Yankees

A.J. Burnett: I Let Too Many Yankees ‘Tinker’ With My Game

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(credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)

(credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – In a smaller market with reduced expectations, there should be less pressure on A.J. Burnett.

And perhaps fewer tinkerers.

Burnett said Monday that he’s looking forward to a fresh start in Pittsburgh after his struggles in the Bronx.

“I let a few too many people tinker with me, maybe,” Burnett told reporters from Pirates camp, a day after the Yankees dealt him to Pittsburgh for cash and a pair of low-level prospects.

“When you let that happen, you start doubting yourself sometimes,” he added. “You wonder, ‘Am I doing it right? Is this how it’s supposed to feel?’ and things like that. In ’09, nobody messed with me. I was able to do what I wanted to do on the mound, whether it was turn around, close my eyes and pitch upside down. Then you have a few bad games and you start changing and listening.”

After signing an $82.5 million, five-year contract, Burnett helped the Yankees to their 27th World Series title in 2009. Then he slumped to a 21-26 record with a 5.20 ERA over the following two seasons.

He led the major leagues with 25 wild pitches last year and allowed a career-high 31 homers.

“It was fun the first couple of years. Then it got like, I’m never going to get out of this funk,” said Burnett.

A 13-year veteran, Burnett will move into the top spot in the Pirates’ starting rotation.

“I’m not going to lie,” Burnett told KDKA-FM in Pittsburgh on Monday, “I look pretty good in black and gold.”

Do you think it’s just sour grapes from Burnett, or does he have a point? Sound off below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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