Tagged: Braves

* “CC Needs The Adrenaline”

* That’s what Girardi said about CC’s rather abysmal outing against the Braves today (5 runs over four-plus innings). The truth is CC hasn’t been good all spring. I’m glad he’s been working on his mechanics and getting himself in shape…
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…but when does he actually start pitching well? The season starts in, like, FIVE DAYS.
“When the bell rings, CC will be ready,” the Yankees skipper told John Sterling during tonight’s radio broadcast. 
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Okay, so what Joe is saying is that CC will somehow be able to sweep away the cobwebs, pull himself together and turn himself into the guy who led the Yankees to a World Championship…by Sunday night. I certainly hope so. Maybe he does need the adrenaline that comes from pitching a game that counts, as opposed to a bunch of exhibitions. I guess we’ll find out.
I suppose I should weigh in (speaking of boxing analogies) on the Pat Venditte episode today. I’m all in favor of pitchers using whatever natural abilities they have to get hitters out, including the use of both arms.
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If Venditte, the ambidextrous wonder, proves he can retire batters from both sides, then he’ll advance through the Yankees system and become more than a novelty act. That said, he made me wonder about other possible permutations of pitchers. Like could there be a guy who pitches with his eyes closed?
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Doesn’t seem to be a problem for Hiroki Kuroda. How about a pitcher who literally turns his back to home plate?
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Hideo Nomo did it. So did Luis Tiant before him. And how about an insanely high leg kick? I need to go all the way back to Juan Marichal for that.
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What we’ve never seen is a pitcher who practically pokes his eye out with his kneecap when he winds up to throw the ball – and who has a dance named after him. Oh, wait. Yes we have.
I know. I posted this clip a few months ago. My apologies. I can never get enough of it.

I’m Flying to Florida….Why?

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Actually, this radar shot of Florida’s “Treasure Coast” doesn’t look that bad. But they had 11 tornado warnings today with plenty of flooding and heavy thunder storms and more predicted for tomorrow in Orlando….where my plane is supposed to land.
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As anyone who’s read the She-Fan book knows, I’m a huge coward when it comes to flying, so I’ll be in panic mode if we land in a storm. On the other hand, the people on “Airplane” made it out alive, remember?
Even the Yankees-Braves game in Tampa tonight was rained out, so we were deprived the pleasure of seeing A.J. pitch. And what’s all this about Jeter having the same flu that took down Joba and others? Can’t they use this in the clubhouse and dugout?
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Or how about these?
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All I know is:
I want to get to Orlando in one piece.
I want the sun to come out on Saturday for my talk at the library in Stuart.
I want the sun to stay out during my week in Tampa.
I don’t want to hear the word “rain out.”
I don’t want to hear the words “Jeter was scratched from the lineup.”
I don’t want to hear the words “A-Rod lied to federal investigators.”
I do want everything to go smoothly on this trip, so I can post happy videos with the She-Fan Cam. Think good thoughts for me, please????

Goodbye, Old Friends

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Now that our long national nightmare is over and Johnny Damon has made a deal with the Tigers, it seems appropriate to bid him – and other former members of the 2009 Yankees – a formal farewell. Let’s start with Damon himself.
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From now on (or at least for the 2010 season), his uniform will have one of these on it.
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Judging by the one-year, $8 million the Tigers are said to be paying him, he should have stayed with the Yankees. The weather’s better in New York and so are the restaurants. But farewell, Johnny. Good luck to you.
Jose Molina won’t be wearing the pinstripes either.
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Instead, his uni will have a little birdie on it.
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He wasn’t much of a hitter, but I sure liked his catching and I know the Yankees pitchers did too. Goodbye, Jose. Have fun in Toronto, eh?
Melky has already been photographed in his Braves uniform and it’s not all that’s changed about his appearance. He’s grown a beard, if you can call it that. (Hat tip: LoHud)
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Oh, Melk Man. You weren’t the greatest outfielder we ever had, but I’ll miss all those walk-offs. What I won’t miss is your habit of sliding into first. May the Tomahawk Chop be with you.
Hideki Matsui in an Angels uniform was jarring at first.
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But didn’t I just read that his knees are hurting already? Not a good sign. I send him greetings and best wishes. I hope he gets more of a kick out of the rally monkey than I do.
And finally, I must bid a final adieu to Brian Bruney and C-M Wang. Here’s one last look in their Yankees garb…
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…because the next time we see them they’ll be sporting this.
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Oh. I just realized I forgot Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy. Out of sight, out of mind. Baseball is a cruel business.

While I Was Waiting For The Yankees To Sign A Pitcher….

