Whoever said that AJ Burnett couldn’t pitch should be putting their foot back in their mouth, as he could very well win the NL CY Young this season.
Burnett had his ups and downs for sure, but Yankee fans had him pinned on the dartboard from the moment he arrived.
When the Yankees packed his bags for Pittsburgh at the beginning of this season, I was one fan who thought it was a HUGE mistake; and now he is proving just how bad a decision it was.
Sure, Burnett obviously needed a new environment and he has gotten that playing for the Pirates but can you imagine how good the Yankees would be if the fans had given him a chance here?
Burnett was just named NL Player of the Week for period ending August 5th.
Here are his 2012 stats thus far (stats courtesy of MLB.com):
It is safe to say that Burnett never had a shot in the Bronx, and yes the fans were the main reason for it.
See too many Yankee fans get their panties all ruffled, while sitting on their homemade thrones because of a player’s paycheck. And they are relentless.
So my question to all the Burnett-hating fans is how do you feel about the Yankees paying $20 million of the $33 million left on Burnett’s contract to go thrive somewhere else?
And Burnett is not just flourishing in Pittsburgh he is dominating, and he will certainly be in serious discussion for the 2012 NL CY Young Award.
Just in case you might have forgotten (as Yankee fans tend to have selective memory) here are two old posts from Burnett’s time in the pinstripes. The first is pleading for the haters and hecklers to please encourage him; and another is a great display of what mental anguish he dealt with.
WHY CRUCIFYING BURNETT NEEDS TO STOP – Bleeding Yankee Blue
YANKEE FANS REACT TO AJ BURNETT DECISION – Yankee Yapping
Now, if this doesn’t make these entitled Yankee fans think the next time before booing I don’t know what else will.
Burnett obviously can still pitch and the Yankees certainly could have benefitted from him this season but instead Yankee fans exploited his well-publicized mental shortcomings.
For all intensive purposes, Yankee fans can blame themselves for not getting the most out of AJ Burnett and even he has confirmed this himself:
“It’s been great here, everything I expected and more. I came to a team that wanted me bad. That was important to me. I had heard that this was a great sports town, that people really love their sports here. You saw that [Sunday]. The fans supported me before I even threw my first pitch [of the season]. They’re excited I’m here and I’m excited to be here.”
And to finish, here is a quote from Burnett’s new skipper Pirates Clint Hurdle who recently told the NY Post, “Our fan base has embraced him which is something new for him.’’
Hopefully Yankee fans that constantly heckle just to hear themselves or whatever the reason might learn from this because the rest of us Yankee fans are getting really annoyed with treating players so in-humanely.
I like to win, and as a Yankees fan or any other baseball fan you root for the team to win. Not boo a player so much he can’t do what he is capable of doing.