Saturday, November 15, 2014

AJ Burnett re-signs with Pittsburgh, another reminder of Hal Steinbrenner's original sin: Russell Martin

It seems like yesterday, the winter of our discontent - 2012-13 - when the Yankees prepared to re-sign Russell Martin, the Ray Liotta lookalike. He was coming off a brutal season - 21 HRs and a .211 average, thanks to a terrible start - and all he wanted was a two-year deal.

Yep. Seems crazy, doesn't it?

Of course, we know what happened. Hal Steinbrenner decided to impose a $186 million payroll cap. Thus, no two-year deals. (Then he broke his rule and signed Ichiro.) Brian Cashman went to the Winter Meetings and said - famously - "Beggars can't be choosers." Next summer, the Yankees played everybody but Matt Nokes at catcher. And last winter, they lashed themselves for five years to the great white whale known as Brian McCann. And here we are: McCann hit 23 home runs and batted .232. last season.

But believe it or not, I'm thinking about AJ Burnett today. The Pirates just re-signed him, even though he crapped the bed last season: 8-18 with a 4.59 ERA. That, of course, fueled Burnett's boisterous Yankee critics, who still claim - ludicrously - that it was smart to dump him in 2011... a move that foreshadowed Hal's brief fling with austerity.
AJ Brunett

In 2012, Burnett was one of the NL's best pitchers. (In return, the Yankees received two Single A meatballs.) He followed it in 2013 with a better ERA - 3.30 - over 191 innings. And last year, for all his issues, he still threw 213 innings - well more than any Yankee pitcher.

For the last three years, the Yankees have bled starters. Yet they gave Burnett away, and - amazingly - never seemed to face criticism for doing so.

Well, yesterday, Pittsburgh did something the Yankees refused to do:

They forgave AJ Burnett for having a bad season. They re-signed him.

Oh, well, we chopped a year off the McCann prison sentence. And Martin is a free agent. He should get a decent deal. Did you know he hit .290 last year?


John M said...

There is nothing but bad news filtering down from the Bronx. It's depressing. The stupid, it burns.

How you manage to keep knocking out posts day after day to the off-season readership is beyond me. I have trouble being interested in tying my shoes this time of year, much less following the hapless lunacy that emanates from Yankee front office.

What's made it worse, I've been ill for weeks and haven't even been able to drink, which is the only way I got through the season. So this is tough.

How many years until Cashman retires? How about Hal?

el duque said...

It's the first thing I do every day - uncork a rant about the Yankees. And as Alphonso can attest, I've been doing it since the 1990s, or since there has been email. No hope for me. One day, there will be no more rants. I will be in the ground.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I second that John M,,,,,,I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Bless You El Duque!