A.J. Burnett went on 93.7 the Fan last night to address a somewhat controversial tweet on Sunday, and more importantly, his upcoming decision regarding his free agency. He and Colin Dunlap clarified a scuffle they had regarding Burnett’s opinion on Andrew McCutchen and Clint Hurdle being featured at the Steelers game, and after that, they went on to discuss a number of things…such as his role/relationships with the team, the Game 5 decision, and his future.
It’s worth a listen, as Burnett is very honest and revealing, but the most important note he revealed is that he is currently deciding between returning to the Pirates or retiring. As of now, signing with another team is not on his radar. That’s certainly great to hear. Regardless of what you think of Burnett’s antics, he has certainly been a positive overall influence to the team off the mound. And ON the mound, I don’t think people realize how good of a season he had. He was one of the top starters in the NL, and bringing him back for another season would be enormous for the Pirates’ rotation. Here’s hoping he decides to return, but you have to respect his decision if he opts to spend time with his family instead.
The Comeback Player of the Year isn’t a big official thing done by MLB (it’s actually the Sporting News), but people certainly seem to still consider it a big deal. The Pirates cleaned up on the NL side: Francisco Liriano won it, Mark Melancon came in second, and Marlon Byrd came in third. Three pretty good pickups for the Pirates this year, huh? Nice to see those guys get soe additional recognition for their tremendous seasons.
The Reds have a new manager – Bryan Price, who was previously their pitching coach. I obviously don’t know a lot about him, but Reds fans and media seem to be very happy with the hire, and their pitching staff has obviously been a strength for them. There’s still one other manger-less team in the division – the Cubs are still searching.
The Reds also intend to trade everybody’s favorite opposing second baseman Brandon Phillips. That would actually be a wise move if they can pull it off – he’s owed a lot of money and has declined quite a bit on offense lately.
Not excited about outfield prospect Gregory Polanco? Read this and you will be. By the way, he’s off to a hot start in the Dominican Winter League.
There are tons of these out there, but here’s a terrific highlight video of the 2013 Pirates regular season….probably the best one I’ve seen.