A.J. Burnett's Tenure in the Bronx

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When A.J was signed to an 82.5 million dollar contract fans all across the city were excited to bring him over from Toronto. It was encouraging that he posted an 18 and 10 record in his last year with the blue jays while pitching a career high 221.1 innings. What was even more astonishing was that he managed to keep his name off the disabled list for the first time in his career. before spring training came around the Yankees were constantly reminded of how they were fooled by Carl Pavano when he won 18 games for the marlins and people will never forgot how that all unraveled. He pitched a total of 145.2 innings in a span of four years while also pocketing 40 million. The Yankees remained optimistic and welcomed Burnett into the organization. Burnett sadly enough was never able to live up to his standards, but he showed flashes of what he potentially could have been. In June and July of the year 2009 people all around New York started to see why the Yankees signed him to such a mammoth contract to be their number two starter. He pitched to 2.30 ERA while posting an outstanding 7 and 2 record. As amazing as he was in those two months he couldn’t have been worse when august came around. Going 0 and 4 pitching to a 6.03 era. Since that august, A.J was never able to regroup and it ruined his confidence. Once again he showed those same flashes that he had shown a couple of months earlier and prevailed in game 2 of the World Series shutting out the Phillies in 6 innings. It was great that he won an important game for us especially since he needed to rebound after C.C had lost game 1, but some including himself might have forgotten that he was blown up for 7 runs in 3 innings in game 5.

When 2010 came around it was a new year and a fresh start for Burnett. We all thought it was coming especially when he teased us with a 2.43 era and 3-0 record in April. It was all downhill from there. It even reached such a low point that he posted an 11.35 ERA in the month of June. With Dave elliand mysterious absence that was Burnett excuses for pitching such poor performances. When elliand returned it was the same Burnett we had seen for the past 2 years. It reached another low point when the Yankees had enough and had no other choice but to remove him from the rotation in the post season. Burnett was furious with the organizations decision to remove him but when you take a look at the stats you couldn’t disagree with them. His final 22 starts of the regular season, he was 4-13 with a 6.48 ERA. No matter what the numbers were when the Yankees needed to rely on a 4th starter in the ALCS they gave that game to A.J. They were already down two to one in the series and fans were packing their bags just giving the series away to the rangers. It had seemed he had given us fans hope and life when in the 6th inning the Yankees were up 3 to 2 but once an enigma always an enigma. He allowed a 3 run homer to Bengie Molina and once they were eliminated that’s all people thought about in the offseason. It was still fresh in our minds and what made things worse was Dave elliand was relieved of his duties as a pitching coach.

When Larry Rothschild was hired on November 20, 2010 his first job was to straighten out Burnett. The Yankees tried everything they could that they even sent Rothschild to his home. Over the offseason A.J. tried to keep his mind off things and stay focused on the upcoming season. As the 2011 season prolonged Burnett was pitching to 4 ERA. It was nothing new for the Yankees but they had no other choice but to send him out there. When the calendar flipped to august all people thought about were his stats in August as a Yankee. (0-8 record and a 7 ERA.) It was fate for him to pitch to his numbers and as they say history repeats itself he sure proved it. Except this time he was pitching to an 11.91 ERA. In september he managed to do sightlty better posting a 4.30 ERA though he went 2 and 0 which was a big improvement considering he went 1 and 5 the past two months posting a 8.37 ERA. A.J. Burnett was out of the picture when it came to the ALDS rotation, but as we cant control the weather it came down to having to pitch him in game 4. what made things worse was he was pitching to not only save his career in the bronx but the yankees playoff hopes. After recovering from a shaky first inning he pitched overall 1 run ball in 5.2 innings. This might have just given him hope to stick around for a little more with the yankees. So,when you look back at Burnett's first 3 years as a Yankee and hopefully his last, journalists and reporters all say how Burnett was never consistent. Well if you ask me, he was consistently pitching disastrous through his time in New York





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