So lets talk about Yankee’s pitcher AJ Burnett on his recent feud with Yankee’s manager Joe Girardi…was he giving Girardi the finger or not. So I was sitting there Wednesday morning – and this is a theory of mine, I’m not sure it’s true, but I’m just going to tell you that it’s a theory. It’s no question; AJ Burnett is a train wreck. He’s from rural Arkansas, he’s just not big enough for the room, he’s a “don’t get it” guy, he’s covered in tattoos , came to the ballpark last year with a big shiner, dye’s his hair, he’s got that Starbucks baristas thing with the two black earrings – the low self esteem earrings thing…he’s a mess!
So I said to myself “let’s go look at Yankee players, specifically pitchers, who have just not been big enough for the room in New York” Look at this list of the players and pitchers: Kevin Brown bombed during his time there and he’s from rural Georgia. AJ Burnett is from rural Arkansas; Kyle Farnsworth is from rural Kansas, Ed Whitson from rural Tennessee, Joba Chamberlain from rural Nebraska. So do the Yankees consider the bigness on covering the Yankees? Over the last 15 years, they’ve had different avenues for publicity like the YES Network, ESPN and the media. Go to a Yankee game and there is like 35 reporters around the batting cage during practice.
It wasn’t like that during Mattingly’s days, it wasn’t like that during Ron Guidry’s day – the Yankees now have their own network for pre-game’s! They have a pre-game show every night – an hour of batting practice…it’s a batting practice show!! They don’t get that in Kansas City…and it gets ratings. So my point is that if you look at Burnett – he’s a rural kid, get’s to New York…he’s a child! He can’t do it. Conversely, let’s look at the Yankees who’ve worn the pinstripes and succeed: Mike Mussina is Stanford educated, A-Rod is from Miami, Andy Pettite is from a city 15mins outside of Houston, David Cone is from Kansas City. So these guys who grow up in cities that are a little bigger, that aren’t intimidated by the press, they grow up watching big city local news, they’ve dealt with big city people coming and covering them.
You can make an argument – now, I’m sure there are exceptions, but with AJ Burnett and Yankees GM Brian Cashman defends him until the end…but that’s because he’s suppose to do that. But with AJ Burnett my thing is that are the Yankees the only team in baseball that has to consider “where are you from? “ and if they are going to bring them in – and you didn’t go through their minor league system, so you don’t understand the bigness of the Yankees and the press coverage. If they are going to bring you in, from outside of their organization, where did you grow up? If you grew up in the sticks, you’re going to be completely overwhelmed by New York City…I think it’s a very realistic theory.