inning. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

For now, the bigger concerns are about A.J.’s role in the rotation. He will pitch on Friday against the Orioles, Girardi said tonight. The club will stick with the six-man rotation through next weekend as they need a sixth starter for the double header. Still, the Yanks’ manager wants to see something better from A.J. “We need him to pitch like he’s capable of pitching,” he said. “The last few starts he has struggled but we have to get him back on track.”

After that, though, it’s anyone’s guess. A few weeks ago, Brian Cashman told everyone to smoke “the objective pipe” when it comes to Burnett, but even objectively, he isn’t pitching like one of the top five hurlers on the Yankees. His numbers are in fact worse at this point this year than they were last year. He is, however, one of the top five most highly paid pitchers on the club, and that contract seems to loom large. No one wants a $16.5 million long man in the bullpen who doesn’t hold the faith of his manager and pitching coach.

For now, Burnett got a vote of confidence from his manager tonight, albeit a lukewarm one, and the Yanks will send A.J. out there every five days. “When you’re struggling,” Girardi said, “the only thing you can do is keeping working. It’s not like there’s some magical potion you can take.”

Categories : Game Stories


  1. bonestock94 says:

    He’s been working and struggling for the past 340 innings or so. Girardi makes it sound like people are beating up on AJ over a bad stretch of starts. It’s nearly two seasons of trash.

    • tigernyc says:

      Let’s “smoke the objective pipe,” here/ AJ totally sucks as a SP, cream pies and lockerroom “championship belt” aside, and most for now be relegated to the Kai Igwai Cashman “Hall of Shame” Pitching attempted fixes. Tweeck something and send AJ to the DL to stop the pain of having him continue to be a NYY SP, Please! Maybe in some future Season or Planet, he might be back, bit for Now, Enouhj, He’s Done for 2011. Please make him GO Away!

  2. Bryan L says:

    D-Rob with the photo-bomb.

  3. bobtaco says:

    Hate to say it, but if The Boss was alive in his prime, push would have come to shove with AJ already.

    • Steve H says:

      So what you’re saying is the Boss would have done something irresponsible, shortsighted and costly? Probably.

    • Pat D says:

      You mean you think that Burnett would have been released by now?

      Yea, The Boss wouldn’t pay someone somewhere between $33-36 million to not pitch for him when he’s not hurt.

      And he simply can’t be traded.

    • Phife Dawg says:

      The “If George was alive…” meme needs to die already. Seriously. Steinbrenner in his prime probably would have fired Girardi or released Burnett immediately.

    • nomaa says:

      this is the same type of blowhard that thinks paul oneils number should be retired

    • CMP says:

      People hate this narrative about the Boss but I agree he would have at least had the balls to call a spade a spade and let AJ know just how much he sucks unlike that excuse making Cashman who defends this piece of shit.

      • Steve H says:

        This is just dumb. Is calling AJ out in the media or bashing him going to make him a more capable pitcher? Is he a great pitcher who just needs a kick in the ass? No, he is what he is. It’s not great and calling him out isn’t going to magically turn him into Roy Halladay.

        • Xstar7 says:

          You know what might magically turn him into Roy Halladay? Another ridiculous new haircut.

          /if at first you don’t succeed…..

        • CMP says:

          Maybe or maybe not but coddling him and pretending that his pitching has been satisfactory like Cashman’s done sure isn’t accomplishing shit.

          The guy actually though he should have been allowed to stay in the game tonight. He really must be delusional.

          • The Fallen Phoenix says:

            Maybe Cashman has given him a stern talking to in private. We don’t know that. But what we do know is that Cashman’s not trashing him in the media, which is what a GM ought to be doing, in my opinion.

            If my employer trashed me in the press, it wouldn’t encourage me to improve the quality of my work; at best I’d get pissed at my employer and sour our professional relationship, and at worst I’d feel like an absolute piece of shit.

            • Pat D says:

              This, this and this.

            • CMP says:

              Didn’t stop Cashman from trashing Jeter or Posada earlier this year and they have earned a hell of a lot more leeway points than Burnett.

              • Pat D says:

                Exactly how did he trash them?

                By saying that Jeter is declining or by saying Posada asked out of the lineup? I wouldn’t call either of those things “trashings.”

                • CMP says:

                  He had a press conference in the middle of a game to let the media know what Posada did. He should have cover for him until he, Giradi, and Posada could have sat down after the game.

                  As for Jeter, he mockingly told the media that Jeter should shop for a better contract if the one the Yankees were offering wasn’t satisfactory.

                  • Pat D says:

                    I don’t recall a press conference in the middle of that game, just an interview with Rosenthal, but I could be remembering wrong. Thing is, Posada flat out refused to hit ninth. He was not hurt. That was most definitely a form of insubordination. Posada should have been called out for it.

                    Now, before you go comparing it to tonight, if AJ’s statement was indeed directed at Joe and not in reference to the Mauer at bat, he should be similarly treated. But we just don’t know that.

                    As for Jeter, I don’t think that was said mockingly. I think he got to the point where he was frustrated with Jeter’s demands and essentially challenged him to get a better offer than the one the Yankees had made, knowing full well no one would do so. And, again, I think Jeter got what he deserved in that instance.

                    • CMP says:

                      The difference is that someday, Jeter and Posada will have plaques in momument park while AJ will make some list of the Yankees top 10 worst free agent signings.

