"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Sh*t Sandwich

ESPN is reporting that the Yankees have signed A.J. Burnett to a five-year deal worth $82.5 million dollars. I cannot help but react emotionally to this signing. It is an inexplicably awful, irresponsible, wrong-headed move. I hate hate hate it. It makes me physically sick. Combined with the New Stadium, it is enough for me to question my allegiance to this team. I cannot be consoled. I assume many of you feel the same way. Consider the comments of this post group therapy . . .

Tags:  A.J. Burnett  Transactions

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1 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 12, 2008 5:33 pm

Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck

Did I mention fuck?

2 cqmurphy   ~  Dec 12, 2008 5:34 pm

i have a bad feeling about this.

3 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 12, 2008 5:46 pm

I am again wowed by Brian Cashman's famed eye for talent, by the way. He managed to get the no-brainer before he was distracted by the latest shiny object out there. At least that's an improvement over his usual MO.

We've learned that he's a great recruiter. Can we keep him there and let someone competent deal with choosing the personnel?

4 Raf   ~  Dec 12, 2008 5:54 pm

Mrs. Rabbit: Thumper!
Thumper: Yes, mama?
Mrs. Rabbit: What did your father tell you this morning?
Thumper: [clears throat] If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all.
I shall say nothing.

5 Raf   ~  Dec 12, 2008 5:59 pm

If the lineup goes untouched, I will be quite annoyed.

6 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:01 pm

Lets place our bets on how much we pay AJ per start.

I'll say he makes 91 starts (I think he has at least one 12 start year in him) for an average of 1.1 million dollars a start.

7 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:02 pm

I'm amazed by how quickly Cashman changes strategies. Last season it was setting themselves up for young pitching. Now they're stocked with young pitching and expensive pitching and they still won't win because they need more hitting.

So this year, after a few 2-1 and 4-3 losses in the post-season, they'll go drop a shit ton of cash on good, but not great, Holliday and Crawford while the defense, esp at SS, continues to kill the team. Hey, but they got Nick Swisher!

Meanwhile, ten pitching prospects rot away on the farm.

Watch, now they'll sign Teixeira for 10 years and all will be forgiven (until 2012 when we scratch our heads and say "Why did they do that again?").

8 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:07 pm


There never has been a strategy. Its always been "do whatever I feel like, putting total emphasis on what happened last year, and use "the plan" to fool people into thinking there's some kind of coherent strategy here."

9 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:09 pm

I did like Sherman's take from this morning that Diana pointed out:

"If you want to know what is so alluring to the Yankees about Sabathia and Burnett, take a look at the strikeouts-per-nine-innings leaders in the majors: Burnett was third (9.39) and Sabathia was fifth (8.93).

Yankees starters have finished in the bottom half of the AL in strikeouts per nine innings each of the past three years, which has put more balls in play to expose a poor defense. But the Yankees also are thinking about more than just getting back to the playoffs with a swing-and-miss brigade. They believe power arms win in October, and they envision lining up Sabathia, Burnett, Joba Chamberlain and maybe even Ben Sheets and blowing away playoff opponents.


Problem is, trying to blow away your opponents leads to lots of defense and small ball matchups. And they just don't have the roster for that. Not. Even. Close. (The Rays are better there. As are the Sox). If they really want that, they really do need to sign Teixeira or Manny. Forget Pettitte. Buy offense. Buy high if need be. But buy offense.

If they do that, this will be a fun team to watch. If not, it's going to be frustrating watching Girardi have Jeter bunt Damon over only to have A-Rod fly out and Matsui ground out to end the game.

10 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:12 pm

@ 8

Kinda amazing that without one Cashman has lasted 11 seasons and last eight without winning anything. The man is a survivor while making really bad calls and half as many decent ones.

11 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:15 pm

Bum Rush, I found that strikeout rate item completely wrong-headed. It completely ignored walks. Sabathia's K/BB was 4.25 last year because he walks no one. Burnett, meanwhile walked 86 guys last year for a K/BB of 2.69. The two aren't comparable at all.

12 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:21 pm

@ 11

I understand what you're saying but a 2.69 K/BB isn't that bad, especially if you think of Burnett as the team's #3 or #4.

