AJ Burnett is going to get traded; we should get used to talking about this. If and until it happens, according to him, he's pitching the best he can for the Blue Jays. However, if a trade happens he'll welcome it with “open arms”.
So you're thinking I am going to turn this into a rip on the same jackass who tipped his hat after being a dumpster fire last week, but I'm not. I ripped him for his gesture then because he was being defiant and agitating to the people who want nothing more than to see him succeed. Thats the not the attitude fans want to see, but honest by contrast is greatly desired.
So when AJ Burnett says:
“If something were to happen and I'd have the opportunity to go to a place where baseball is breakfast, lunch and dinner, that would be awesome. Right now, my focus is with this club. But if something like that were to happen, I'd accept it with open arms. “
... I can deal with it. Not because I'm a fan, or even a supporter, but because I think he's totally in line with everyones expectations. Who doesn't respect a little honesty from an athlete these days? I welcome any comment not a clichéd sound bite the same way I would a free lapdance: the more the merrier. Burnett just broke the mold in a fashion we'd expect from the Mad Ink member.
He is a talented pitcher who has underachieved and and frustrated as a Blue Jay. His contract contains an opt out clause at seasons' end. The team is struggling, has excellent young starters and needs a bat. It all adds up to Burnett being logical trade bait – everyone knows this. His decision to address the matter in the manner he did shows his character: I welcome a trade, but I'll bust my ass while I'm here.
That's Burnett – in your face and nasty. Also, a relatively simple man as exhibited by his two-pitch arsenal. His response is what a millionaire athlete on a well-paid 3-year stop over in Toronto is probably thinking, except he's the only one with the stones to say it.
Burnetts' get-out-of-jail card in my books is the fact that effort doesn't explain his flaws. (In fact, he could use a little less at times, particularly when his control issues arise.) Because it's always been there for Allan James, we'll know when it isn't. It doesn't suit his purpose to screw the pooch and someone as shrewd as Burnett (at least in the current situational context) has recognized this. (OK, maybe his agent told him...)
compensation outcome for Burnett and the Blue Jays both parties will be better off. Don't waste time and energy getting upset over a player that we already knew would rather be playing elsewhere. Instead, lets focus on the ROI; a youngster with a bat in the outfield might be great, but I'm sure Riccardi will manage to get much, much less. Maybe at that point we can finally get to talking about his ticket out of town...