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Burnett, Girardi exchange words after another dismal effort

Aug 21, 2011, 12:05 PM EDT

burnett getty wide Getty Images

Yankees right-hander A.J. Burnett was pulled from Saturday evening’s 9-4 loss to the Twins after allowing five hits, three walks and seven earned runs in less than two innings of work. A normal major league starter would hang his head after such an effort and find a spot near the end of the dugout bench to soak in the rest of the game. Not Burnett.

After handing the ball off to Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Burnett delivered a curse word (bullsh–) over his shoulder and headed directly into the visitor’s clubhouse at Minnesota’s Target Field. Girardi later followed him down the steps, presumably to ask Burnett what exactly he considered to be “bullsh–.”

Girardi played down the incident in his postgame press conference and actually took offense to the media’s interest in his relationship with Burnett. Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News has the quotes:

“You can write what you want, you can say what you want, but he was pissed because he thought he struck out Joe Mauer (on a called ball four; it was Burnett’s last batter),” Girardi said. “I asked if they thought it was a strike and the guys said they thought it was a strike.”

“This is silly; this is really, really silly. You know what? We had a fistfight, is what we had,” Girardi continued, sarcastically. “I came in and looked at the pitch. Our video room is right down there. Everyone always seems to want to blow it up about A.J., A.J., A.J.; nothing happened between me and A.J.; I went and looked at the pitch.”

Girardi is right for defending his player, and is right to want to keep his interpersonal relationships out of the media, but does Burnett really deserve such gentle treatment? The 34-year-old has surrendered 21 runs and 35 hits in his last 17 2/3 innings, yet has the audacity to show up his manager when lifted from a poor outing.
Burnett will earn $16.5 million annually through the end of 2013 and carries a 10-team no-trade clause.
  1. yankeesfanlen - Aug 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    AJ’s demeanor and concentration level on the mound now approach that of The Fat Toad.
    He is fighting (poorly) for the sixth starter position which will not exist in a couple of weeks.

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    yet has the audacity to show up his manager when lifted from a poor outing

    What? Did you read what Girardi said, and Martin later backed up? AJ was pissed about the call on Mauer. But yeah, he was definitely “showing up his manager”.

    Also, if showing up your manager is getting pissed after a crap performance, you could say the same thing about every single player who does something similar. Three strikeouts and break your bat, showing up the manager. Give up a ton of runs and destroy the watercooler, showing up your manager…

  3. buddaley - Aug 21, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    In his post game comments, Burnett emphatically denied that he was showing up Girardi and made clear his absolute respect for Girardi and gratitude that Joe always “had his back”. I suppose it is possible that in the heat of the moment he acted improperly, but he certainly indicated no disrespect in his comments.

    He also notes that he dropped his stuff off and returned to the dugout for the rest of the inning. And Girardi said he did not follow Burnett but went to see the replay of the ball 4 call. Of course both may be covering up, but why assume that?

  4. iamthedoublestandard - Aug 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Seriously, where do you guys get your reporting from? You should amend this while article. AJ was upset that he didn’t get the last call not at Girardi. What’s wrong with you guys. It’s like you ignored the postgame and decided to run your own story. WTF? Yes you’re a blog and yes AJ has been horrendous but you have a mild journalistic responsibility to get the facts right. You and Olney are reporting a bunch of crap this morning. Get your s&$t together.

    • pisano - Aug 21, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      You’re 100% right, the media is always looking to put a bad spin when they can.I get the Yes network and I saw and heard everything that was said and AJ ‘s comment was to Russell Martin and it was indeed aimed at the umpire for the last pitch he threw, and by the way I feel the umpire was correct in calling it a ball. This isn’t to back AJ in any way, he needs to be taken out of the rotation and I think that move will be taken shortly. For some reason this guy just doesn’t have it. Whether it’s mental or just no command of his pitches, but you can’t have him in the rotation because he’s like a time bomb set to go off at any time.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 21, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    It does seem that Girardi has a point being annoyed at the reporters who continue to search for a ‘feud’ between Joe and AJ. AJ was pissed about the umpires call and barked to Joe about it. They both went to the clubhouse to look at the pitch. (Probably AJ went to look and Girardi went to remind AJ to stay in the dugout, but hardly a feud anyway). They both came back out without black eyes or bruises..

    An article about AJ sucking is totally relevant, but this crap is a little annoying to see everywhere. But hey, it will get click and comments I guess…

  6. humanexcrement - Aug 21, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Bring back Carl Pavano.

    • iamthedoublestandard - Aug 21, 2011 at 1:44 PM

      They tried human poop. They decided against it when they realized AJ was going to actually give them bad innings on the mound then on his ass.

    • bigleagues - Aug 21, 2011 at 8:51 PM

      Or Kennedy, or Aceves, or Coke, or Millwood for that matter!

  7. FC - Aug 21, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    A.J. was pissed Girardi did not give him back his iPad like he promised to the day before. Word along the grapevine is that Girardi has become an Angry Bird addict.

    Obvious non-story. There is no feud between the Manager and Pitcher. Yawn.

  8. entersandman42ny - Aug 21, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    AJ yelled at the umpire saying “thats b.s.” about the strike called a ball in the Mauer at bat. Look at Girardi’s reaction when AJ says it, Girardi says something to the umpire.

  9. joshftw - Aug 21, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    If Steinbrenner were still alive, Burnett’s lousy pitching would not stand!
    He’d have already been shipped off to another team for practically nothing.

    • pisano - Aug 21, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Well said, He’d have been gone last year. One thing about the Boss, if you didn’t produce you were gone no matter what it cost him.

      • joshftw - Aug 21, 2011 at 7:06 PM

        And if Girardi complained, The Boss would fire him too, and get a psychic to call up Billy Martin’s ghost to manage the team.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 21, 2011 at 8:18 PM

      The sad thing is, if the Yankees do trade him for a breakfast burrito, he’ll probably end up going 16-2 for some west coast team. Doesn’t it always seem to happen that way?

    • bigleagues - Aug 21, 2011 at 8:52 PM

      This ‘regression’ cannot stand, man!

  10. electstat - Aug 21, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    If there was any credit given to HBT, this article should completely discard it. How could a blogger be so wrong and it still be a “live” article?

  11. possum327 - Aug 21, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    Hey A.J. the trailer park called, they want their trash back

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