Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Not to go all FJM on everyone, but this is just silly. Steve Simmons article "Does A.J. Realize He's In a Perfect Situation With the Jays?" makes the counterintuitive case that:
A.J. Burnett will be making a monumental error should he do the obvious and take the money and run away from the Blue Jays.
Allright, sir. Provocative. I'm listening.
Burnett, you see, is something of a flawed character. All you have to do is check out his past -- statistically and otherwise -- to understand that.
A "flawed character?" You mean, like in the sense that all human beings are inherently sinful? (Well, maybe except Doc.) I wasn't expecting an encyclical here, but I suppose A.J.'s "statistically and otherwise" "past" does include being born in a non-virgin birth to human parents, so okay.
And should he opt out of his Jays contract, which is what most expect him to do, and sign with the highest bidder, he will, in fact, be exposing himself in a way he has never before known.
Amen. For example, he will be exposing himself to major-league baseball teams who will be falling all over themselves to pay him upwards of $15 million per year in order to hurl baseballs for them every 5th day.
What Burnett doesn't seem to grasp is how perfect a situation he has with the Blue Jays. He isn't the No. 1 starting pitcher. He isn't expected to be. He doesn't have to deal with that kind of pressure that comes with being the No. 1 man. He has Roy Halladay to take the heat off him, not to mention offer advice, and buffer him from the outside world. And he has his pitching coach of choice in Brad Arnsberg.
Yes, thank God Roy Halladay has been "taking the heat off" A.J. and "buffering him from the outside world." If not for Doc, why, the local media might have started taking unfounded shots at A.J. Burnett, say, for his entire tenure with the Jays. It's a good thing that A.J. has Roy to "buffer" him so that Jeff Blair, of the Globe and Mail, or Richard Griffin, of the Star, or you, sir, don't constantly call him soft or say he is a .500 pitcher who turns it on in garbage time, or randomly say that he has a "flawed character" for no reason and with no basis.
Incidentally, I think A.J. is very aware of how great he has it in Toronto. By all accounts, he gets along great with his teammates, has a great relationship with Arnsberg (who might not be back, by the way, Steve), has a great defense behind him, and likes Toronto a lot. But, Steve, sometimes the right move is to step out of a situation where you're comfortable in order to take a step up, career-wise or money-wise. Like, I bet you're pretty comfortable at the Sun, but if a real newspaper offered you a job (by the way, don't count on this happening anytime soon) that paid you in money instead of those dumplings at that Chinese bakery on Spadina right by the Rogers Centre, you'd probably take it, too (though those things are freaking delicious).
A lot of quality No. 2 starting pitchers can't, or don't, make it as No. 1 guys. The betting here is that Burnett is one of those. And knowing the way agents work -- who in their right mind would turn down an increased commission? -- the betting is no one will inform him of that.
Good bet, because that would be 1) malpractice; 2) incredibly stupid; and 3) a total jerk thing to tell another human being, let alone a client who is paying you millions.
That is every word of this "article" and literally, every word is complete nonsense. I love how people can write about ballplayers like it's this alien world where absolutely none of the usual wisdom or rules about jobs apply. A.J., you made a significant positive contribution to the Jays and to pitching, but let's face it, it has been outweighed a hundredfold by the damage you have done to the field of journalism.