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…
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