Fingergate: Did A.J. Burnett Give Yankees Manager Joe Girardi The Middle-Finger Salute?
NEW YORK (WFAN) — Did A.J. Burnett flip the bird at Yankees manager Joe Girardi?
After Girardi pulled Burnett in the second inning on Saturday night, the erratic starter stalked off the mound and appeared on television to turn to the side and yell “That’s (bleeping) bulls—!”
Girardi and Burnett both vehemently denied after the game — and on Sunday — that the outburst was directed at the skipper. They said he was merely upset at the umpire’s strike zone.
“It’s more a media circus,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Monday. “It’s fair to ask the question about what happened, but some don’t believe what happened, happened.”
But there might be more to the Burnett-Girardi story.
WFAN’s Boomer Esiason & Craig Carton noticed a subtle slip in a photo taken from a previous game (hint: Girardi’s jacket) by New York Post photographer Charles Wenzelberg.
In the image, as he’s handing over the baseball, Burnett appears to be giving Girardi the middle-finger salute.
“This is now the photographic evidence you need,” said Carton. “Add the f-bomb … and now you’re building what we call in the legal world, Boomer — a case!”
Carton argued that there’s only one way the baseball could have ended up in Burnett’s hand like that, with his index finger curled and the bird on display — on purpose.
“It really makes you wonder what the hell is going on,” said Boomer.
But not everyone on the FAN airwaves agreed with what Boomer & Carton saw in the photo.
“It’s much (ado) about nothing,” said Marc Malusis. “As Cashman said, it’s a media circus right now — and he was right.”
Girardi won’t be pleased if he’s forced to field questions about Fingergate. Just take a look at the manager’s postgame comments from Saturday as an example.
“I’m tired of people looking for something between me and A.J.,” an irate Girardi said. “Me and A.J. have mutual respect for each other. I cheer for this guy. He cheers for me … I want the guy to do well.”
This was the second public outburst for Burnett this month. He stormed off the mound and pulled at his jersey after being yanked against the White Sox on August 3.
Do you think Burnett flipped off Girardi? Check out the photo and comment away below…