Maybe they think Burnett is about to turn the corner? Randy Johnson at age 30 was at a 2.82 K/BB. At age 31, he upped the K's to 12 per 9 and the ratio to 4.55.

Yeah, yeah, stretching wide and far for a silver lining.

Still a fan if they sign Teixeira?

13 Raf   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:25 pm


It's not Cashman's fault that
1. Rivera couldn't close out the D-Backs in 01
2. Wells' balky back acted up in 03
3. Rivera couldn't close out the Red Sox in games 4 & 5
4. Wang imploded twice in the 07 ALDS

14 zack   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:25 pm

I will commit the sacrilege of saying that I really don't mind the signing.

I mean, I really dislike Burnett, he strikes me as a d-bag, plain and simple.

And I loathe the 5th year.

But I can't get too wound up about the contract. The money was about right, the talent is there, and the moves should have zero effect on any other move.

Seriously, it looks more and more like the Yankees were never going to sign Tex, which is a mistake, but they still have the money to sign him now if they wanted. Or Dunn.

And next season, another 50M or so comes off. And then the following season, all you have left are three long contracts in Arod, CC, and AJ.

So its not like signing Burnett to 5 years prohibits the Yankees from signing anyone. Next year, the only attractive FA is Holliday.

To me, signing Burnett should signal that the Yankees are going to trade some of that pitching depth.

15 cqmurphy   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:27 pm

@ 14.

that's just the problem here. trading off young pitching = yankees circa 1989. remember when lee gutterman led the team with wins (11) out of the pen?

good times.

16 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:28 pm

Damn, this doesn't annoy me that much. What REALLY annoys me is the thought of opening day: Damon - Cameron - Nady in the OF with Swisher at 1B and perhaps Molina behind the plate.

Those walks from Burnett are also going to kill when Jorge can't throw anyone out. That's always a fun way to close close games.

Damn, I really see Cashman thinking they're done with Pettitte signed then taking the holidays and January off, as usual, while Manny signs with the Dodgers for three years, Dunn with the Nationals for three years, and Giambi with Tampa Bay for two years. Moron.

17 Raf   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:29 pm

Why trade pitching depth (presumably for bats), when you have bats on the market? Why trade them when you have a guy that's presumably injury prone?

This signing makes little sense to me.

18 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:34 pm

[14] That Holliday is the only attractive FA after next year is exactly why I want to get Tex.

19 zack   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:39 pm

Hey, don't get me wrong. The Yanks should have put the money spent on Burnett into signing Tex. Or should still sign Dunn.

But [15], there is a difference between trading away pitching and becoming the Yankees of the 80s. The Yankees have way too much pitching in their system as is. AS Cliff recently pointed out in his recap of the Rule 5, they have already started trading away some of the fringier guys, and STILL have a ton of them, plus some really legit arms. So many arms that there isn't room for them in the freaking minors, let alone the majors.

Prospects don't always work out, especially pitchers. The best thing to do is hope some of them pan out, trade some of them, and try and get what you can out of the FA class too.

20 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 12, 2008 6:53 pm

(Busting chairs in the local Marriott, doing donuts in the middle of the Major Deegan)

Bullshyt, bullshyt, bullshyt, bullshyt!!!

21 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 12, 2008 7:02 pm

I'm reminded of this classic South Park episode


Attention students, we have tallied
your mascot nomination sheets, and there
will now be a school-wide vote between
the top two nominations. So here is
the first most-requested candidate,
a giant douche.

Go giant douche!

Hey, South Park! Have we got school
spirit?? We've got spirit, yes we do!
Giant douches, me and you! Let's gooooo,

And now your second nominee, Turd Sandwich.

All right turd sandwich!


Cartman? What the hell??

Giant Douche sucks!

We've got spirit, yes we do! We are
sandwiches filled with poo! Yeeaahhh!

Students can now cast their choice between
the Giant Douche and the Turd Sandwich.
We'll count up the votes on Tuesday.

22 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 12, 2008 7:03 pm

Somewhere out there, Ed Whitson is humming to himself ...

23 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 12, 2008 7:04 pm

My only solace at this moment is that there is still about two months before P&C, and three months before the new season begins. Still time to acquire some good bats in a way that will restore some of the lost faith. Damn, this hurts right now, but I'm gonna take it in stride and bide my time. Cash's history indicates that this is not the last surprising move.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver