Kevin Kernan of the NY Post caught up to A.J. Burnett as he left Pittsburgh’s complex following his physical yesterday and this is what he had to say:
“It’s a fresh start,” Burnett said of being traded to Pittsburgh. “They’ve got a young, good team here and coming on back to the National League, it’s going to be fun again. I’m also looking forward to getting back to where the game is fun.
“I’ve got no regrets. I got to play with teammates that people don’t get to play with, I got my ring that a lot of guys will never get and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. That page is closed now. It’s time to turn to the next chapter.
“In ’08, I pretty much dominated those guys so every time I went into Yankee Stadium they pretty much saw what I should have done. I didn’t produce during the season. I’m not going to lie. I had good games, I had bad games. I had good games when it counted. But it’s a different animal up there. I wouldn’t trade it. I learned a lot from it. It’s going to help me a lot (in Pittsburgh).”
It’s good to see A.J. go at this point, but part of me will root for him throughout the rest of his career (as long as he’s not facing the Yankees). He was good in 2009 and even though he was far from lights out in the playoffs, considering the other options on the market that year it’s hard to imagine them winning the World Series that year without him. Remember, they were considering using Chad Gaudin as the fourth starter in the playoffs that year.
So I don’t have any regrets either, even if $69.5 million for three years of Burnett is a total overpay. His time here was certainly interesting to say the least, but it was worth it for the World Series title (ask a Cubs fan just how precious even one of those can be). Hopefully we can find out one day what that black eye was all about…