…I went to a screening of “Sherlock Holmes” tonight. The movie itself was great (more on that in a second), but getting inside the theater was an ordeal. Warner Brothers is so paranoid that somebody will record the film and spread pirated copies all over the place that they sent black suited goons not only to confiscate our cellphones but give us the wand treatment in the lobby. It felt like going through security at an airport.
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While the security woman was fishing around in my bag, pulling out all my personal stuff, she found the She-Fan Cam and said, “What’s this doing here?” Oops. I do take the Cam wherever I go in case I run into a baseball fan, but I had no intention of shooting footage of the movie. “It’s just a little video camera for my Yankees blog,” I told her. She gave me a nasty look (maybe she was an Angels fan) and said, “Get rid of it. Now.” So I had to leave the theater, walk back to my car, deposit the She-Fan Cam there, walk back to the theater, and go through security yet again. The good news is that “Sherlock Holmes” was worth the trouble. Written and directed by Guy Ritchie, Madonna’s ex before A-Rod was her ex, the movie is a fast-paced, high-energy romp. Robert Downey Jr. is terrific as Holmes and Jude Law is fun as his sidekick, Watson. The fight scenes are bloody but hilarious. My only complaint was the length of the movie – it’s 20 minutes too long – but I give it one thumb up.
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Here’s the trailer. I hope Warner Bros doesn’t arrest me for pulling it off YouTube. Sheesh.
As soon as I left the theater, I checked my cellphone for Yankees updates, wondering if we’d signed anybody. All I found was LoHud’s post about a possible trade with the Braves for either Derek Lowe (yes, that rumor again) or Javier Vazquez. Excuse me? Javier Vazquez?


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It’s one thing to bring back Nick Johnson, but Vazquez was a bust as a Yankee. It’s late and I’m going to bed, but if I wake up tomorrow morning and Vazquez is our #4 pitcher I won’t be happy about it.

A Game That Felt Like A Doubleheader

“Is it over yet?” I said to my husband when the Yankees jumped out to an 8-1 lead.

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“It’s only the fourth inning,” he said, then nodded out. Before I knew it, he was starting to snore.
It was that kind of a game. Sloppy. Long. Perfect for switching over to CNN during the commercials to watch clips of Michael Jackson.
Jackson’s Neverland Ranch was in northern Santa Barbara County, and my local journalists covered his trial on a daily basis. To people here, he wasn’t the king of pop but yet another celebrity who had lost his way.
Moonwalk in peace, MJ.
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Speaking of celebrities losing their way, A-Rod seems to have found his. He was swinging the bat better on Wednesday and turned it up another notch tonight. That solo shot in the first was nice, but his bases-loaded single in the seventh was a thing of beauty.
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(Like Jacko, he, too, wears a white glove when he performs.)
It was a good night for Al, who tied Reggie’s home run record, knocked in four runs and seemed unusually pumped up.
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It was not such a good night for Pettitte. He wasn’t as ineffective as Derek Lowe, but he had a huge lead and nearly gave it away – grounds for this.
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I don’t know why Girardi didn’t use Phil Hughes in relief, but I’ve given up trying to figure out everybody’s role in the pen.
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I’m just glad Mo got his 499th save and the Yanks beat the Braves 11-7. It wasn’t pretty, and Swisher, Damon and Jeter looked like deer in the headlights at times. Oh, and Gardner spazzed out on that ball hit by the Devil Wears Prado.
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But a win is a win, and the best news is that the offense is back! We can hit again! We remembered what to do with the bats!
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Now we must be excellent against the Mets this weekend. I’m predicting we win two out of three. If that’s going out on a limb, so be it.
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Yankees Win; Hunger Strike Off

On Twitter today I announced that I would go on a hunger strike until the Yankees halted their slide and won a game. No pasta with portobello mushroom sauce. No grilled turkey burgers. No Pepperidge Farm Double Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies, my favorite indulgence.
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I was prepared to waste away for as many days and weeks as it took for my team to remember how to use their bats – anything to bring awareness to the cause and stop the madness.
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But the Yankees beat the Braves 8-4, and I ate a delicious dinner. No strike necessary.
What a relief to get a “W” after all those rotten losses. Joba went six-plus without walking anybody and only spazzed out in the seventh with that error on Johnson’s bunt.
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And he knocked out Kawakami, the Braves’ starter, in the third by lining a comebacker directly at his carotid artery without causing irreparable harm. Hard to do!
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Let’s see. So many others to thank for this victory (not counting Cashman for shipping Veras to Cleveland and DFA-ing Berroa).
Thanks to first base umpire Bill Welke for his bonehead call on the non-pickoff of Gardner in the sixth. Bill, you rock! If you’d actually had the lasik surgery, you wouldn’t have gotten Girardi mad enough to argue.
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Instead, you blew the call and threw him out of the game, which was positively inspired (and inspiring).
Only moments later, the Cisco Kid smacked his first major league homer to tie the score 1-1. It was the Yankees’ first run since the dawn of early man.
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Thanks to Jeter and Damon for their back-to-back singles in the inning, to Tex for his walk to load the bases, and to A-Rod for coming through with a two-run hit that put the Yanks up 3-1 and saved me from having to starve myself.
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Thank you to an Atlanta reliever named Bennett, who served one up to Swisher for a just-barely homer that made it 4-1 and possibly saved Nick’s job.
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It was a little nerve-wracking in the bottom of the frame when Joba gave up an RBI single to the guy who pinch-hit for Bennett (his name is Prado, but I call him The Devil Wears Prado) for 4-2. Then Coke replaced Joba, and McLouth launched a deep sac fly for 4-3. By the way, McLouth is impressive. As much as I like Nady, why didn’t we get The Good Pirate, who also happens to look like Matt Damon?
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There was more merriment in the top of the eighth as we scored another couple of runs. But what was up with Bruney? Could he have taken any longer between pitches? Talk about laboring.
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Then along came Mo, who gets a thank you just for his existence.
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Not only did he strike out all four batters he faced in the eighth/ninth, but he came up to bat and lined one into the outfield. His teammates thought it was hilarious.
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Anyhow, thanks again to all of the above for helping me avert the hunger strike. I would have done it, but I’m glad I didn’t have to. I’m not planning to grow a mustache in solidarity either, so the Yankees shouldn’t even try going on another losing streak.
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She-Fan Exclusive: The Yankees Have Been Stolen!

Remember the 2009 Bombers? Those cheerful, talented, pie-loving, We-Have-Chemistry people who brought us thrilling, come-from-behind walkoff victories?

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They’re gone.
Vanished into thin air.
Vaporized.
The ones who wore the interlocking N-Y on their caps during tonight’s terrifyingly boring 4-0 loss to the Braves – the men who bore striking physical resemblances to Jeter, A-Rod, Posada, etc. – were not the real Yankees; they were impostors.
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How did this happen? She-Fan has learned that at some point during the series at Fenway, aliens swooped down from another galaxy, snatched the real Yankees in the dead of night, carted them away one by one to several space ships anchored in the Charles River, and replaced them with pods. Yes, pods. There is no other possible explanation.
How else to account for their “offensive malaise,” as Peter Abraham called it tonight
Wang wasn’t bad. Under normal circumstances, he would have pitched well enough to win.
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But the real Yankees were replaced, so instead of watching the regular Posada, we were forced to watch the pod Posada. Just look at him. You can tell he’s a pod. He doesn’t even blink his eyes. No wonder he struck out four times.
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I believe that A-Rod was the first to be abducted by the aliens. Sure, he goes through the motions now and acts as if he’s the real A-Rod, but it’s obvious he’s been tampered with. Notice the transformation from his first day back from the DL when he hit a homer and was feeling pretty swell…
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…to his more recent at-bats during which he appears hostile to the mere idea of driving the ball.
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I’m beginning to think that Swisher was always a pod who only lured us into thinking he was a good player, but it’s just plain painful not to see Jeter come through in the clutch. That GIDP in the fifth convinced me that he’d been snatched by aliens, wrapped in a towel and brought to a location far, far away.
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I won’t even bother talking about the others. They’ve become pods, pure and simple, even Tex.
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How will the situation be remedied? Will the real Yankees be restored to their own bodies? Can this team be saved?
Yes, but only if three things occur on Wednesday night:
* They get more than 4 hits.
* They don’t leave 12 men on base.
* They become infuriated by fans who do the tomahawk chop.
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P.S. I succumbed to pressure and got a Twitter account today. My user name is SheFanJane. Apparently, SheFan was already taken by an imposter – a pod, perhaps.

Slumping

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The Yankees are falling on their faces, as evidenced by today’s 6-5 loss to the Marlins, yesterday’s 2-1 defeat, and lackluster efforts against the Nationals and Mets. And while I’m not panicking – they’ve been in much worse shape than this – I’m not at all amused. Why? Take today, for instance.
#1. CC had to leave in the second inning with tendinitis in his biceps.
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#2. The Yankees’ bats looked like they were made of this. (Picture of Swiss cheese.)

#3. After Aceves pitched brilliantly in relief of CC, Bombko lived up to his nickname.
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#4. Melky tried to throw out Hanley Ramirez at home, but the ball traveled into another state entirely.
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#5. Joe Girardi cleverly caught the Marlins asleep at the wheel, pointed out their lineup blunder to the umps, got De Aza thrown out of the game and then watched Jeter, Swisher and Teixeira go down in order. He played the game under protest.
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#6. A-Rod hit a single that scored two runs, but otherwise appeared as fatigued as the day before. I’ve decided it’s Kate Hudson’s fault and I want her to go back to one of her previous boyfriends.


