Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thanks for your time with the Yankees, AJ Burnett.

AJ Burnett says goodbye to Broadway. photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images.

The trade of AJ Burnett (98-starts, 34-35 with a 4.79 ERA) from the New York Yankees to the Pittsburgh Pirates leaves me with mixed feelings. I know professional sports is not given much to sentiment and Burnett was clearly a disappointment in his last two years in pinstripes so the trade had to happen. Yet he was a major part of why the Yankees won the 2009 World Series. No way would have NY won that without AJ.

However, that was the past and the last two seasons became a soap opera every time Burnett would pitch. The trade I feel it’s going to be good for both teams. Joe Girardi doesn’t need to think if it’s “Good AJ” or “Bad AJ” who is going to show up. And when this also means that the team can bring in Raul IbaƱez who I thought was a terrific player with Seattle and Philadelphia.

AJ was also instrumental (along with Nick Swisher) in helping shape the new culture in the boring and business-like culture in the Yankees’ clubhouse. With Burnett’s departure, I wonder if the shaving cream pie tradition that began in ’09 will still be continued. At the end of the day, it all boils down to wins, loses, and ERAs.

With the new pitchers they brought in Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda they are supposedly better. And all of a sudden, the pitching staff with CC Sabathia, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, and Phil Hughes – hey, there’s still Joba Chamberlain -- got crowded and the Yankees needed to move Burnett so they could use the money to purchase some more help. And this being New York, you know they love their hitters.

Burnett somewhat reminds me of Jeff Weaver who didn’t do well in New York but did well for himself elsewhere. The pitcher friendly park of PNC Park should help Burnett who really needs to get his confidence going.

On the other hand, I am still sore about New York not being able to bring Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee they would have really helped the Yankees in the post-season.

So once more, it is going to be an interesting season for New York. If they don’t win this then bigger changes will be in store for this team.

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