Blog Entry

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

Posted on: December 12, 2008 5:30 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2008 7:02 pm

Apparently, one of the amenities at the luxurious new $1.3 billion Yankee Stadium is a printing press.

For money.

That, or it sits on a gold mine.

In yet another one of those moments that will have the New York Yankees and their fans bursting with pride and will leave the rest of the game's blood vessels bursting in anger, the Yankees have bestowed a five-year, $82.5 million deal on free agent pitcher A.J. Burnett, has confirmed.

This only two days after the Yanks signed CC Sabathia to a seven-year, $161 million deal.

The way the Yankees are collecting initials in their alphabet soup of liquid gold, perhaps the week's biggest surprise was that they somehow allowed reliever J.J. Putz to land crosstown with the Mets.

The Burnett deal is not yet official because he must take a physical exam and final language details are being finalized, according to sources.

The Sabathia deal hasn't been formally announced, either, for the same reasons.

Soon, the Yankees are going to need their own air-traffic control. They've got gold-plated starting pitchers stacking up on their runway like airliners.

And there's more to come. The Yankees intend to sign yet one more starting pitcher, probably either Andy Pettitte or Ben Sheets.

Then, on the seventh day, perhaps general manager Brian Cashman will rest.

"There's always work to be done," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said the other day in Las Vegas, after word broke at the winter meetings that Sabathia would wear pinstripes. "Cash was pretty hopeful in wanting to improve some things."


How about the auto industry? The mortgage industry? And, maybe, the bankers while he's at it?

Sabathia can opt out of his contract after three years if he so desires, but if he stays for all seven, the Yankees will have committed $243.5 million to Sabathia and Burnett.

Add them to Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, Pettitte or Sheets and Phil Hughes, and the Yankees rotation today, on paper, by far is better than it was at any time in 2008.

Now, Burnett still could go all Carl Pavano on them. For most of his career, he's been the classic Nuke LaLoosh character from Bull Durham, the classic million-dollar-arm, 10-cent-brain guy. His shoulder and elbow always seem one pitch away from sending him to the trainer's room. In nearly 10 years, he's made 30 or more starts exactly twice.

And gee, coincidentally, those two times came in the seasons in which he was eligible for free agency.

Wait. On second thought, nobody can be as big a hypochondriac as Pavano.

Anyway. The Yankees are loading themselves so audaciously that they will have plenty of insurance against an injury here or an underachieving year there by a particular pitcher.

It's breathtaking and sickening, all at once.

"The commissioner just got done telling us we need to tighten our belts because of the economy," an executive with one of the smaller market clubs said during the winter meetings, referring to Bud Selig's advising clubs not to get too cocky coming off of a record revenue season at the owners' meetings in November. "And the Yankees are continuing to do things none of the rest of us can do.

"We're all supposed to be careful in this economy, while they can do whatever they want? It's a joke."

And that was when the Yankees had only signed Sabathia.

The rich-blooded opponents at their own private country club, of course, will have a chance to do something.

And the way the Yankees are raging through this winter, it should be making Mark Teixeira smile. The Yankees' moves can't help but pressure the Boston Red Sox to do something big to improve themselves, and the best thing they could do at this point is ensure that Teixeira is swinging at Fenway Park in 2009 and not for the Angels, Nationals or Orioles.

As for the Atlanta Braves, who made Burnett their No. 1 free agent target, they can go back to shopping at the thrift shops. They made a strong presentation to the right-hander, reportedly increased their offer to five years and did all they could to land him.

Their misfortune, simply, was targeting someone the Yankees wanted.

The nerve.


Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2008 10:20 am

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

What boring and cliche posturing by the author.

Must we read this same garbage every year by professionally-paid sports writers?

As a lifelong Yanks fan, spending millions on players has NEVER been a source of pride as suggested on my behalf by Mr. Miller. Such accusations have become so trite in a league that has proven that chemistry and guts always trump payroll. There are several big market teams willing to pay top coin for talent, but every MLB fan with a passable baseball IQ knows that $ doesn't buy championships -- the intangibles do and that starts with team character. Perhaps this is where Miller's article should have begun. By disecting how the true pride of the Yankees has ALWAYS manifested itself. A timeline detailing how huge nerve -- not payroll -- have proven to be the hallmark of our greatest teams. All champions have it, the Yankee have just had way more than any other professional sports franchise. If Burnett and Sabathia don't come ready to live up to the those standards that players from those other 26 teams have, they will be ridiculed, then quickly forgotten. Heart, more than any exorbinant paycheck, will always be the measuring stick of Yankee pride. And at the end of the day, that quality is measured by success. As a Yankee fan, I take tremendous pride in that.   

Since: Sep 22, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2008 1:23 am
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Since: Sep 22, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2008 1:21 am
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Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2008 11:44 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

Your owner used a lot of public money also to build his stadium.  Also the Yanks have used the "pay more money for players than anyone else" formula for players for a decade now, and really according to the logic of most Yankee fans, this virtually guarantees a World Series for the pinstripes every year.  Somehow, it just hasn't worked out that way.   Sometimes a team with a much smaller payroll also has much better chemistry than a team composed of free agents (mercenaries in baseball) who are really only after one thing...  a huge long term contract so that they can live in the style to which they believe they have become acustomed.  Watching the Yankees go about their business, with the exception of Jeter, most are obviously only there for the money.  Effort on the field is a distant secondary thought for most of New York's high rollers.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2008 11:36 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

As a Blue Jay Fan I had the opportunity to see Burnett alot (not as much as we would have liked, since he kept getting injured).  He has lights out stuff, but always seemed to blow it, unless he was pitching against the Yanks or Sox.  He would start alot of games striking out everyone and then get rocked in the 3rd or 4th inning, you could set your watch to it!  Very frustrating!   Halladay and Burnett were a great 1-2 punch but he isn't worth that money and it's disgusting that no matter what money we had, it wasn't enough, where's the loyalty???  He took the money and ran......good luck in New York AJ, we look forward to beating you at least 4-5 times a year!

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2008 9:55 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

Its so funny to read the yankees haters respond in groves.....two words...Revenue Sharing..plead with your owners to use the money to sign big name talents like CC... You get somewhere between 20 - 40 million year...and that's every year. So do the math... sign the talent at the expense of the big market teams that continue to give your favorite team money every year to.....drumroll....RE-INVEST...Yeah

..Re-invest the money in the team but the owners of your favorite teams choose to keep the money because they know you losers will continue to support the team regardless....No matter what...owning a professional sports team is like any other business venture...they're in it to make profit. They keep salary low and bank the revenue sharing "BONUS" at the end of the year.. Salary Caps come in like you want and Revenue sharing goes away....You don't think small market owners realize the implications of a salary cap...get real..they do...and they understand the business side of the game...and they look forward to keeping their Revenue Sharing "Bonus" every year.. They'll take their chances with a home grown talent run every 10 years because they know you'll continue to show up at the park for a family day of fun.. and to those of you that continue to think the yankees can't win with their own farm system need to go back to mid 90's and look at the roster... If anything they need to get back to keeping home grown talent....If CC and Burnett flame out so be wouldn't be the 1st time its happened...and I don't need to point out those examples because the haters have been doing it throughout the thread...For the haters...I hope it works out because the team is shaping up for a nice run this season.

Since: Nov 8, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2008 8:14 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

I love hearing the Yankee fans saying "well, they have 81 million coming off the books", like they have to spend it. Look, the Yankees will bring a hard cap to baseball faster than anything else. The rest of the owners who are trying to be smart, are a little sick and tired of this. Whether yankee fans like it, they are their own worst enemy and actually need the rest of baseball to be healthy to exist. If there are 20 teams out of contention for a championship before the season begins, how many people, in a really bad economy, are going to pay to go out and watch.

Fewer teams exist, less revenue. Really simple math here, even for Yankee fans to figure out.

The NFL figured it out a few years ago. A hard cap = better teams = more revenue.

The Yankees can't compete on a level playing field. If they are required to develop their own players, they are a miserable failure. Almost 1.5 billion dollars spent since a championship speaks to that.

A 32 year old pitcher who has started 30 games only twice, and those 2 times were in contract years.

A "#1" starter that weighs more than most offensive linemen in the NFL. There is a recipe for healthy knees..... Look, he isn't losing weight anytime soon, better get ready for the missed starts due to injury.

This has priced most teams out of the market. Again, bad teams =  less revenue.

Oh, about the Yankees = ratings, before last year's WS, the lowest rated WS was the 2000 WS between the Mets and Yankees. Highest rated, oh yeah, the Red Sox. The Red Sox also "travel better" than the Yankees. In other words, everyone doesn't love the Yankees. I know that it is hard for New Yorkers to understand, but there is a world outside of New York, leave the city and figure it out someday.

I guess they can afford the rest of their stadium without needing the city of New York to foot another 250 million, since they see that they can afford 2 pitchers with that money.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2008 8:06 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

That would be 1965 to 1975

And 1982 to 1994.

Not 23 years streak, but cumulative.... And I was alive for all of it.

Those were good times.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2008 8:03 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

Don't forget, Steve, the 23 consecutive years (or so) the Yankees did not make the playoffs, still spending all that money.

Congratulations on getting Burnett and Sabathia. They should be good.

The rest of the world just finds it kind of hard to cheer for Mr. Potter (It's A Wonderful Life).

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2008 7:58 pm

Yankees machine scoops up Burnett

The Yankees got A.J. Burnett and C.C. Sabathia. So what?

The Twins resigned Nick Punto. Take that.

For about one quater of a billion dollars less, that is.

I'll see your 30 wins and raise a .280 slap hitter.

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