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#7. That ninth-inning rally against the Marlins’ closer that began with singles by Posada and Melky, resulted in two runs thanks to Gardner’s gapper, and continued with the walk to Damon ended with Jeter’s annoying habit of first-pitch swinging. THE GUY JUST WALKED DAMON! TAKE A PITCH, DEREK!


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Maybe the Yankees will have better luck against the Braves, but somebody needs to step up.
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I Hate To Jinx Anything But…

Wow. The Yankees have been looking good. Last night, CC and Mo put on a show against the Reds. Today, Bombko shut down the Braves for a few innings. The truth is, the Yanks have been winning games and playing good baseball, and I’m feeling unusually optimistic (for me) going into the season. But again, I don’t want to jinx anything, so I’d better do this.

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When I think back to the beginning of spring training, there were so many question marks.
Would Jorge’s shoulder turn into shredded wheat?¬†
Would Mo be carted off to the assisted living facility?
Would Matsui’s knees buckle the first time he DH-ed?
Would Wang’s foot fall off?
Would Jeter survive his stint in the WBC?
Would CC and AJ become best friends?
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And there were other matters to be resolved.
Which Cano would show up: the ’07 model or the one from ’08?
Would Cashman let Melky and Gardner compete for center field or bring in a veteran like Mike Cameron or Andruw Jones?
Would Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady come to blows over the right field job?
Would Tex get off to one of his supposedly slow starts?
Would Brian Bruney gain back all the weight he lost and go from this…
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to this?
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So far, all the questions have been answered in an extremely positive way (well, the Gardner/Melky situation hasn’t been totally resolved), and there have been pleasant surprises (Ramiro Pena). Yes, everything is FINE in Yankeeland – a miracle! But again, I don’t want to jinx anything, so I’d better get some of these and hang them from my rearview mirror.
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Uh-oh. I just read a recap of today’s action. Jeter left the game with a bruised knuckle on his pinky finger. How in the world did he let that happen?
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And Ramiro Pena, the slick rookie shortstop I’ve been so giddy about, made a fielding error.
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What’s more, Wang gave up two homers in a minor league game. Did his foot fall off after all? His whole leg too?
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It’s my fault. I jinxed the Yankees with all my happy vibes in this post. I need to make things right. I’d better go out and get a Kabalah string and wear it around my wrist.
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Oh, wait. A-Rod wears one, and things haven’t gone very well for him lately.
Maybe it’s time to give up my superstitions….if only I could.

What Does the “A.J.” Stand For? Raise Your Hand.

I’m talking about A.J. Burnett, obviously.
Did you read the MLB story today that said: “Every American League East team except Tampa Bay, plus the Braves and Phillies, is considering making an offer for Burnett?”
Yikes. Sounds like the A.J. Sweepstakes are on, and whoever signs him will also get one of these.
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So who will get him? And what do we really know about him, other than that he has filthy stuff? Jays fans are familiar with him, naturally, as are Marlins fans. But we who worship the pinstripes may be a bit hazy on his background.
For instance, what does¬†“A.J.” stand for? “Alex Jeter?” Nope. His full name is Allan James Burnett, and he’s from North Little Rock, Arkansas.
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His early career was with the aforementioned Marlins, for whom he threw a no-hitter in 2001. Lots of celebrating that night. Good, good times. (Never mind that he walked nine in the game.)
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But then came 2003, when A.J. heard the worst three words a pitcher can hear: Tommy John Surgery.
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He recovered, but was shut down in 2004 with an elbow injury. Shades of Carl Pavano?
In September of 2005, he suffered yet another injury – to his mind.
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He flipped out after a bad game and ranted to a room full of reporters: “I’m sick of it, man! It’s depressing around here!” The next day he was instructed by the Marlins’ management to pack his bags and move on.
He landed with the Jays, where his 2006 season began with another injury. A piece of scar tissue – remnants from his Tommy John surgery – broke off inside his pitching arm.
He was on the disabled list again that year with arm soreness. Two more stints on the DL followed in ’07. And in ’08 he was out b/c he tore off his fingernail after getting it caught in a closing car door. I hate when that happens. He should have just grabbed some of this.
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Life got a whole lot better for A.J. as 2008 went along. He ended up having a great season and bonded completely and forever with the Jays’ true ace.
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I bet Halliday will be sad to see him go if the Jays don’t re-sign him. Here’s what Doc will miss about A.J.:
That Aztec tattoo on his right leg…..
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That snarling look on the mound….
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Which is eerily reminiscent of this man…..
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And the blaring sounds of his favorite group, System of a Down.
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If it’s the Yankees who win the A.J. Sweepstakes (and the toaster), I wonder how they’ll deal with his heavy metal proclivity. As far as I know, only “Enter Sandman” is allowed at the Stadium.
The outcome of the sweepstakes is unclear as of this writing. All that’s certain is that Mr. Burnett and his family are taking it easy down in Miramar, Florida, secure in the knowledge that they’re about to get way richer.