                    • Pat D says:

                      So what? Just because they’re legacy players, it doesn’t mean they run the team or are above reproach.

            • Rich in NJ says:

              What’s the point of trashing him. publicly or privately?

              He’s a 34 year old (so he isn’t likely to get any better) below league average pitcher. They’re stuck with him for two more years.

              The primary goal should be to use him in a way that inflicts the least amount of damage.

        • SoDakYank says:

          Calling him out would be counter productive. But at least send him to the BP where you would use only in the most desperate of situations. Say you are losing 18-0 and do not want to waste any more of the pen. Then, without AJ starting you would not be losing 18-0.

  4. Will says:

    AJ Burnett = Bad at Baseball. Release this bum. If I’m the Yankees I’d rather eat the money on his contract then see this scrub pitch in any capacity. A loser on a winning team won’t work.

    • T-Dubs says:

      That explains why they forfeited the 2009 trophy.

      • Will says:

        One well pitched game in 2009 WS < Two years of suckage

        • CMP says:

          The narrative around here is that the Yankees wouldn’t have won the 2009 WS without AJ (highly debatable) and since he pitched a great game 2 (his game 5 debacle doesn’t count for some reason)his $85 million contract has been justified.

          • Pat D says:

            There was quite a few differences in the circumstances.

            First of all, if they lose Game 2, they go to Philadelphia down 2 games to none. That’s pretty hard to overcome. He also pitched that game on 6 days’ rest.

            Game 5, they’re up 3-1, so there’s not nearly as much pressure. They’ve got 2 more tries at home to win it if they lose. Also, he’s only pitching on 3 days’ rest now.

            Does that justify $82.5 million? Probably not, but I feel pretty damned strongly that if he doesn’t pitch like that in Game 2, they don’t win that Series.

            And I’d really love for someone to say how his contract has prevented them from making other moves that they have needed to make. They were going to give Cliff Lee a ton of money even with Burnett’s contract, and I’m sure it won’t prevent them from trying to sign CJ Wilson or someone else this offseason or any of the 2012/2013 free agent pitchers, either.


            • CMP says:

              ” I feel pretty damned strongly that if he doesn’t pitch like that in Game 2, they don’t win that Series”

              Or maybe they win the series in 7 games instead of 6 or maybe the Yankees score a bunch of runs in game 2 and win despite a poor AJ start.

              His start definitely helped them win the series but ultimately it was only 1 win out of 4.

            • first time lawng time says:

              Aaaand Pat D beat me to it and with a better analysis.

          • first time lawng time says:

            There was less on the line in game 5. If you lose game2, you go into Philly down 0-2. If you win, you go in with the series even. If you win game 5, you win the WS. If you lose, you go back home, but still with time to clinch. Thats why I feel game 2 was mor crucial than game 5. Also, the strike zone in game 5 was probably the worst thing I have ever seen.

            • CMP says:

              I’m sure the strike zone was the reason AJ sucked that night. Maybe the Yankees switched to cotton uniforms before that game and they shrunk in the wash too.

  5. Phife Dawg says:

    Best/worst part of the game: the beat writer drama on Twitter.

    Seeing some of the beat guys bashing Girardi because he got angry with Jack Curry was ironic as it gets, considering all the crap that the beat writers have given Joe since he’s became manager. The two guys who completed trashed Girardi Bob Klap and Wally Matthews should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Pat D says:

      WallyMatt has long been nothing more than a fucking joke. I can’t see how anyone would take him seriously. To have the picture that he does for his Twitter account says enough about him, I think.

      Surprised to hear stuff like that from Klapisch. I have generally liked him. But to compare Girardi to Jeff fucking Torborg? It’s hardly like the situation the Yankees are in is the same as those early 90′s Mets teams, for Christ’s sake.

      That’s what you gotta love about NY beat writers. They jump all over people for not showing emotion, but then when a manager shows an emotion that is clearly annoyed/frustrated, they claim the guy doesn’t have the right temperament for the job. Ridiculous.

    • first time lawng time says:

      I thought Wally Matthews didn’t have a Twitter anymore?

  6. Rich in NJ says:

    This is all a distraction. Burnett isn’t one of their five best starters (Noesi may be better as well), so spot starting/long relief is a role that he has earned.

  7. ArchStanton says:

    One thing that ticks me off is they screwed over Freddy Garcia to accommodate Burnett. Yeah, Burnett might have more upside, but Garcia has done the job and was basically used as cannon fodder for a waiver acquisition.

  8. Cy Pettitte says:

    this was interesting:

    I’m with Singleton, it definitely looked like AJ’s anger was directed towards Joe.

    • Rich in NJ says:

      The larger point is that it was reasonable for Curry to have asked Girardi the questions that he did. Girardi should have acknowledged that and then dismissed the (mis)conception by explaining what actually happened. Instead, his defensiveness seemed sort of strange.

      • Cuso says:

        Meh, as much as we may not believe it, maybe Joe’s rescutation of the facts was correct.

        If AJ did say ‘that’s f’n bullshit” to Martin about the pitch & Joe did go into the dugout to see the replay, then maybe Joe had cause to get fed up & snippy.

        He’s probably sick & tired of beat writers trying to read somethinf Makiavellian in the handling of AJ.

        And he probably took advantage of Curry playing the role of Kim Jones tonight too.

        It’ll be interesting to see who handles the JoeGirardi show that usually follows the Saturday games.

        I suppose it could be Kay, but they’ve been switching it up a bit.

        Of course with tonight being a night game, maybe they taped it prior to the game….

        • Rich in NJ says:

          I’m not disputing Girardi’s version of the facts. To the contrary , I’m questioning his reaction to a reasonable and understandable perception. I thought that was apparent.

          If there are so many Machiavellian distortions of the way he handles AJ, it necessarily affords him the opportunity to react to those issues when the facts dictate it.

          This time it didn’t.

  9. Dino Velvet says:

    Girardi’s ANGRY press conference is priceless!!

    • CMP says:

      Good for Jack Curry. His questions were completely reasonable.

      Too many times, the reporters and announcers who work for the club lose their journalistic integrity by becoming homers and avoiding the tough questions.

    • bonestock94 says:

      You can tell he was taken aback when they asked him about what AJ said to him, and when he went into the clubhouse. Like “wow, seriously!?” Makes me think he’s not lying.

  10. Xstar7 says:

    You know what would be great? If AJ had an episode like this at a home game and the Yankees somehow managed to come back and win it in extras.

    /most awkward pie in the face ever

  11. Drew says:

    AJ isn’t going anywhere. For better or for worse he is here. I’m not saying embrace losing but everyone needs to back off the ledge here. Tonight was hard to watch but I firmly believe Girardi will pick the best 3-4 pitchers to pitch in the playoffs. AJ clearly isn’t one of those pitchers right now. Would everyone like to AJ pitch better of course we would but it’s not the case at this time. AJ still can help the team in some capacity, just support the Yankees and support AJ. The shit that gets said on some these threads is unbelievable at times. Everyone relax.

    • first time lawng time says:

      I agree with this. People just gotta deal with it and let it go.

      • Slugger27 says:

        you always get defensive about aj and ive never understood it. people care about his salary becuase his salary is the reason he keeps getting undeserved starts every time thru the rotation. the whole “its not your money so why do you care” meme is beyond tired, and it never made a lot of sense to begin with.

        we know its not our money, and we still dont care. the reason we bring up the salary, is because thats the reason hes not benched.

        its no different than jeter hitting leadoff, posada getting regular playing time the first 4 months, etc. same concept. we just want the best players on the field. when salaries force the manager to putting a non-best lineup together, we get frustrated. its really not that unreasonable.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          Yeah this. Doesn’t help that there is/was a chance Hughes is going to lose his spot who’s been a lot better.

        • first time lawng time says:

          I’m not getting defensive about AJ. I’m just saying that people here constantly complain about it, and I feel people should jut get over it and stop taking it so seriously; it’s a baseball game–It doesn’t matter.

          The Yankees have AJ for another two years. People gotta get that through their heads and move on. People here always always always are complaining. I say they should just shut up and deal with it.

  12. Ethan says:

    Stem cells. The answer is stem cells!

  13. DZ says:

    What more will it take for them to send him to the pen already, he’s been garbage for 2 seasons now. At some point you have to cut your losses, you have 5 guys who can do a better job already on the ML roster. Don’t make it a worse situation then it already is, you have to pay him, but don’t let him make the team worse on top of that by getting shelled every 5th day.

    • Greg says:

      That’s the thing. He hasnt gotten shelled every fifth day. I can remember only two starts where I can safely say that AJ got shelled recently. One was against the White Sox and the other was tonight.

      • CMP says:

        His ERA is 4.96 and his WHIP is 1.42.

        By definition, a typical AJ start is one where he’s getting shelled.

          • JobaWockeeZ says:

            The dude has a 4.60 ERA. Let’s forget advanced stats for a minute. His ERA is 20th WORST in baseball. There’s only 19 worse starters than AJ. That’s the exact definition of getting shelled.

          • CMP says:

            League average ERA is 3.90.

            In exactly 1 game out of 10 did he pitch to that ERA or lower. He’s been well below average over the last 10 games.

          • Slugger27 says:

            whoa whoa wait a minute…

            you’re linking to that 10-game log as a way to DEFEND aj?

            • CMP says:

              It could have been worse.

              He could have walked onto the pitchers mound with a rifle in one of those starts and started shooting at his teammates.

        • ItsATarp says:

          outside of the two 7 run outing he’s had recently his ERa is at 4.3 which is mediocre but not terrible. (that 14 ER in 6 innings out of his total 156 innings of work…can you say inflation?) His xFIP is at around 3.90ish. He’s more like Beckett last year with okay peripherals and shitty ERA than his 2010 self where everything was bad.

  14. MannyB ace2be says:

    Unfortunately we can all get as pissed as we do but it doesnt matter. hell I know I stopped watching that garbage pitcher when it was 4-0 but he’ll be pitching for us in 5 days and in 5 months and until his contract is up. And every time out he will be garbage and we will be pissed and it won’t matter one bit.

    • Jimmy says:

      Not to be a smartass, but in 5 months it will be January 21. That would require a whole lot of rainouts during the playoffs. Do you know something we don’t there, Noah?

  15. Craig says:

    Should’ve kept AJ in to burn his arm out and send him tto the DL for the rest of the year.


    • DZ says:

      U shouldn’t be kidding, it’s a good idea. At this point I’d almost rather him pull a pavano then go out every 5th day.

  16. David, Jr. says:

    AJ “Batting Practice” Burnett. This is a guy who used to survive without brains or finesse, but with an overpowering fastball. What people miss is that the AJ fastball has significantly declined.

  17. Mickey Scheister says:

    To watch Hughes coast through the same line-up; then AJ, who has better stuff, to get hammered it FUCKEN hard to watch. Whats worse is AJs been doing it for far too long. I think that’s where Joey G gets all Wendy Williams on Jack. IMO with AJ it’s mostly mental, he has sick stuff. I too stopped watching and quite frankly Aliens and Cowboys was much more entertaining than the highlight of Jones’ HR.

  18. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    I still can’t believe there was an argument (that I took part in) about Aaron Laffey and Buddy Carlyle.

  19. Greg says:

    I’m looking back at AJ’s last ten games. Besides the White Sox game and this game, he has given up mostly 3 runs and 4 runs in a start. That’s not bad.

    • Pat D says:

      Sounds like cherry-picking. In how many of those starts did he get to the 7th inning? Or even the 6th?

      • Greg says:

        I dont care for length, I care for end results. And to be clear I am not excusig AJ. I’m just looking at facts.

        • Pat D says:

          Yea, but length is part of end results. Giving up 3 runs in 7 innings is much better than giving up 3 runs in 5 innings and making your bullpen work harder.

        • Jesse says:

          You don’t care about length? God, that was a stupid remark.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          Sorry, but that’s fucking stupid. Part of being an effective pitcher is going as deep in games as possible. If a starter lasts four innings and gives up three or four runs, it’s a failure of an outing.

          • Jesse says:

            Exactly. That’s like saying going one inning while allowing three runs is the same as going eight innings and allowing three. Holy fuck, how stupid is that?

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      With a 1.66 WHIP. That’s atrocious.

    • Slugger27 says:

      im confused. youre either taking a very weird angle at trolling, or you dont understand the concept of pitching (and what it means to pitch well or poor).

      im looking at those 10 starts, and theres 1 i would classify as good, and thats milwaukee. baltimore is ok. the other 8 are either mediocre or terrible.

      like i implied in an earlier post, the fact that you link to that as a defense to aj is an indictment on your understanding of the game.

    • ItsATarp says:

      4.3 ERA outside of the two very terrible starts…AJ is not good, but not as bad as the ERA suggests.

      • Slugger27 says:

        are we allowed to not count his good starts in our counterarguments?

        • Icebird753 says:

          I’m going to totally agree with slugger27. How come people weren’t bashing Nova for his last start? Sure AJ hasn’t always gone 7 innings but for the most part, he’s left games in which his team still has a good shot to come out victorious. You can’t ask for much else from this guy; it’s not like he was an ace pitcher when they signed him anyway. The labeling of “trolls” is just head-scratching sometimes.

          • Jesse says:

            It’s because Nova was consistent before his KC start. You can give him a pass, unlike Burnett who has been mediocre at best. Now, if Nova has another poor outing in Sunday’s game, then maybe you have a point.

            • ItsATarp says:

              Nova in his first two month wasn’t great either. He gets a pass because he’s younger and more likeable than AJ. Also he’s making less money and is a home grown prospect.

              • Jesse says:

                Nova’s become a different pitcher since then, you can’t forget that. In those beginning starts he was a fb/curve guy and basically ignoring his slider and change up.

              • Jesse says:

                Besides, I can take two of those starts out from April and he’d look much better. Sound familiar?

                • ItsATarp says:

                  Well Nova isn’t a 5 ERA guy like he was in april. his 5 ERA in April is not representative of what he has done for the most part…which is what i’ve been saying for AJ. I’d also bring up Nova’s change since May, since in April and May Nova’s xFIP was in the high 4′s and since then he his xFIP and FIP has been in the mid to high 3′s which is decent.

                  • ItsATarp says:

                    and off course AJ is going to have some uber good outings and completely shitastic ones like two and in chicago, but having a shitty outing tend to inflate the ERA more than a good one.

              • toad says:

                And because of Nova’s age there was a reasonable expectation, since justified, that he could improve over the course of the season.

      • Jesse says:

        I can cherry-pick too. Take out his two best starts during that stretch and let’s see how he looks.

        • ItsATarp says:

          except his bad starts consist of only 6 innings out of 156 innings…which is an extreme;y small amount of innings consisting of a lot of suck. otherwise he has spread out his terribleness for the year.

          • ItsATarp says:

            In other words his two pretty bad starts has inflated his ERA. AJ is not good, but he’s usually more of a 3-4 runs in 6 innings this year.

            • Jesse says:

              But his two best starts have lowered his ERA. Like I said, you can cherry-pick all you want, but just remember he fact I can cherry-pick the opposite way.

              • ItsATarp says:

                You’re missing the point. Fine take out his two worst and two best starts. He’s still essentially a 3 ER 6 innings pitcher. we get a 4.5 -4.6ish ERA and 6 innings per start taking out his two best and two worst starts. which basically 3 – 4 ER in 6innings…which is basically what i’ve been saying. Fun fact: we lost both of his two “best” starts.

                • Jesse says:

                  still you’re missing the point. You can “take out” any start you want, the fact of the matter is, is that he has an ERA near five and a 9-10 record. He get’s paid #1 or #2 starter money. He’s been like this for two years now, you can’t just throw away those two starts. If he was better than you think the numbers say he is, he wouldn’t be having these clunkers.

                  • ItsATarp says:

                    Here is an extreme example: so if we have a pitcher who gives up 3 ER in 7 innings for 10 straight starts, then one game he blows up and gives us 10 ER in 1 innings in his 11th. He has a 5 ERA, so are you going to say he is has been 5 ERA pitcher in very outing he pitches? durr…even if i keep his bad/good starts, i’m saying his 5 ERA doesn’t show that for the most part this year he has been a 3 ER 6innings guy…is that so hard to understand

          • Jesse says:

            The reason why his bad starts consist of just 6 innings is because you pull a pitcher much early when he’s having a shitty start, so of course the innings will be low. He’s been very mediocre at best this season. Besides, I think you’re forgetting the start against Boston, and his start against Tampa in which he went 5.1 and allowed 6, and remember in that game he had a lead and totally imploded by giving up homers. It can be fun to cherry pick, but if you look at the overall numbers he’s been very mediocre at best this year, you can’t just make those bad starts disappear.

            • ItsATarp says:

              He is mediocre, i’m not arguing that. Also 3 of his ER this start was due to Ayala giving them up. Yes AJ as been bad but his near 5 ERA is not an indicator of what he has done for the majority of the year where is been more meh than terrible.

              • Jesse says:

                He’s had only eight quality starts this year in 26 games, and hasn’t had one since June 29th against Milwaukee, and hasn’t had one against an AL Team since June 13th against Cleveland. Sure he’s had a few starts of 5.2 innings and three runs, but it shows that Girardi doesnt have the full trust in him to finish those innings.

  20. CMP says:

    In all seriousness, maybe he could become a usable relief pitcher.

    If he gained a couple of MPH on his fastball like most pitchers do when they move to the pen to go along with his curveball, he could be effective.

    What do they really have to lose at this point since he’s completely useless as a starter.

  21. first time lawng time says:

    No mention of the offense not being able to do anything against Liriano? I mean, he’s having a very poor year; I thought they’d be able to do more 1 run and 3 hits…

    • Pat D says:

      I ended up doing some other things and not watching entirely, but it’s hard to come back down 7 runs after 2 innings. They had a good chance to get back into the game in the 3rd, but Granderson and Teixeira couldn’t get the job done, so I think they were just out of it.

  22. tigernyc says:

    Let’s “smoke the objective pipe,” here/ AJ totally sucks as a SP, cream pies and lockerroom “championship belt” aside, and most for now be relegated to the Kai Igwai Cashman “Hall of Shame” Pitching attempted fixes. Tweeck something and send AJ to the DL to stop the pain of having him continue to be a NYY SP, Please! Maybe in some future Season or Planet

    • Rich in NJ says:

      Cash isn’t the only GM who makes occasional mistakes. For example, Theo signed Lugo and Lackey, among others, to terrible contracts. Both have done far more right than wrong. Yet somehow Theo gets far more credit.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        I’m not going to look up the numbers but Theo has spent what, 150 million less than the Yankees since he took over? Sure he may be overrated but it’s not like Cash is extremely underrated.

        • Rich in NJ says:

          But you’re overlooking that Cash was against re-signing A-Rod once he opted out since it cost them Texas’ contractual subsidy, and against giving Posada a fourth year, and possibly some other moves, so any direct comparison of expenditures is necessarily illusory.

          • JobaWockeeZ says:

            Which cuts the gap to 100 million, perhaps? I think Epstein doesn’t deserve all the credit he receives and I do think that Cash is a bit unappreciated but with that payroll it’s hard to argue that what he’s done career wise warrants a lot of credit outside of writing huge checks. His pitching record is pretty bad. Development is not a strong suit either. He managed to put up a strong farm yes but unless it’s the Rays or the Royals top farms don’t give all that much in return. Remember when Texas or the Braves had farms to drool over? What came outta there?

            He’s neither elite or bad.

            • Rich in NJ says:

              I don’t the exact figures because I don’t have the facts before me, but aggregate payroll isn’t dispositive of the issue because the Yankees have the revenue to spend big bucks (even overpay). That’s the way the owners choose to do business, irrespective of Cash’s wishes. In fact, one of he Brothers Steinbrenner has been quoted as saying that Cash is more reluctant to spend their money than they are.

              Given that the owners have made winning the WS every single year their mission statement (I think it’s counterproductive, but that’s a separate issue), we don’t know whether or not Cash has wanted to give young pitchers more time to develop at the ML level, but was overruled by ownership. It is rather telling, imo, that in 2008 they started the season with Hughes, IPK, and Joba in the rotation, and then by 2009, they reversed course and went the veteran route.

              Right now, the Yankees are on the verge of having a pipeline of quality young starers, with Hughes, Nova, Noesi, Banuelos, Betances, etc.

              That’s a result of the emphasis that Cash put on the farm system, something he lacked the power to do before 2006. So it probably takes five years or so to implement that plan.

              Prior to that time, when Cash had no input into the draft, their lack of mL arms caused him to scramble by taking chances on the Weavers, Browns, Vazquezes, and Pavanos of the world. Granted, that may not have worked out, but many astute baseball people supported those moves at the time they were made.

              Let’s also give him credit for David Robertson, who could be Mo’s heir apparent.

  23. TigerNYC says:

    It really seems quite simple, AJ sucks as a SP now and should not be allowed to do so again for NYY this year. Kei Igwai “Hall of Fame” as a worst ever Cashman FA, Maybe; deterine in last two years of AJ’s contract. Buty for now, “No Mas”! DL on some charge or BP worst case “mop up” only. He sucks, get aq clue and PLEASE STOP gibing him starts.

  24. TigerNYC says:

    Is Cashman still defending this Clown?

  25. Mike Jacobs says:

    …It’s not like there’s some magical potion you can take.”


  26. Bpdelia says:

    curry’s questions. were totally appropriate.

    does girardi expect. reporters to NOT ask about that? does he not realize that’s. their job.

    its not some big deal or anything and I think girslardi is fine but this was not his finest moment. these are the moments managers get paid for and girardi really failed on this one.
    bad job anyway you slice it

  27. stuart a says:

    this is a 3 year hiccup with aj after all they can fix him he is only 34.

    what a joke… he sucks and he should have no role as a starting pitcher for the yanks. they have better options then matt dealvo and chase wright. they have credible options and aj deserves to be buried in the bullpen and any other explanation or rationale is total bullsh-t.

    aj sucks.

  28. tom says:

    I interrupt this Piss-on-AJ thread, not to disagree with the sentiment, but to offer a different thought on the game:

    The Yanks and Red Sox lost by identical scores tonight, but in quite different ways. The Yanks were essentially out of it two outs into the 2nd. The Red Sox, on the other hand, must have felt well on their way to a win, leading 4-1 going into the bottom of the 6th, at which point their starter and bullpen fell completely apart.

    A loss is a loss, I suppose, but, all tolled, I think Yankee fans had a somewhat less grueling evening than Sox fans.

    • Owen Two says:

      Agreed. It’s one thing for your starting pitcher to have an ‘off day’. It’s another for your starter to fall apart, and your bullpen to lose a lead.

  29. Yazman says:

    “one of the top five most highly paid pitchers on the club”

    He’s #2 most highly paid, correct?

    I’d tell AJ about Dennis Eckersley and John Smoltz…

  30. FIPster Doofus says:

    Burnett might be the seventh-best starter on the team, as I’m not convinced Noesi would fare any worse. Nice use of $16.5 mill per annum.

  31. mbonzo says:

    Considering AJ has a history of slowing down in August and July and a huge injury history, maybe it would be a good idea to give him a chunk of September off, not only for the possible benefit of coming back strong at the end of the month, but also to punish him for how he acted tonight. This puts room on the roster, it allows the other 5 guys to show who properly deserves a spot, and lets us possibly get a refreshed AJ for the post season. I would love to have an April/May AJ as the 4th starter.

  32. Icebird753 says:

    This overall negativity in this post is just sad, people. AJ hasn’t been awful all the time you know; what annoys me is how the media is able to portray things in such a way that they are able, to a certain extent, to get people to believe every single thing they say. Who wouldn’t want to get out of his own jam? It’s pride; beats a pitcher who doesn’t care about the game being pitched and quickly defers to the manager and collects paychecks. You want players to play with a competitive edge…and I don’t blame Girardi at all for flipping out; the media’s been over-blowing the AJ/Girardi/Cashman relationship like its a soap opera. Let’s not overreact here. Let’s look at some facts here: in his last 10 starts, AJ has only had two awful outings, including this one. Colon has had 2 awful outings, Nova has had 1, Hughes 2, and Sabathia 2. Also, who in this rotation has been more durable than AJ, health-wise, other than CC and perhaps Nova? He’s hasn’t been a flop, quite frankly. They may have just overpaid him a bit, but that’s not AJ’s fault; it’s the team’s for offering him such a large contract…I think most people would sing for the offer containing the most $$.

    • Overall negativity? I’d love to hear how so. I tried to be as fair to AJ as possible.

      As for your Nova comp, it’s completely inapplicable. Nova’s a 24-year-old fringy prospect type who’s making league minimum. A.J. is a veteran earning $16.5 million who’s expected to be a topline starter. I know the money is a sunk cost, but that’s the reality of it.

      • Icebird753 says:

        Ben I was referring to the Yankee fans’ comments, not what you wrote. And does it matter if the person is a fringy prospect or a veteran? In the end they’re doing the same thing: pitching ballgames and trying to get their team a win. This especially applies to a win-now team like the Yankees. And yea, he earns that much money, but I don’t see how it is his fault that he earns that much; it’s not like he wrote himself that check. True, they may have overpaid for him, but the guy hasn’t been as awful as someone like Zito or Zambrano would be in pinstripes, with a mega contract. The bottom line is that most of the time he gives his team a chance to win when he goes out there, and he hasn’t been as big of a bust/diva as the media have made him out to be.

      • jay h says:

        i don’t think he was referring to the post as much as the comments on the post

      • Monteroisdinero says:

        Actually-your post said that when he came out of the game, 7 runners had scored. not true. 4 had scored and Ayala allowed his other 3 to score.

        Not fair.

    • mbonzo says:

      You might make the case that AJ is durable, based on his IP, but the fact is that he’s a huge injury risk who has shown that he may not be as durable as we think considering his failures in the later months of baseball with the Yankees. There will always be 2009 playoff AJ, but even 2009 was rough for him in August and October (4.86 ERA). He’s not necessarily pitching through injury, but I don’t think he’s a 200 IP starter, I’d like to see how he rebounds after a trip to the 15-day DL.

      • Icebird753 says:

        How’s he any more of an injury risk than any other starter though if he hasn’t been on the DL since his Blue Jays days. Think of it this way: since the Yankees seemingly down to Derek Lowe or AJ Burnett in the 2008 offseason, which one do you think fit better in the AL East for them? To me, it’s clearly AJ; Lowe posted awful numbers during his last year in Boston and was several years older when he was available. They picked the right starting pitcher at that time, and to me, although it’s been a bit of a dissapointing Yankees run for AJ, in no way has he been as awful a signing as Lackey, Pavano, Zito, or Zambrano (ok numbers but is a team chancer)have been.

        • Icebird753 says:

          and sorry excuse the typo’s lol…sleep deprivation

        • mbonzo says:

          I’m not comparing Burnett to Lowe in the slightest, the signing made sense at the time but obviously the Yankees would take it back now. I just don’t think the term durable fits AJ’s character. His career has been plagued with injuries, and while he hasn’t had anything official with the Yankees, the wear and tear on his arm has certainly shown in his pitch quality. A durable arm is one that can do his job with 200 IP a year, AJ might have 200IP but he’s certainly not doing his job.

          • Icebird753 says:

            Yea, I’d definitely agree with you on the part where you say he’s underachieving, as he clearly has been. The only thing is that he finally seems to be over his frequent injuries, but he’s just as maddeningly inconsistent as he always has been. He’s always had the nasty stuff, but he hasn’t been able to put it all together. I’m just trying to provide something other than a comment bashing Burnett here lol, but let’s be thankful he hasn’t been frequently hurt and that at least a fraction of that contract has been earned. Almost every Yankee on the club is overpaid, you know? But I definitely see the logic behind his signing in the first place, considering the other options at the time, and I don’t see his Yankee stint as awful, either. He’s still been serviceable, albeit a bit disappointing.

  33. Avi says:

    AJ Burnett: clubhouse cancer

  34. MikeD says:

    I enjoy missing games like this. What I enjoy even more is reading people’s comments. Very few people here are coming off as, well, umm, rational.

  35. EndlessMikeJr says:

    Girardi and Cashman love to stick up for A.J even though he sucks and should be put in the bullpen but Girardi benches Jorge in two national televised Red Sox games.Yep makes ense.

  36. Jimmy McNulty says:

    That image pretty much sums up AJ Burnett’s last two years in the Bronx. Yeah he had a couple of great post season moments in 2009, but it’s time for the Yankees to cut their losses and move on. Yes, they’re stuck with him, but they don’t need to make a bad signing any worse by giving him more starts in a very tight division race.

  37. Monteroisdinero says:

    There is also this: If AJ was so pissed at a ball/strike call to Mauer-why does he turn back to Girardi and say what he said instead of saying it to the ump at home plate when it happened or when he was walking off the field? I don’t believe the coverup.

    Send AJ to Freddy’s kitchen for a date with some sharp objects.

    Twins have to win sometime-not a big loss in the scheme of things but even in defeat we get a victory of sorts as AJ moves further from post season decrepitude.

  38. Monteroisdinero says:

    Watching the Girardi and Martin interviews:

    Joe: AJ couldn’t locate his fb

    Russ: AJ couldn’t get his curve over


    • nycsportzfan says:

      i find it funny when people talk about this electric stuff he has.. No, he has stuff he can’t get over, and when teams simply don’t swing at the slop hes throwing, then they kill him, because he eventually has to groove straighter then straight fastballs down the pipe just to get a ball over..

      I’ve said this all yr long, that AJ’s pitching even when it seemed good isn’t as good as it looks, and now its showing.. He was escaping the big innings earlier in the yr, but everything was a struggle, and u could see this coming a mile away.. I got ripped by many back in may when i was saying just that, that i don’t care to watch him pitch and still don’t see the stuff that is gonna get him through a entire season pitching decent… ANd what do u know? The worst part is he’ll probably pitch good against BALT, and then the idiot yank brass will think he had a good bounce back start and it’ll reset his outings before they can’t take him pitching in the rotation anymore.. They’ve simply gotta get this idiot outta the rotation, bottom line… This rotation is gonna have a hard time pitching in the postseason, and as i’ve continued to say, this team looks like a regular season type team… I don’t see any of em pitching good against BOSTON, thats for sure.. Now Freddy is coming off a minor injury, and that might set him back as it took him outta his groove.. This team just looks like the usual yank teams of 2005,06,07,08 and 2010… A team that can bash there way to wins, and there pitching is good enough to get through crappy teams, but good playoff teams with good rotations will get the better of them.. Hopefully i’m wrong…

      • Kosmo says:

        In the AL who has a better 1-5 or 1-4 rotation than NY ? Of the playoff bound teams, Texas has an OK top to bottom rotation and Detroit has Verlander and the Sawx have Lester and Beckett.

