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Tuesday, March.12, 2013
By Brad Cuprik (Pirates Correspondent) Follow @bradcuprik
It’s hard to believe that in just a couple weeks time, Arkansas native A.J. Burnett will be making his first Opening Day start on the mound. The 36-year-old Burnett has been in the Major Leagues since 1999, pitching for the Marlins, Blue Jays, Yankees and now enters his second season with the Pirates. It also happens to be the last year of a 5-Year, $82.5 Million Contract he signed in December 2008.
His tenure in the Bronx was simply put, a disaster. When a player signs a contract of that magnitude and then posts an ERA nearly a run over his career mark for a ballclub like the Yankees, you can forgive a player for wanting to fade into obscurity. That’s not Burnett. He did not want to leave the Yanks, stating he had unfinished business but his trade to Pittsburgh and a return to the National League has been a blessing.
AJ Burnett takes a bunted ball to the face in 2012: