Pirates A.J. Burnett Keeps Grabbing Headlines, Pissing Off O’s Fans

A.J. Burnett. The new #ElectricStuff

A.J. Burnett does one thing very well.  Well, sure -  he has pitched his tail off since he has arrived in Pittsburgh, racking up win after win with his impressive dominance on the mound, but the other thing the right hander has done is gain national attention.

Mainly for his past failures as a New York Yankee.

Such a damn shame, innit?

The latest article is the best one we’ve read yet.  Native Pittsburgher Johnette Howard of ESPN dot com goes to the source to find out about Burnett: his old pitching coach Dave Eiland.  The fact that Eiland is so direct isn’t surprising to us.

Eiland couldn’t figure Burnett out -  that’s the bottom line.  It’s not too often we credit coaches with a player’s success, but it seems pretty obvious that Ray Searage and Clint Hurdle have set aside their egos and let Burnett call some shots in the Bucs’ dugout at PNC.

We loved the story Searage told the guys at 93.7 The Fan about Burnett demanding other players to hit him right in the chest when playing catch.  It appears Burnett is the stud duck of the starting pitching staff – he’s been there and done that, and isn’t afraid to let who’ll listen know that fact.

He didn’t come in as a bully;  remember when he took care of Daniel McCutchen in order to get number 34?

When we saw him on the field at one of the Bucs social media nights this season, he looked us right in the eye and asked how we were doing.

The guy has come across as a class act.  He’s also pretty funny – well, at least to us.  When we were in Baltimore last week, a teenager spotted Burnett before the game and immediately started yelling “Mr. Burnett!” as he dug through the bag he was carrying,  stuffed with memorabilia.

Burnett was standing beside James McDonald in the dugout, sharing some laughs and trying to gain the attention of some people they knew in the stands.  In fact, here is the picture which shows an odd Burnett wave.

It was impossible not to hear the annoying teenager – clad in bright Orioles orange from head to toe – whine for Burnett’s autograph as he climbed up and over and all around the seats behind the dugout where we were standing.  Hell, he was annoying the living shit out of us, and all we were doing was drinking a few beers.  When it was obvious Burnett was having nothing to do with his pleas, Tommy Teenager relented,  “Mr. McDonald, would you sign?”  McDonald didn’t hesitate.

Burnett ignored it all, even the disgusting comment the kid made as he trudged back up the steps.

We got a great laugh out of it.    Obviously, the O’s fan got the last laugh that night, but we digress…

So, for whatever Searage and Hurdle have figured out with Burnett,  former Yankees pitching coach Eiland never could.   It seems easy to just rack it all up to  “Head Case” syndrome.  Apparently, when you have the amount of cash the Yankees do, that happens–we know Bob Nutting isn’t bitching about the Bronx Bombers paying Burnett to not pitch for them.

Burnett’s failures in New York weren’t because the veteran was ignoring the situation.  He was trying his ass off to be a success in pinstripes.

It’s a fascinating read.  Be sure to check it out.  Here is the link

 

Topics: A.J. Burnett, A.J. Burnett Photoshop, Photoshop, Pittsburgh Pirates

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