Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Are you really still angry about A.J. Burnett?

As I was taking in the hideous stylings of one Allan James Burnett last night at Chase Field, I thought it would be fun to gauge the A.J. Love on some sure-to-be completely rational New York Yankee message boards.

The struggling right-hander had allowed three homers and five runs through one inning against the last-place Diamondbacks. Burnett, I reasoned, would be a periphery topic at the very least.

It turns out that Yankees fans—even-keeled lot that they are—were not happy with their supposed No. 2 starter.

Fred27
June 21st, 2010 at 10:20 pm

#34 needs to shave his face. What ever happened to the clean-cut yankee policy?

Chris W June 21st, 2010 at 10:23 pm

A.J., you are garbage.

Michelle June 21st, 2010 at 10:23 pm

AJ is an absolute joke. How does .500 pitcher=$82m?? He is absolutely useless.

Jim June 21st, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Like I have said before. Number 5 starter on this team by a mile. Please Cash get rid of this guy in the off season

dillpickler June 21st, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Can we just release this tattooed piece of garbage? Please? I’ll bet every Yankee fan in the country would donate $10 to pay off his pathetic contract. Just get rid of him.

M June 21st, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Burnett= NO heart. NO guts.

Burnett for Lee. Straight up. Get it done NOW, Cashman.

Disgrace to the uniform. I don’t care about the pies. That should be Swisher’s job.

Get off my team, you heartless POS.

Geez, man. A "heartless POS"? Did he kidnap your daughter or something?

As you can see, patience has become extremely short in Burnett. Never mind the outstanding April and a good-ish May, his 0-4, 10.35 ERA June is all that can be processed at this point.

I've long since passed the stage of frustration displayed by the maniacal posters above. For me, the 2009 World Series served as a microcosm of his career, and the point that doubled as the definitive statement of the 32-year-old's limitations.

In Game 2 at Yankee Stadium, Burnett blanked the Phillies for eight innings, essentially saving New York's season. In Game 5 at Citizens Bank Park, he came up smaller than Verne Troyer.

That's A.J. Burnett.

He's a .500 pitcher, who was lucky enough earn more than $100 million in his career because his good half of .500 tends to make him look like one of baseball's best pitchers.

Clearly this isn't the case, and if you're unhappy that the Yankees dished out ace money for a pitcher without the consistency to assume that role, I can understand. But at what point do you stop getting angry and just accept Burnett for what he is?

It's time to come to realization that this is a man who pitches in cycles. One is very, very good, and the other is very, very bad. I can promise you that a strong July is ahead, just as I can assure you August will leave you throwing pretzels at the TV again.

Try to pace yourself in terms of insults and frustration. There will be plenty of time for that before Burnett's time in New York is done.

Dan Hanzus writes the Yankees blog River & Sunset and can be reached via e-mail at dhanzus@gmail.com. Follow Dan on Twitter at danhanzus.