AJ Burnett v. Johan Santana. Rubber Game.
Let me tell you a story....After the 2007 season Hank Steinbrenner wanted the Yankees to trade anyone and everyone to Minnesota for Johan Santana. It appeared a package of Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and Melky Cabrera was requested by the Twins. Brain Cashman said no. He believed Hughes and Kennedy were essential to the future of the club, and he had another lefty in his sights. A big, jolly, talented man in Cleveland named CC Sabathia. Part of what brought CC to New York was Cash mentioning that he had been planning on signing him for over a year. Santana had a stellar season across town in Queens and is as dominant as ever. Everyone will always second guess the decision to not send Hughes, Kennedy, and Cabrera for Santana. Remember they also would have had to sign Johan to a long term contract. This offseason with Kennedy (who recently had surgery on an aneursysm) and Hughes (who hasn't lived up to expectations) not sure enough bets to put them in the rotation, the Yankees went out and signed Sabathia, extended Andy Pettitte, and brought in AJ Burnett.
Many many Yankee fans were opposed to signing Burnett, including us here at 6P8OBJ. We thought Ben Sheets was a better bet...but Sheets had surgery and still hasn't returned to the bigs. I also liked low risk signings like Bartolo Colon and Mark Prior. I was in favor of a Jake Peavy trade, when I look back the packages I talked about were ridiculous and would never be accepted. I floated an Xavier Nady-Homer Bailey swap. Conor talked about how Burnett's injury history was very dangerous. I kept insisting, and insisting that Ben Sheets was a better option. I constantly compared Burnett to Carl Pavano..my apologies AJ. That was the lowest insult of lows. It insulted you in more ways than I knew, I'm sure, and I apologize deeply. I compared Burnett to Mike Mussina, noting that Moose had been a much safer investment. So tomorrow. Tomorrow is about AJ Burnett proving he deserves to be a Yankee. Right now he's pitched 73.2 innings over 12 starts (about 6 innings per start), posted a 4.89 ERA, and has a WHIP of 1.48. He was terrible in his two starts against Boston (totaling 11 earned runs in 7.2 innings over the two starts). But he's been good decent in other starts. A big start tomorrow would be great to see out of him. He need to keep us in it and give us 7 or 8 strong. He needs to at least give us six strong innings, as the 'pen could use a break. AJ I wasn't a believer, but I am now. Tomorrow's your day. At the end of the day you want to be able to look in the mirror and say, "Hey, I'm proud of myself." So let's see a big game from you today as you take on Johan. This is your chance to shine AJ. Burn-it! (I know...cheesy as queso dip).