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A.J. Burnett Should Stay in Rotation; Cashman Should Shut Up

AJ Burnett (Jason Szenes/ NY Post)

A.J. Burnett has been a mess recently, and by recently, I mean the last two years. The media and fans want him out of the starting rotation, and there is plenty of evidence to back up their claim. GM Brian Cashman continues to defend A.J., and is doing a horrible job of it. I personally think Burnett should stay in the rotation, but I wish Cashman would stop talking.

Defending Burnett

Cashman recently said,

“The stuff about A.J. Burnett is worthy of being ripped from the rotation is a bunch of crap.”

First, watch the language. Secondly, although I think he should stay in the rotation (I’ll get to that later), I don’t think the fans’ reactions are completely off base. A.J. has been by far the worst of the five pitchers battling for four spots, especially recently.

Stats

Going into Friday, he has given up 21 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings in his last four starts. He is 1-4 in his last nine starts, including games against Baltimore, Oakland, Minnesota, and Kansas City. For the season he is 9-10. He’s under .500 for a team that’s almost 30 games over, with a good bullpen and an offense that leads the league in runs. If The Boss was still in charge, A.J. and his cream pies would be on the slow bus to Pittsburgh.

Money Is Not A Factor

While Cashman won’t go as far as guaranteeing a spot in the rotation, he told ESPNNewyork.com:

“No, money is never going to be a factor.”

You know what should be a factor? His hair. Seriously, look at that picture. The day you walk into a clubhouse looking like you’re in a boy-band, it’s time to go. Yankee rules prohibit beards and long hair, but there shouldn’t have to be a rule prohibiting looking like a Backstreet Boy. That’s just a life rule. Frankly, of all the things in his career that Derek Jeter should be criticized for, it’s allowing this in his clubhouse.

“I think he’s being treated differently publically because he has money attached.”

Of course he gets treated differently. He was signed to perform as a #2 starter, and is performing like #2 (that’s a poo joke).

“The man can still pitch. The man is a starter.”

At this point Cashman isn’t even talking about Burnett, but is merely defending The Man. Typical rich guy.

Conclusion

It’s nice of Cashman to defend Burnett, but he’s doing it poorly. What Cashman should be saying is, “A.J. has been terrible to historical proportions, and makes terrible decisions regarding his hair, but if we’re going to win the World Series, we need him.”

The reason the Yankees need him is because Cashman has been unable to land a reliable starter after CC Sabathia. This rotation can’t win in October. Colon’s stamina is starting to waver, Nova’s likely will since rookies aren’t used to pitching so far into the season, Phil Hughes may or may not get back to dominating, and Freddy Garcia shouldn’t see a game in October without a ticket.

With the Yankees likely to make the playoffs, that gives A.J. six weeks to channel one of his multiple personalities that knows how to pitch strikes. It’s a long shot, but the only hope.

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Discussion

One comment for “A.J. Burnett Should Stay in Rotation; Cashman Should Shut Up”

  1. New Post: A.J. Burnett Should Stay in Rotation; Cashman Should Shut Up http://t.co/DY4iw7j

    Posted by Sports of New York | August 26, 2011, 4:26 pm

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