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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Burnett: “Enough’s enough”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Podcast on Aug 28, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees White Sox BaseballGive A.J. Burnett credit for this much: Few players give a more honest self evaluation than he does.

“I leave the pen every five days feeling the same,” he said. “Great warmup, (feel) strong. I’m just not taking it to the field. Enough’s enough.”

Joe Girardi seemed to agree last night. At least, he hinted that he agreed. Girardi strongly hinted that he will consider skipping Burnett the next time through the rotation. It would be hard to blame him.

Burnett’s fastball has good velocity, but it’s getting hit: “I’m leaving the ball over the plate,” he said.

Burnett’s curveball doesn’t seem nearly as reliable as in the past: “I always want to throw my hook for a strike, but it seems the ones I throw for strikes are getting hit too,” he said.

It’s hard to blame Girardi for considering the alternatives, but two facts stand out: 1. Burnett still has three years left on his deal. It’s one thing to give up on a guy like Javier Vazquez who’s in his walk year. It’s another to give up on a guy who’s going to be here for a while. 2. The alternatives are largely unknown. It’s a group headlined by Vazquez himself, a guy who was just bumped from the rotation because of a string of ineffective starts — a string even longer than Burnett’s.

Girardi might very well follow through on his vague threat. It would be hard to blame the guy for preferring Vazquez or Sergio Mitre or Jason Hirsh at this point, but at it’s very best, the Yankees rotation includes Burnett. It doesn’t include the version we saw last night, but it includes some version of him, and it’s probably going to have to include him for a while.

Here’s Burnett after last night’s game.

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Associated Press photo of Burnett

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106 Responses to “Burnett: “Enough’s enough””

  1. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Today’s Guess the Line Up is Open for Business until 11 o’clock

    So far:

    champ809

  2. Chuck58 August 28th, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Good morning, Doreen, and thank you for running GTLU on the weekend :-)
    Here’s my picks:

    [1] SS Jeet
    [2] RF Swishalicious
    [3] 1B Tex
    [4] 2B Erin’s PBF
    [5] DH “Home Run” Thames
    [6] C Jorgie
    [7] LF Kearnsie
    [8] 3B Eddie Nunez
    [9] CF Brett the Jet

    Go Yankees!

  3. Yankee Trader August 28th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Good morning -

    Didn’t watch the game last night-thank goodness. It seems to me that the league has figured AJ out. When you have only two pitches and your curve is off, the opposing team knows what’s coming. Can’t see him making his next start in YS, although putting him in the bullpen doesn’t offer any “relief.”

    Too bad Kerry Wood who still has an arsenal of pitches, can’t start. Maybe the Yankees will get lucky and find someone who can give them some quality innings thru waivers, whether it be now or in September.

    Sure hope Pettitte can come back and be effective, because having only one consistent starter right now has to be a drain on the rest of the players.

  4. LGY August 28th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Burnett has given up 6 or more runs 9 times this season. I am going to count it as 10, because that game where he punched the door he was certainly on his way to another 6+ run performance.

    Burnett has started 26 games this year. So in 38% of his starts he has given up 6 or more runs.

    38% of the time AJ has started a game this season he has basically given his team no chance to win. 10 games where you can basically point the finger at one person.

  5. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 9:23 am

    It’s hard to know what to do. If he’s having good throw days, bullpens, whatever, and he feels good in his pre-game warmups and he still doesn’t know what’s going to happen, what do you really have to go on?

    Maybe you skip a start just to get off the train. Not for any other reason, but to break the string. Because it seems to me that it’s going to be a toss-up every time out no matter what you do.

    What stinks is the Yankees wasted two excellent performances by him recently. The Texas one, well, those happen; but the KC loss was a real waste by the offense. Because the Yankees lost those two excellent starts, they get lost and all you remember are these last two horrendous ones. I know AJ is inconsistent (to say the least), but especially since he is, the offense has got to turn it on when he’s going well.

    However, thinking this thing through, perhaps its the very nature of his inconsistency that makes the offense press when he starts.

    But, I am a strong believer in turning the calendar page making a difference much of the time. So I’m looking forward to September.

  6. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    LGY -

    Wow.

  7. MaineYankee August 28th, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Doreen

    I like what is on the next calendar page.

    Not as much as Erin though. :lol:

    Robbie Cano.

  8. MaineYankee August 28th, 2010 at 9:28 am

    MTU

    Glad to see the dust mops kept you safe.

  9. Yankee Trader August 28th, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Doreen-

    You make sense, but at this point AJ is below .500 pitcher and if the Yankees finish out the season playing below .500 baseball they might find themselves being edged out for a playoff spot.

  10. MTU August 28th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Maine-

    Thanks.

    If the Yankees can manage to play just .550 ball from here on out they will have 97 wins.

    For Boston to have 98 they must play over .700.

    Who’s chances do you like better ?

    I’ll see you later.

  11. Madrugador August 28th, 2010 at 9:43 am

    With Petit not yet recovered, Vasquez in the pen and AJ, even if the Yanks make the playoffs, they won’t go too far.

  12. pat August 28th, 2010 at 9:45 am

    LGY

    Al Leiter’s theory- Every pitcher has 10 good starts, 10 bad starts and with 10 how much he battles determines if they are good or bad- was formulated with AJ in mind.

    In 17 starts, he gave up 4 runs or less.

  13. LGY August 28th, 2010 at 9:52 am

    pat,

    I don’t see how Leiter’s theory applies to AJ this season. He is literally a coin flip. He is either good or awful.

    He is either good or gives his team basically no chance to win. I don’t see any 10/10/10 breakdown that can applied to what he has given the team this year.

    Giving your team no chance to win 10 times out is far too much.

  14. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 9:53 am

    pat -

    Ah, the other side of the coin. :?

  15. Northy August 28th, 2010 at 9:55 am

    On Al Leiters theory…

    Burnetts bad starts are not bad – they’re awfull

  16. blake August 28th, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I didn’t get to see the game last night but if AJ’s start was anything like a lot of the rest for him this year then he’s just not getting away with mistakes like he has in the past. His stuff has always been good enough to somewhat mask his spotty commmand…his stuff may be down just enough that he’s not getting away with it as much anymore. He has to either get his curveball over for strikes in good counts or have pinpoint fastball command and he’s been able to do neither a lot of the time this season.

    Glad to hear Andys bullpen went ok yesterday…big key for the rest of this season.

  17. SJ44 August 28th, 2010 at 10:00 am

    AJ is right. Enough is enough.

    Gotta pull him from the rotation.

    Give Mitre his next start and go from there.

    Take it on a start by start basis.

    Whomever pitches well, stays in the rotation.

    It’s one thing to show confidence in a player. It’s another to stay too long with him.

    They can’t afford anymore AJ implosions.

    Skip him and see if he can figure some things out in the pen.

    If he doesn’t like it? Send him home for the year.

    Putting a guy out there to be that bad that often in the middle of a pennant because you are worrying about hurting his feelings if you don’t is dumb.

    He’s pitched himself out of the rotation.

    The sooner the Yankees realize that, the better off they will be.

  18. Erin August 28th, 2010 at 10:01 am

    GTLU:

    SS Jeter
    RF Swisher
    1B Teixeira
    2B Cano
    DH Thames
    C Posada
    CF Granderson
    3B Pena
    LF Gardner

    Thanks Doreen! :)

  19. Phil in Columbus August 28th, 2010 at 10:02 am

    If Ted Lilly is put on waiver buy the Dodgers, I think the Yanks should look into him. Right now CC is the only dependable starter. Atleast Lilly would leave it all out there. He has had some very good starts for the Dodgers.

  20. CB August 28th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I disagree that you have to give Burnett much credit at all for any of his statements after these terrible games.

    To be honest – with AJ it’s all words. And it’s hard to take them seriously at all.

    He’s been terrible this season in the worst way a pitcher can be. He’s not even remotely competitive. He not only doesn’t keep his team in a game – he immediately takes them out of it.

    And after every game it’s the same comments and same strained laments. But AJ just seems to then go out there the next game and do exactly the same thing. Who cares what he says after the game.

    At this point that’s no longer accountability. It’s the formality of the press conference and the mea culpas that have unfortunately become standard procedure.

  21. Erin August 28th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    MaineYankee August 28th, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Doreen

    I like what is on the next calendar page.

    Not as much as Erin though.

    Robbie Cano.

    *****************************************
    I was so excited I already flipped my calendar to September yesterday!!!!

    I just couldn’t wait anymore. :)

  22. SJ44 August 28th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    The other issue they have is at catcher.

    Chad Moeller should be here today.

    They can no longer carry Cervelli’s anemic performances. Especially defensively.

    They need a veteran catch and throw guy, who has a history of working well with pitchers, to back up Jorge.

    That’s not Cervelli and Montero isn’t ready. That leaves Moeller.

    He should be here to catch Nova tomorrow, and stay the rest of the way.

  23. Drive 4-6 August 28th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Last night ,when Papelbon managed to not get his 7th blown save by leaving runners on 1st & 3rd, I yelled to my wife in the next room ” thank God, the Red Sox won!” She firmly told me to never say that in public again! Hard to believe we’re in a position where we need the Red Sox to help us. This is where all those scratch your head losses against teams like the Royals come back to bite you.

    Burnett was atrocious, but the Yanks play as a whole was bad. Surprising after a needed day off. Swish’s throw to home, AJ’s failure to backup home plate, Mitre slow off the mound to cover 1st base, Cervelli putting his head down and letting that pitch sail off his glove, failing to even advance nevermind score Gardner from 2nd with none out…just a lot of bad baseball.

    On a positive note, the Rays did not play well either. Lester pitched well, but the Rays did next to nothing with the 5 walks and 3 wild pitches he threw. BJ Upton once again did not hustle and was thrown out at the plate. The 3rd base coach made a bad decision to send him anyways because there was no one out with Upton on 2nd and Upton pretty much jogged to 3rd on a base hit to center. He should have read the play better and seen Upton wasn’t running hard. With Carl Crawford battling a stomach flu, the Rays lineup featured Evan Longoria and 8 hitters who’s batting averages ranged from .193 to .261

    It will be interesting to see which team has a bigger hangover today. Both teams looked bad last night. It has to make Boston feel good about themselves.

  24. Yogi Mantle August 28th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    If I were the one to make decisions for the Yankees, I would skip AJ’s next start. If nothing else, it may clear his head or give an opportunity to work through things and see if he can throw the change up some more.

    With the September call ups coming soon, they might be able to piece together a start using GoDan and Meat Tray and the rest of the bullpen. Or go with Javy having the others in the wings if he isn’t affective.

    It just seems its time to try something different. The try it the same way and hope for different results isn’t working.

  25. tyanksfan36 August 28th, 2010 at 10:06 am

    1.Jeter
    2.Swish
    3.Tex
    4.Robbie
    5.Jorge
    6.Kearns(DH)
    7.Grandy
    8.Nunez
    9.Gardner

    But I also think gardner might bat 1st which would knock everyone back and move swish to 5th.

  26. Drive 4-6 August 28th, 2010 at 10:07 am

    SJ44,

    I agree about Cervelli. I just looked at the Yanks 40 man roster and was surprised that the only 2 catchers on it are Posada & Cervelli. Isn’t that a bit unusual to only have 2 catchers on it?

    Moeller should here like you say, but someone needs to be added to the 40 man and someone needs to be dropped before it can happen.

  27. Macfan August 28th, 2010 at 10:08 am

    WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    EPIC FAIL, no one gives a hot shite what Burnett says any longer, empty gasbag, all talk and no substance, he just jumps up to get beat down by MLB lineups.

    Admire his beautiful numbers on the season folks

    9-12, 151.1 IP, 166 H, 87 ER, 63 BB, 113 K, 1.51 WHIP, .284 BAA, 5.17 ERA

    Just hope you didn’t have breakfast or brunch before seeing it, Hideous stuff.

  28. JM August 28th, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Lilly would be a nice pick-up, but it seems unlikely to me that he’ll pass all the way down to the Yankees if the Dodgers put him on waivers.

  29. blake August 28th, 2010 at 10:10 am

    SJ,
    The biggest problem with AJ to me is what LGY eluded to….its just the percentage of games in which he has given the Yankees no chance to win. You can struggle but keep your team in the game…AJ isn’t doing that enough lately. I hope he finds it but what worries me the most about him is that he’s been 92-93 a lot this year….velocity isn’t everything but its important with AJ and I’m just not sure how effective he can be without the plus plus stuff he’s had his whole career.

  30. pat August 28th, 2010 at 10:10 am

    LGY

    He has 9 wins.
    He has 10+ losses.
    He has 7 losses or no decision in which he pitched 6+ with 4 ER or less so he kept them in the game.

    I’m not saying AJ has been good but I think the brutality of his bad sometimes clouds things.

  31. Chuck58 August 28th, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Good morning, Erin!!
    Hope ya have fun at the game and here’s to a Yankee victory…
    where are ya sitting? We’ll all watch to see if ya make it onto TV :-)
    Go Yankees!

  32. SJ44 August 28th, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I don’t care what players say, good or bad, after games.

    It’s not my concern if they are interesting, honest, or boring when they meet the media.

    I only care about on field results.

    If you produce, you play. If you don’t, you sit.

    It’s a simple formula that you don’t have to complicate with feelings.

    It’s too late in the season to carry dead weight on the roster.

    Play the guys who produce, sit the guys who don’t, and be happy winning games.

    If they continue to play unproductive players, they can no longer get upset with the results.

  33. SJ44 August 28th, 2010 at 10:16 am

    That’s just it Blake. He doesn’t give them a chance.

    This team is 28 games over .500 and he’s 3 games under.

    You have to be pretty bad to do that.

    It’s one thing if it’s May.

    It’s now September.

    You can’t wait for him any longer.

    Gotta leave him behind and hope someone else can pick up the slack.

  34. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I agree about Cervelli.

    But Moeller would be playing more than he usually does. Will we get any unpleasant surprises with him defensively if his workload is more? Probably not, and I’m not meaning to say they should stick with Cervelli. I guess you gotta try something.

    So the Yankees are deep at catcher, but a year away from being able to begin benefitting from that depth, I guess.

  35. Drive 4-6 August 28th, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Whatever happened to the changeup Burnett worked on this Spring? When he goes out there and doesnt have his curve, there’s nothing to keep the hitters from sitting on the fastball. If nothing else, they should skip him a turn and work to get back the changeup he had. He needs a 3rd pitch desperately.

  36. CB August 28th, 2010 at 10:17 am

    “He has 7 losses or no decision in which he pitched 6+ with 4 ER or less so he kept them in the game.”

    But that’s not surprising. The problem for AJ is that his brutal losses give the team almost a 0% chance of winning.

    You simply can’t have that on a semi-regular basis because then the only way for that pitcher to be productive overall is for him to pitch close to perfectly in every other outing and for the team to hit during those outings as well.

    His recurrent meltdowns add extra pressure and importance to his remaining starts. But it’s impossible to execute perfectly during those other starts.

    So sure he’s going to lose games where he’s been mediocrish. All pitchers do.

    But that’s why you can’t have this many games where he drives the teams chances of winning down to 0-5% by the 3rd inning.

    He’s been horrible. Worse than even what his average ERA, WHIP, etc. suggest.

    The distribution of performances matters.

  37. yankee21 August 28th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    One of Joe G’s strengths is his patience with his players. He is a good finder and believes to the point of no return that his players will perform.

    This is also one of his weaknesses. Staying too long with AJ might have cost the Yankees last night.

    Cervelli has been a poor player this year, on the other hand not sure how much of an upgrade Moeller will be. If Rivera at AA can catch and throw at all, I’d like to see the Yankees give him a shot.

  38. Macfan August 28th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    “# pat August 28th, 2010 at 10:10 am

    LGY

    He has 9 wins.
    He has 10+ losses.
    He has 7 losses or no decision in which he pitched 6+ with 4 ER or less so he kept them in the game.

    I’m not saying AJ has been good but I think the brutality of his bad sometimes clouds things.”

    +++++++++++++++++

    Yankees aren’t paying this guy for #5 starter performances.

    We can parse his performances to make them look like such and such, but his peformance overall on the season is disgusting

    More hits than innings pitched
    High Walks
    Tons of Runs and Baserunners allowed
    Declining K rate
    High WHIP
    High batting average against at .284, with all those runners on base via hits and walks

    The reality is Phil Hughes in his 1st full big league season as a starter is outpitching Javier Vazquez and A.J. Burnett, two veteran pitchers

    Anyone who tries to rationalize Burnett is looking for false dawn in his performances. He is

    Unreliable
    Inconsistent
    Mediocre

    to say the least, I have 0 confidence in him on a baseball mound and refuse to even watch any games he starts for the Yankees, because his act is worn out, played out and just frankly tired.

  39. Crawdaddy August 28th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Actually, I think Posada needs to catch more than he has unless there is something physically wrong that prevents that. From my vantage point, Posada needs to catch five times a week.

  40. pat August 28th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    “I hope he finds it but what worries me the most about him is that he?s been 92-93 a lot this year”

    According to Gameday, AJ was sitting 95-96 last night so velocity wasn’t the issue.

  41. Erin August 28th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Chuck58 August 28th, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Good morning, Erin!!
    Hope ya have fun at the game and here’s to a Yankee victory…
    where are ya sitting? We’ll all watch to see if ya make it onto TV

    ***********************************
    Good morning Chuck!

    Thank you-I’m getting very excited :)

    I’m on the lower level-down the first base side. I sat in about the same area last year, but I don’t think I got any camera time. LOL

  42. Chuck58 August 28th, 2010 at 10:24 am

    :-) Hoping for a memorable game.

  43. Drive 4-6 August 28th, 2010 at 10:24 am

    AJ’s velocity isnt the problem. It’s his lack of control and the fact that most of his pitches are thrown at close to the same velocity.

  44. CB August 28th, 2010 at 10:31 am

    AJ’s velocity has been down this season. Is his velocity “bad” no. But it’s down.

    Last season this average fastball was 94.2. This season it’s been 93.1.

    AJ makes tons of mistakes – even in games where he is dominant. I posted about this last season – it’s amazing the number of mistakes in location he makes and can get away with. I can’t recall seeing a pitcher who even when dominant makes so many mistakes. But AJ could get away with them.

    He hasn’t thrown as hard this season. And some of those balls that tail back over the fat part of the plate that last year would get fouled off are being hammered.

    AJ has no margin for error. That’s the thing with him. If his location is a little worse he gets hammered because he’s not precise to begin with.

    But he’s always had his velocity to bail him out. If he loses even a little he’s going to be in trouble.

    Velocity hasn’t been his primary issue – that’s his horrible command. But that lower velocity has been part of the picture.

    Sure he can run it up to 95-96 when he needs to. But he’s no longer sitting at the same velocity he did prior.

    In 2007 his average velocity was 95.1 Now it’s 93.1. That’s not a good sign.

    Whether this additional drop in velocity is related to age is unclear. His mechanics have been so bad this season that very well could be it.

    But that drop in velocity is part of the picture and a real concern.

  45. RhapsodyInBlue August 28th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I agree with the Cervelli sentiments and they should and could be addressed.

    I turned off the game after watching Swisher launch the ball into obit around the planet earth, that would have been funny if not so damn depressing.

  46. BD (Boston Dave) August 28th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I agree re: Burnett’s post-game talk.

    He also said he watched King Felix use his change up so well that AJ would “finally” mix it in more.

    It actually worked for him the next game too… and then he seems to abandon it.

    Change or no change, he is missing his spots more than 50% of the time.

    I think skipping 1 start, with the intention of giving AJ some time to think and work on things in the pen, is the way to go.

    They need AJ. He’s been bad at times throughout his career, but this is rock bottom. Why now?

  47. Yankee Trader August 28th, 2010 at 10:39 am

    AJ’s velocity isn’t the problem. It’s his lack of control and the fact that most of his pitches are thrown at close to the same velocity.
    ——————————————————

    I’d like to add that he has only two pitches, and most batters know what’s coming. Enough is enough. His next start would be at home. I vote to sit him!

  48. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I have the following people submitting lineups so far:

    champ809
    Chuck58
    Erin
    tyanksfan36

  49. Yankee Trader August 28th, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Doreen- My “stab” at GTLU:

    Jeter SS
    Swisher RF
    Tex 1B
    Cano 2B
    Thames DH
    Posada C
    Kearns LF
    Gardner CF
    Pena 3B

    Thanks

  50. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I wanted Moeller up here weeks ago because he can catch and his D will be fine, even if it’s not great. He’s no savior? No problem – he doesn’t have to be; he just has to be competent behind the plate.

    The Yankees have a huge problem with AJ. I wonder if working so hard on the change this spring and off-season affected his curve. I won’t kill him for his comments because what’s he supposed to say? It’s not like he’s not trying. However, like with Javy, he should get removed from the rotation – but replaced by who?

  51. bardos August 28th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    My feeling is that the Yankee pitching situation (as perceived by Cash and Girardi) is getting close to desperate.

  52. Fran the original August 28th, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Doreen,

    I’ll play the bonus edtion of GTLU.

    Derek SS
    Swisher RF
    Tex 1B
    Robbie 2B
    Thames DH
    Jorge C
    Granderson CF
    Gardner LF
    Pena 3B

    Thanks :)

  53. blake August 28th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Pat,
    I didn’t see the game last night. I was just speaking on what I’ve seen this year in general.

    CB,
    I agree that the slight downtick in velocity isn’t his primary issue…its command and always has been but 2 MPH can make a significant difference when you’re talking about what mistakes a guy like AJ can get away with. He’s never had good location but had such good stuff that he could get away with it many times. If he’s going to have very good stuff and poor location instead of outstanding stuff and poor location then that could make all the difference. Its frustrating to watch.

  54. RhapsodyInBlue August 28th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Doreen here is my line-up. Thanks

    1.Gardner LF
    2.Jeter SS
    3.Tex 1B
    4.Cano 2B
    5.Posada C
    6.Swisher DH
    7.Kearns RF
    8.Granderson CF
    9.Nunez 3B

  55. Fran the original August 28th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Erin.

    Have a great time tonight :)
    Hope you see a Yankee victory.

  56. Joe from Long Island August 28th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Good morning –

    Epic failure last night? No. There have been much, much failures in baseball.

    The Phils blowing a 7-game lead to the Cards with less than two weeks to play in ’64. All the Brooklyn Dodgers’ losses in the World Series in the 50s. The Cubs blowing that playoff game and series to the Marlins in ’03. The Yanks’ own nightmare in ’04. So, eipic failure last night, I don’t agree with. But it was an ugly game all the way around.

    It all starts with starting pitching, unfortunately it carried over to the rest of the game, for everyone, not just Cervelli.

    AJ has had two goshawful months this season where he can’t buy a win. At this point, in the midst of a pennant race, I think he needs to be skipped. Use either Mitre or Vaz, but AJ is not the answer right now. Not to say he can’t or won’t get it going in the final month, but he and the Yanks need a break. They can’t plan on giving away a game every 5th time out.

    I don’t like it, nobody does, but ignoring the facts doesn’t make them go away.

  57. blake August 28th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    CB,
    BTW, I fell asleep the other night but I appreciate your comments on Brackman and that discussion in general…good stuff.

  58. Erin August 28th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Fran the original August 28th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Erin.

    Have a great time tonight
    Hope you see a Yankee victory.

    *******************************
    Thanks Fran. :)

  59. Joe from Long Island August 28th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I don’t know enough about pitching to even to begin to say anything intelligent. Besides, if it were easy to figure AJ, we wouldn’t be talking about it.

    Maybe he needs to incorporate his change up more, though I thought everything started off FB command, and his has been lacking.

    I’d still think about skipping him a start to give him time to think about it. If it’s not health related, and it doesn’t seem to be, then a mental health break, as we say, might be the ticket.

  60. Mike92 August 28th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    And they said we didn’t need Cliff Lee.

  61. Erin August 28th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Joe from Long Island August 28th, 2010 at 10:55 am
    At this point, in the midst of a pennant race, I think he needs to be skipped. Use either Mitre or Vaz, but AJ is not the answer right now. Not to say he can’t or won’t get it going in the final month, but he and the Yanks need a break. They can’t plan on giving away a game every 5th time out.

    ***************************************
    Joe-completely agree.

    I’m a big AJ fan (crazy, I know LOL) but at this point I think everybody needs a break.

  62. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 11:03 am

    GTLU Participant Update:

    champ809
    Chuck58
    Erin
    tyanksfan36
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  63. Tarheel In NYC August 28th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I don’t ordinarily get angry with players. I get frustrated, but I’d rarely describe my emotional state as “angry”.

    Last night, however, I was so angry with AJ, I had to change the channel only so that I could calm down. Whether my anger was justified is debatable, but my point is that I have a pretty long fuse when it comes to my Yankees; my anger towards AJ last night surprised even me.

    I have no scientific evidence or stats on which to base this observation, but I’m going to put it out there anyway. AJ’s performance seemed to effect the entire team last night, mentally speaking. Such sloppy baseball and ugly mistakes. I can’t help but wonder if either A) they were trying too hard to compensate for AJ’s shortcoming or B)had been lulled into complacency and had lost their focus.

    I think AJ needs a break, but I think his teammates do, too. I know how stressful and anxious I feel these days when AJ takes the mound; I’d imagine it’s even worse for the rest of the team (regardless of what they might say in interviews).

  64. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 11:05 am

    The mental health break is what I was suggesting above. “Stop the world I want to get off!” Right now it’s a once every five-day bad habit. Can it really hurt to see what happens? No more so than not trying anything.

  65. CB August 28th, 2010 at 11:07 am

    SG over at the Replacement Level Blog had a startling post this morning about AJ’s season.

    Since May 9, AJ has pitched worse than a replacement level pitcher. That’s quite remarkable. His performance has been around what the Yankees could have expected if they had called up a pitcher like a Jason Hirsch from AAA.

    Since May 9, Burnett’s got an RA of 6.75 and a FIP of 5.49. The league is hitting close to .300 against him, and his wOBA against of .385 translates to being about 23 runs worse than an average pitcher over 509 batters faced.

    There’s really no reason to expect Burnett to pitch better going forward using the 2010 data we have so far. He hasn’t been unlucky in any true sense, and his actual performance in his peripherals is indicative that he’s been just about as bad as his raw RA/ERA say he has.

    http://www.rlyw.net/index.php/.....hither_a.j

  66. clownthrowindown August 28th, 2010 at 11:10 am

    What happened to all the “best record in baseball” and “most runs” posts?

    The bill is coming due for all those games that “didn’t matter” because “its a long season”…all those games that Tex should have batted 5th when he was slumping…all those games Jeter should have batted at the bottom of the order…all those games Girardi didn’t pull the starter fast enough…all those getaway games that Giradi wrote weak line-ups for…all the mistakes Cashman made…

  67. CR9 August 28th, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I appreciate Burnett saying this. Maybe it’s time for Burnett to figure out some miracle fix – as KLong did for Grandy. Perhaps these words will be the turning point in his season and in the road for the 2010 Champion Yankees.

  68. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Tarheel in NYC -

    I know what you’re saying. And I think that on some level, the team plays tight when AJ is on the mound because they don’t know what to expect.

    Swisher was so obviously trying to prove a point to Ozzie that he went looked exactly like the player Ozzie was describing, didn’t he?

    And Cervelli knows AJ cant hold runners on so he to me it looks like he’s throwing before he actually has the ball in his glove and then rushing throws. Now, he’s not been wonderful behind the plate lately, but he’s worse when AJ is there – it’s like he knows there are going to be wild pitches and he over-anticipates them.

    And when he does pitch well, don’t you think there’s a little bit of, “well we better take advantage of this,” to the point where it’s counterproductive?

    Just a mess. So, yeah, maybe the team needs a break from AJ, too.

  69. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Tarheel, I wonder if there’s anything to the theory that teams play well or poorly behind certain pitchers for reasons other than pure chance. I mean, it’s one thing not to hit if AJ is pitching, another to be poor defensively. Are the Yankees bad behind AJ because the innings he pitches are usually long? Because he walks a lot of hitters, so the players are not on their toes? Do the Yankees play better (not just in terms of hitting) behind a CC or even a Phil because of how they conduct themselves on the mound? I don’t know..but it’s interesting to think about.

  70. wildblueyonder August 28th, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I’m glad to hear Burnett acknowledge his struggles as he has done all year.

    Nonetheless, another signing by the Yankees where they tried to do too much. It almost happened with the Lee trade as well. Enough is enough with trying to sign whoever the market dictates is top-notch (when in fact they were never great to begin with).

  71. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 11:18 am

    CB, what do those alphabet soup #s mean? FIP? wOB? All I see is a ridiculously high ERA …………..unbelievably so. That’s a number you don’t even see 5th starters put up because if they are that bad they are removed from the rotation, lol

  72. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Why would Swisher be trying to prove anything to Ozzie? Ozzie is a loser psycho who should shut his trap……….Swish was a good player in Oakland and a very good one in NY. I’d say it is a discredit to Ozzie that he got so little from Swisher because he didn’t like him personally

  73. Tarheel In NYC August 28th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Doreen,

    Agreed 100%! As a matter of fact, when Swish made his made his HUGE throw from the outfield trying to throw out a runner at homeplate, my friend and I speculated that it was meant as a HA! for Ozzie.

    Personally, I think AJ is a good guy, and I feel really terrible for him. I appreciate his willingness to accept accountability. But at this point in the season I also have to add “So what?”

    I hope he can get his stuff together for the team’s sake as well as his.

  74. CR9 August 28th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Hey, hey now. Let’s not insult Ozzie. He’s a manager who actually prepared his team to knock the Sox out of the playoffs with ease. Very passionate, but not psycho!

  75. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Betsy -

    It’s human nature to try to show someone who said negative things about you that they were wrong. It’s also human nature to try and show the people who watched you play poorly a couple of years ago that that’s not who you are and it was an aberration.

    And I think there was a combination of things going in in Chicago for Swisher that year whether Ozzie liked him or not.

    And it was obvious at least to me that Swisher was not on his game last night defensively and it was out of character for him.

  76. Tarheel In NYC August 28th, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Betsy,

    I think those are all excellent questions, and I’ve asked myself every single one of them. IMHO, there’s something to it.

    Regarding Ozzie and Swish, I think Swish took Ozzie’s treatment of him in the past very personally, and I think he wants to prove something to Ozzie. When asked about his knee, his response was simply “I am NOT missing this series.” (according to Michael Kay, anyway)

  77. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Sorry CR – IMO, Ozzie is a psycho; I detest him

    Doreen, probably so, but he’ll be fine – and Ozzie still will be the man who got jack out of a very good ballplayer….

  78. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Okay, I’m leaving for the afternoon. I can leave GTLU open and pick it up when I get back.

    Enjoy this beautiful day.

    Go Yankees!

  79. Doreen August 28th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Betsy -

    Oh, yeah, Swisher will be fine. But last night was a lulu.

  80. G. Love August 28th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    While saying AJ should be yanked from the rotation sounds nice, the fact it this team’s rotation is in a state of complete chaos.

    The Yankees are going to make the post season. However, they will lost in the first round if CC is all we have.

    If Phil has his workload decrease, there is no guarantee he’ll be sharp come post season.

    Andy is still a big question mark. He hasn’t throw in a game in months.

    If you pull AJ, the post season rotation is CC, Phil, Andy (maybe) and Mosely.

    If Andy can’t come back strong for some reason, we’re back to putting Javy, Nova, Mitre or Gaudin in the rotation.

    As much as he stinks right now, I think you have to put AJ back on the mound with the shortest leash possible.

    You have to hope that he gets on a winning streak to match his losing streak somehow.

    He’s not injured. He has no innings limits. He stinks on ice, but I feel you have to stick by him just like the Red Sox are forced to stick by Beckett.

    You pull him now and bury him in the pen and you risk losing him for the next 3 years of this deal since no other team in baseball will take on this contract.

    I keep giving him the ball and have Mitre shadow him for at least another start or two and see what the results are.

    Our strength all season has turned into our biggest weakness.

    Unless Cash finds an arm that cleared waivers that we haven’t heard about, this is the team and Joe has to find a way to make it work.

  81. LGY August 28th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    CB

    Wow. Thanks for linking that. That is scary. The Yankees would likely have been better off if AJ got hurt this season.

    Often Yankee fans say we harp on the bad too much with AJ and he is better than we think. It may actually be the opposite this year. He may have actually pitched worse than many of us realized

  82. blake August 28th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I do think teams tend to play better behind certain pitchers. For example, I don’t think it’s entirely coincidence that Hughes has gotten such great run support this season. He throws strikes, works fairly quickly and the hitters know that when he pitches the team will have a chance to win the game…same with CC and Andy when they pitch.

    It deflates a team when the pitcher goes out and gives up a 4 spot in the first inning and is behind the whole game or walking people.

  83. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Tar, I sort of think so too. The Yankees got a lead, AJ gave it back and then some; they tried to come back – he made sure that didn’t happen. That has to be disheartening. I think AJ is a very good guy, which is why criticizing him this much is hard for me to do, and a great teammate – but his teammates have to know when he takes the mound that there is a great chance that they won’t even have a chance in the game Damon called out Phil publicly for that – which sucked – but was it because he was a kid? Would he have done that for a veteran pitcher? I don’t think that’s the way to go as I think publicly humiliating a player is wrong, but I doubt it……..

  84. CR9 August 28th, 2010 at 11:31 am

    From last night…perhaps as SJ44 said, Cashman will rethink his stance on Kuroda.

    IMO, I wouldnt be surprised if Cashman has said he’s not interested in Kuroda to throw other teams off his trail.

  85. Rich in NJ August 28th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    “If you pull AJ, the post season rotation is CC, Phil, Andy (maybe) and Mosely”

    I don’t think you can worry about the postseason right now.

    The rotation has to be run as a meritocracy. It can always be altered as the facts on the ground change.

    So I would put Mitre in the rotation right now.

    We’re only talking about 2 months. Over that period of time, good pitchers can pitch poorly and bad pitchers can pitch well.

    Obviously, they need Pettitte to have a chance in the postseason, but I wouldn’t rule out any of Moseley, Mitre, or Nova as the 4th starter in the postseason rotation.

  86. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Blake, I was going to mention the run support next…………but Phil’s run support is unbelievable; it’s not just good run support, its GREAT. CC doesn’t get that much (he gets some) and I think, though I could be wrong, Andy didn’t get that much. Still, a lot of Phil’s run support, esp. early, came late in games…….so I can’t figure that one out.

    GLove, that’s true…………..but then Mitre is useless when other pitchers have bad games and we need a long man. What do do then?

    Phil is going to have his workload decrease. The Yankees are going to pay the piper for not skipping him a week or two ago, but then with no days off and Andy absent, what could they do? This is the price they will pay for having a kid with innings limits on them. As Cash has said, they are going to do the right thing for Phil, period, and if it hurts the Yankees on the field- well it means the team has failed in general. I agree with that – the Yankees are now down to CC and a 24 year old to carry them.

  87. blake August 28th, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Betsy,

    Yea there is some degree

  88. blake August 28th, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Betsy,

    Yea there is some degree of it that probably can’t be explaned but I do remember from my playing days having a little more focus and the team playing better as a whole on those days when you had confidence in your starting pitcher. You kind of know in the back of your mind that you should win this game Because said pitcher is going to give you a chance to.

  89. SJ44 August 28th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    The problem with having someone shadow AJ’s starts is, you literally have to have that guy hot by the first hitter of the game.

    Shadowing him properly, he should have been out of the game by the fourth hitter of the game last night.

    He had nothing, showed no interest in finding answers, and was in full meltdown mode on the mound.

    So, I guess the question is, do you pull him at the first sign of trouble, which is usually the first inning, since he has no ability to limit damage?

    Or…..do you keep running him out there hoping for a miracle?

    To me, there are no miracles left to his season. He’s been awful all year and its not changing now.

    Next year is next year. Maybe he will have a better year, maybe he won’t.

    The issue now is, you can’t keep running a guy out there who is putting you out of games by the second inning. Which is what Burnett is doing almost every start.

    Pull him now or spend the entire off-season wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.

    He isn’t giving the team any choice.

    The team comes before AJ feelings.

  90. Drive 4-6 August 28th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    The Yankees obviously need AJ in the playoffs. But they need to get him fixed and the only way to do that is by skipping a turn and working very,very hard on his curveball and changeup. AJ is not Mariano. Everyone can’t know that he’s going to throw the same pitch to them every at bat. Work with him, be fair to him and the team. But in his next start if he falls into the same habit I say pull him immediately, because I can see Eiland working his tail off with AJ only to have AJ fall into the same pattern.

    AJ may be a nice guy, but he’s obviously very set in hs ways and doesnt take advice easily. Ever see when Eiland comes out during a game to talk to AJ and AJ immediately turns his back to him. That’s exactly what I mean.

  91. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Blake, it has to be depressing for players to think they have no shot at winning (or a bad shot) and they have to play 3 hours of climbing uphill.

  92. SJ44 August 28th, 2010 at 11:51 am

    They don’t have to skip Hughes right now and you can’t worry about who is the long relief guy.

    You have a guy in the rotation who can’t get outs (Burnett), a rookie (Nova), and a #6 starter (Vazquez) who is pitching through a dead arm.

    You can’t worry about the middle relief guy.

    You have to get the worst guy, right now AJ, out of the rotation so you at least have a chance to win on that night.

    Hughes is almost 40 innings under his innings limit. That’s an eternity.

    He has to continue to get the ball. Especially since he is their second best starting pitcher.

  93. mick August 28th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    AJ needs to sit in the corner and think.

  94. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 11:54 am

    SJ, he’s going to come close to his innings limits at some point and they will have to do something about it………….perhaps they don’t have to skip him, but he will have to be limited. I would be very upset with the Yankees if they threw out their entire plan for him because of the need to win now. It would not give me confidence in their ability to develop young pitching. What I’m saying is that they will need to do it soon because in a couple of weeks they will be playing the Rays, Rangers, Sox, Jays and they’ll need Phil.

  95. Tarheel In NYC August 28th, 2010 at 11:55 am

    We could take a non-scientific approach towards our hypothesis that a pitcher’s reputation will affect his teammates mentally and subsequently affect their play. Let’s gather some anecdotal evidence!

    I’d be interested in the opinions of the guys here who played organized baseball at a higher level. How was your play affected (if it all) when your ace was on the mound as opposed to the guy who was a big question mark?

    I can’t contribute since my career didn’t make it past Pee Wee Midget baseball; girls weren’t allowed to play in the fast-pitch Midget league :(

  96. longtimefan August 28th, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Appropiate headline–I think most fans feel the same way. I don’t care how open he is in the interview after the game, all I know it is costing us games everytime he takes the mound.
    Pitching rotation is not looking good if we make the post season. Only reliable guys are CC and Hughes plus Andy if he gets healthy. All most all of our Sept. games are against .500+ teams and as a team we need to play better or we will be watching other teams come Oct.

  97. SJ44 August 28th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Phil Hughes is going to pitch important games down the stretch.

    In fact, if you think about it, he only has 5-6 more starts left in the season and that pretty much covers his innings limits.

    Meaning, the odds are strong they may not have to skip him.

  98. Drive 4-6 August 28th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I’m not big on conspiracy theories.But did anyone else find it an odd coincidence that, 48 hours before he potentially becomes a major player in the Yanks plans,the story about Nova being under investigation is leaked?

  99. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    SJ, I hope they don’t have to skip him – that would be great. He likes to be on a routine and the skipped starts threw him off; he’s been durable and he wants to take the ball every 5th day.

  100. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Drive, I don’t even understand what MLB is doing. If it’s not a banned substance, why is this a big deal? They should investigate the umpires instead. This could affect Nova on Sunday – who knows?

  101. Pat M. August 28th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    As I stated after last night’s debacle ( should never have come back out for the 2nd inning ) , AJ Burnett is mentally constipated…..Skip his next spin and clear the head and then hope

  102. Drive 4-6 August 28th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Betsy,

    The substance isnt banned,but receiving injections of B-12 by anyone other than a physician is a violation of baseball’s drug policy.

  103. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Pat M, that’s an interesting way to put it, lol

  104. Betsy August 28th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Drive, then Nova is dumb as a stump for doing this…………

  105. SJ44 August 28th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Its a big deal in the sense that it violates a rule involving players injecting themselves, or another player, with anything.

    They aren’t allowed to do it. Only certified medical personnel are allowed to inject players and have to fill out reports, and turn over the syringes, after the injections.

    You can’t have players doing it and MLB is correct in launching an investigation.

  106. Mark-Cant Touch This August 28th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Dam CC should of been more careful with him. Come on big man!

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