Thursday, October 6, 2011

A.J. Burnett, "The Godfather," and Fickle Fandom

It's a miracle! As I had hoped and predicted, A.J. Burnett kept with a contrariness of his career by actually pitching a great game Tuesday, after a shaky first inning.

Two things settled him down, I think. That first was Curtis Granderson's great catch (the first of two terrific Grandy Man catches of the night.) The second was the little discussion pitching coach Larry Rothschild had with Burnett after the first. Supposedly, the two talked mechanics, but I would like to think the talk went a little more like this:

Anyhow, while I wrote the other day that A.J. "could erase the last two years with one gutty, gritty performance," I then remembered the fanbase the Yankees have, where some scapegoated players never get redeemed, no matter what they do. (Not that A.J. hasn't given people a lot of reason to be frustrated with him, but he did save the Yankees' 2009 season with a great performance in Game 2 of the World Series. To me, that's what's the most frustrating about Burnett -- there is a Good A.J. in there!)

But the next time Burnett has a bad start, this game will be forgotten with some of the fan base, even though Derek Jeter said: "Trust me -- I'm pretty sure all New York fans will remember this game as opposed to some of the other games." Not everybody will. Remember that the A-Rod haters have forgotten his two MVPs as a Yankee, and his 6 homers and 18 RBI in the 2009 postseason.

I saw it on Facebook Tuesday night. One person I saw screamed "TradeRod" when he only hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run. (Good luck with trading that contract!) Another posted on my wall that he read that AROD stood for "Another Regular October Disappointment," and when I responded "Who cares?," he said that "True Yankee fans care." (Um, I thought that True Yankee fans remembered what he did in 2009 to get the team No. 27!) A third said that the only reason Rodriguez got two hits Tuesday is because the game was already in hand. (And if he hadn't gotten a hit, he would still be Chokey McChoker, of course.)

Anyhow, A.J. did built up some goodwill with the fans with his great performance Tuesday. But unlike some Yankee players, who will never get criticized, Burnett's leash with the fans will be about as short as Joe Girardi's leash on him Tuesday night. Expect this game to go down the ol' memory hole with some fans, the way A-Rod's 2009 performance for the ages has been forgotten.

* * *

Squawker Jon had this to say, after Jesus Montero got his first hit in his postseason, after his first at-bat in the postseason. He noted that it only took Montero one at-bat with runners in scoring position to get an RBI, while it took Nick Swisher 30 at-bats to do it. Harsh!

One other thing. I listened to the presser of Ivan Nova. Some members of the media were annoyed that he said he didn't feel any pressure over Game 5, asking him over and over why not? I guess they expected him to appear in the fetal position or something, hoping that he would cry "It's all too much!"

What do you think? Tell us about it!


Uncle Mike said...

If A-Rod had done what Bill Mazeroski did, somebody would have said, "You coulda hit it further!"

Yanks Fan said...

Found a free app that doesn’t charge for me to talk to people around the world during live games. Definitely using this tonight for the Yanks game!! #BronxBombers

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