53° Good Morning
53° Good Morning

A.J. Burnett, a tough day for the Mets, Justin Verlander and the Sunday Insider

The Yankees lost, thanks to an abominable start by A.J. Burnett. Shocker.

Not much more to say on this guy, is there? He'll stay in the rotation this coming week because the Yankees have a doubleheader coming up next Saturday in Baltimore. Beyond that, however, the only way he should be getting starts is for the doubleheader in September against Tampa Bay (yet to be scheduled) and if the club decides to use a six-man rotation again - which it could do, because the Yankees close the season by playing in 13 straight games.

But seriously, under what conditions would the Yankees need Burnett to make a postseason start? Or to even make the postseason roster? They'd have to be pretty dire.

I didn't see the heated exchange with Joe Girardi, so I can't offer much on that. Except that there's always something with Burnett, isn't there? 

It won't be pretty trying to unload Burnett on another team this winter. And given that both Garcia and Bartolo Colon will be free agents - not to mention you'd be reluctant to rely on repeat seasons from either, regardless of the contractual statuses - it's not like the Yankees will be overflowing with starting pitching depth.

But still. Is it even worth trying this again for Year 4? Is it worth having pitching coach Larry Rothschild travel to Burnett's Maryland home again over the winter and try to make him better? Or is the organization simply better off cutting ties with Burnett, no matter the cost?

--Alex Rodriguez should return to the Yankees' lineup today. With right-hander Nick Blackburn starting for the Twins, Joe Girardi has to figure out how to make room in his lineup for A-Rod at the cleanup slot. You'd have to bet on Brett Gardner going back to the ninth slot, which is more defensible now because of how much Derek Jeter has picked up hsi game since returning from the disabled list last month.

--Killer loss for the Mets. Man oh man. At least they still have Jose Reyes to draw fans to Citi Field. Oh, wait...

--Reyes, by the way, hopes to run the bases as soon as today.

--Francisco Rodriguez turned a hold into a win with his lousy pitching. Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke blamed the performance on K-Rod's six days off, but you naturally wonder whether the emotions of the day affected him. 

--By the way, I didn't have a chance to blog this morning, but here's my column on K-Rod from Friday night. 

--Remember earlier in the week, when I said I was in Detroit working on something else when I stumbled upon Jim Thome's 600th career homer? Here's the something else: A feature on Justin Verlander. It was the first substantive conversation I've had with Verlander, and I found him to be intelligent and engaging. Good quote, phenomenal pitcher.

--My Sunday Insider features items on the Rangers, the Cubs, human growth hormone, Jim Thome and others.

--I meant to link to this a while ago, but I kept forgetting, and it's not outdated or anything, so: Phenomenal story by the great Paul Lukas on a 1960s minor-league team wearing a Confederate flag patch on the uniform. Really powerful, and really real. This is a story that embraces the gray in life.

--And...I'm outta here. I've already relocated to my super-secret location. I'll see you again on Monday, August 29.

Until then, here's something to discuss amongst yourselves: Scott Baker is neither a Scot nor a baker.

--Have a great week.




New York Sports