Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
- The Dark Knight Returns
Following the 2013 season, A.J. flirted with the idea of retiring and he told the media it’s Pittsburgh or no one. Well, no one turned out to be the Philadelphia Phillies as A.J. Burnett signed with them during Spring Training 2014 and had a very up and down season with them. He went 8-18 with a 4.59ERA/4.14FIP and allowed the most earned runs in all of baseball. Most assumed Burnett would have been moved at the deadline, but he had a player option for 2015 worth $12.5 million, so that hindered things a bit.
A.J. decided to opt out of his deal with the Phillies following the 2014 season and sign for much less to return to Pittsburgh. It inspired many memes on social media of The DARK KNIGHT RETURNS or Welcome back, Batman and it was awesome! Knowing that Burnett took less money to come back to Pittsburgh proves the bond he has with this city and the bond it has with him. For a player in today’s sports climate to take less money to return “home” is almost unheard of nowadays, but A.J. did it for Pittsburgh.
April 9th, 2015 was a fairly solid start for Batman as he went 5.1 innings, allowed two runs on four hits and struck out seven. Unfortunately, the Pirates lost to the Cincinnati Reds 3-2, but that really didn’t matter. A.J. Burnett was back in a Pirates uniform and looked to be at least a solid contributor to a contending team. It wasn’t Burnett’s best start as a Pirate but it was memorable seeing Batman back in black and gold.
Next: Number Four