A.J. Burnett cut his hands in an act of frustration after the second inning today. He came into the clubhouse and slammed his hands against a set of double doors, cutting his palms on the plexi glass that holds the lineup card. Burnett said he was embarrassed and wanted to stay in the game so he told a trainer he had fallen.
“I was embarrassed of the situation,” he said. “I didn’t want that to be a reason why I came out of the game. I’m an honest person and I’m not going to lie to cover up something. That’s the reason, that’s the truth and I’m definitely not going to lie to this organization and these 25 guys in here who I play with everyday.”
Burnett was yanked before recording an out in the third. He admitted the truth and apologized to Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue after the game and said he will speak to his teammates tomorrow.
“The moral is that I let these guys down,” Burnett said.
Both Girardi and Burnett said the cuts were minor. He estimated they were no more than an inch or an inch and a half. He later took his hand out of his pocket and showed a small square bandage on the lower palm of his right hand. Both the pitcher and his manager said they expect Burnett will make his next start.
Girardi was not happy about the situation but said it was more important to move on than to continue to chide Burnett for his mistake.
“I’m not happy that he did it, but the fact is that me carrying anger over it’s not going to change what happened,” Girardi said. “My job is to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That’s what I have to concentrate on. We have to make sure he’s OK for his next start. I had my talk with A.J. I did that. But I have to move on, too, and he has to move on.”
Burnett said he acted out in frustration following Reid Brignac’s home run. He was “all out of whack,” and it bothered him because he had appeared to figure it out over his last two starts, which coincided with the return of Dave Eiland.
“I think Joe thought it was affecting the way I was holding the ball. I think it affected me differently adrenaline-wise,” Burnett said. “Obviously when you snap like that you get your adrenaline going in the wrong direction. In my mind I came out because I was terrible today.”
UPDATE, 8:45 p.m.: I have uploaded the audio of Girardi and Burnett. Both start in the middle of an answer. They were both conducting postgame interviews at the same time, in part because the clubhouse opened late and Girardi was late to his press conference. It seems that Girardi was busy learning about what caused Burnett’s cuts.
The only player in the clubhouse who spoke to reporters was Curtis Granderson, who was unaware about why Burnett was pulled until reporters told him. So there will be plenty more on this tomorrow.
“They have all the right to wonder and to have their opinions and I would agree with them if they were angry because right now I’m pretty angry,” Burnett said of his teammates.
For those who can’t listen to the entire clips, I have added a few key quotes above.
UPDATE, 9:04 p.m.: I have added quotes above, including Girardi’s opinion on why the club needs to move on rather than dwell on Burnett’s mistake.