  39. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    I know it has been sugested before. But, did John Smoltz and Andy Petitte at one time use a sports psychologist to hipnotise them in order to focus better. If the Yankees let Burnett go I am sure that someone will fix his problems. Larry Rothcild has done a great job as pitching coach and has not been able to fix him. One of the principal causes for this is that AJ has said that he does not need fixing. There is got to be something to fix when you have such great stuff and cannot harness it. I have read all the comments fellow fans have made about AJ, but in my opinion he still can help.

  40. Kosmo says:

    I seriously doubt NY let´s Burnett hang around for 2 more years , when opportunities start to unfold with their pitching prospects and possible FA signings. The Yanks will offer to eat 20 million of the existing 33 mil just to be rid of him. I think a team desperate for SP would jump at 13 million over 2 years .
    Right now NY will bury him after Sept. 1st rolls around.
    I´d be greatly surprised if Burnett comes out of ST in 2012 as part of NY´s pitching staff .

  41. Jorge says:

    AJ Burnett has always been AJ Burnett. He would look like no one could hit him until that moment when he stopped knowing where the hell the ball was going. That’s who he was in Florida. That’s who he was in Toronto. The problem here is that he now is a pitcher who never really evolved past that AND whose skills are eroding due to age. This is why you can’t count on him to “reinvent himself” and suddenly get batters out on location and smarts like a Mike Mussina or 2011 Freddy Garcia. I’ve like AJ as a player ever since he came up from the minors and I still lived in Florida, but I think his inflexibility as a pitcher means he’s toast.

    The team can bury him on 9/1. They still have to figure out what to do with him for two more years. He can’t just pitch out of the bullpen for those two years. My protestant work ethic makes it so that I couldn’t fathom paying someone to not work for me (I know…..he’s not working for ME.) The only thing I can imagine is that there may be an equally busted contract out there that would fit better on the Yankees. Zambrano could actually be worse than AJ. Carry Vernon Wells as 4th outfielder? Is there a contract-for-contract trade out there, involving AJ, that would potentially benefit both teams? If there is, get that shit done during the waiver period now.

    • Kosmo says:

      Burnett was a first class “hot dog“ when he came up with Florida .He could throw 97-98 mph effortlessly. He was real cocky about his ability to throw his fastball by hitters. He was still throwing 95-97 in 2008 for Toronto, but now that his velocity has dipped and without good control he´s now “toast“.

  42. Captain Beatty says:

    I’m sick of people making excuses for him, well AJ has always been AJ a mediocre pitcher. They made the same excuses for Manny just being Manny. Dump this clown already. Put him in the bullpen not for one start, but for pitching to a 5 ERA the past 2 seasons. How can you be so terrible and keep your job when we’ve got Nova and Hughes pitching much better?

  43. Rainbow Connection says:

    Don’t you fools know that AJ singlehandedly won the 2009 WS?


  44. Bronx Byte says:

    The Orioles are salivating knowing they will face Burnett on Friday.
    If the jerk is put in the bullpen, he better not come in with runners on base. One of his wild pitches brings home more runners.
    It would be great if during his next appearance at the Stadium he gets booed heavy then flips a bird at the fans.
    Cashman will run of of excuses if it happens.

  45. Nogomo says:

    Regardless of what is said here, if AJ doesn’t make some sort of highly improbable reversal, becoming once again capable of consistently putting in quality starts against good offenses (rather than the total embarrassment that was last night), he will not be in the starting rotation for the playoffs. Last night’s performance would have potentially eliminated Hughes or Nova from contention. I don’t see why AJ should get so much more forgiveness, the past is past. He cannot, for now, pitch at the level required.

    The reasons he is still in the rotation for now are A) Girardi is a softy, and may be under pressure from Cashman to let him pitch a bit longer to try and save face, and B) we are virtually assured a playoff berth with or without AJ in the rotation. I’ll throw in C) Freddy and Bartolo’s fragility. Salary is decidedly NOT a reason, in my opinion. It makes no sense to lose games because of salary.

    So, again, unless there’s some reversal, we should easily be able to predict the rotation for the playoffs except that Hughes and Nova are making it damn hard to know which is more dazzling and Freddy could break a nail or get a hemmrhoid and be on the DL or something.

    Personally, I think AJ never had the mental depth needed to deal with the adversity he is facing now, and also I am not sure he has the same level of work ethic and selfless attitude required to work through it and get back to form. Shouting “this is fucking bullshit” demonstrates this lack, I think. It sure is AJ, but who’s responsible? Not the ump and not Girardi.

  46. Bpdelia says:

    I donT think burnett is a clown, or jerk. He seems like an ok dude. I dont hate burnet t. I like him. But he isnt throwing 98 now. Perhaps the bullpen will work for him,. He is the teams 6th thru 10th best stsrter from here thru 2013. He will be in the pen in oct.

    The reason cashman and girardi won’t throw him under the bus is probably because they like the guy and feel badly. But pity isnt enough to save his spot.

    Warren, mitchell, banuelos, bettances, phelps, noesi , nova, hughes, are all probably just as goood right now. 93 isnt 98. Burnett without 95 to 97 can’t get it done

  47. Bronx Byte says:

    C’mon Burnett, do the right thing and punch a concrete wall with your right hand.

  48. Esteban says:

    Um, Eduardo Nunez’s middle name is Michelle? What?

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