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Saturday, June 23, 2012

A.J. Burnett's Re-Emergence, May Be Ed Whitson Syndrome

Courtesy ESPN

The Pittsburgh Pirates are finally getting some
attention again. Clint Hurdle has done a great
job making them relevant again, last year they
added at the trade deadline instead of subtracting
for a change and though Yankee fans would like to
think that their franchise is the only franchise
with any history, the Pirates were once a proud
and storied franchise as well.

Then comes along a trade this off season for both
of these organizations that couldn't have been a
better fit, the Yankees get rid of an albatross
that they clearly overpaid in A.J. Burnett, and
the Pirates get an ace at a discount. This may
sound contradictory, but it isn't. The Pirates
don't have the payroll the Yankees have, they may
never have it. The Yankees can outspend anyone,
but they can't afford to keep this kind of DEAD
money, and negative energy around. Their you have
it, the perfect trade. The Yankees paid about 85%
of his salary and Pirates have their ace.

You see, it seems that A.J. Burnett may have come
down with Ed Whitson syndrome while in NY. The
signs weren't as blatant and obvious as they were
with Whitson, but now that A.J. is a Pirate, they
are a bit clearer to see. Burnett is 8-2 with a
3.24 ERA, and if it wasn't for one major blowout
in which he was left in too long and allowed twelve
runs over 2 2/3 innings against the Cardinals in
his second start of the season, his Era is a tiny
1.87. Though many will argue that he pitches in
the NL and there is no DH, he got a 4-1 victory vs
Detroit last night, and upped his record against.
the American League to 4-0 this year with a 2.08
Era, two of those are in the AL ballpark and his
ERA there is still an impressive 2.84. I could
throw numbers at you all day, and if I try hard
enough, I can make them all work in my favor, but
I will leave you with one last one which is truly
and Ed Whitson syndrome supporter; A.J. Burnett's
career W-L numbers are 129-113, but as a Yankee he
was 34-35, and this is a team that won close to 95
games every year. Just in case you think this is
only an AL thing, well he was 38-26 with the Blue
Jays and they never won anything in his time there.

The Ed Whitson legend in NY is a little exaggerated,
but so are so many things in NY. His record as a
Yankee was actually a winning one, 15-10, but a 5.38
Era and an inability to pitch at Yankee stadium along
with constant scrutiny from George Steinbrenner and
Yankee fans, made it impossible for him to ever win
the hearts and minds of anyone there. He also had a
better record in the AL, 19-12, than he did in the NL,
107-111, but the legend lives on in NY, and though
the syndrome may not be medically recognized, it does
indeed exist.

Don't Believe In Plays, Believe In Players - Al Davis

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