A.J. Burnett used to enjoy the confines of pitching in the Rogers Centre. With a cushy 5 year/$55 million dollar contact under his belt in the city of Toronto, Burnett had it made in the shade.
Then he opted out of the final three years of his contract and signed a contract with the mecca of all baseball teams, the New York Yankees.
And he thought the media in Toronto was tough.
As the Blue Jays chased A.J. Burnett in just the third inning, the Yankees had to put the champagne on ice for the evening. With the loss, that now makes Burnett’s record against his former team a lowly 1-4 in six starts with a 6.91 ERA since 2009.
This is arguably the most unstable number two starter on a playoff bound team in recent memory, and yet the Yankees have the task of handing him the ball in game two of the ALDS.
To further prove my point, according to STATS INC, A.J. Burnett is the first pitcher with a 15 loss season playing for a 93+ win team since Carlos Silva went 11-15 with the Twins in 2006.
Despite the general tone of this post, I don’t have any bottled up disdain for A.J. Burnett whatsoever, it’s just that there’s something strangely satisfying about watching him crash and burn playing for the biggest franchise in all of sports.
I honestly thought the novelty of Burnett coming back to pitch at the Rogers Centre would wear off after almost two full seasons of him in pinstripes, but it never seems to get old … even if every start isn’t as epic as Halladay vs. Burnett.
As a side note, how amazing would it be to see a potential Halladay vs. Burnett 2.0 in the World Series? It’s a bit of a long shot at this point, but just entertain the idea for a brief moment.
Like I said, if he thought things were tough in Toronto, now he’s under the bright lights in New York.
It’s only a matter of time before there’s a New York Post front page story plastered with A.J. Burnett featuring some witty headline voicing displeasure with their $85 million dollar man.