A.J. Burnett: “I’ll Be Back With The Pittsburgh Pirates Or Retire”
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PITTSBURGH (93.7 THE FAN) – There have been a lot of questions surrounding Pirates pitcher — and free agent — A.J. Burnett since the Pirates’ season ended.
Burnett took some time to answer some of those questions to 93.7 The Fan’s Colin Dunlap Monday night.
One of the major questions on Pirates’ fans minds: Will he be back with team next year?
Burnett told Dunlap, “I enjoy the city, my family loves the area, I love the area.”
“The city took me in, they took me in more than any team in an city has in my whole career, before I even got here, and that was special to me. Without a doubt I’d love to be a Pittsburgh Pirate.”
Burnett says his family and his kids are going to be what decides whether or not he’ll be back with the Pirates next season.
“My decision is not playing for another team, it’s whether or not I’m going to play period. That decision is going to be based on my family. It’s not going to be a Game 5 decision from Clint Hurdle, because that’s yesterday, that’s old.”
When considering what’s important for the rest of his career Burnett says, “pitching a game, and winning a championship.”
Burnett also talked about his image on the field.
“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” Burnett said. “That’s how I compete, that’s not who I am. I’m a father, I’m a friend, I’m a good teammate.”
“It’s me on the field, but it’s definitely not who I am,” Burnett said.
Dunlap asked Burnettabout his relationship with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
“Clint’s allowed me to be me, to say what’s on my mind, and accepts it,” Burnett said. “I got no problems with Clint Hurdle.”
That question prompted Burnett to talk about Hurdle’s decision not to pitch him in Game 5.
“He is the manager of the team, he makes the decisions on the team,” Burnett said. “Yeah I was upset, I was angry, I wanted to pitch again.”
“I will tell you straight up, I was very upset, on the other hand I came in the next day as a pro.”
Burnett says he was most upset with not being told ahead of time that he wasn’t going to pitch Game 5.
“I think if they would have told me earlier, or prior, I would have swallowed it a little better. I got up and walked right out of the office, I didn’t say anything to him,” Burnett said. “That’s part of baseball, that’s part of me being a professional.”
Burnett also addressed his tweet about Andrew McCutchen and Hurdle doing the Terrible Towel wave at the start of the Steelers game on Sunday, and what’s up with he and Clint Barmes?
You can hear the rest of the A.J. Burnett interview with 93.7 The Fan below: