PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan)- Pitcher A.J. Burnett recently signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in February, after pitching the last two years for the Pirates.
There were reports that Burnett blew up after he found out that he was not starting Game 5 of the National League Divisional Series. But Burnett told Bob Popmpeani that didn’t happen.
“I walked into the office to sit down, tells me that he’s going to give the ball to Gerrit Cole, I said ‘all right, thank you, I’ll see you in St. Louis’ and I walked out of the office,” Burnett said. Burnett said he told a few teammates before he left and then spoke to a few people the next day.
“I didn’t blow up, there wasn’t no craziness going on,” he added. “I just got up and walked out.”
Burnett told Pompeani that the decision to leave the Pirates was very difficult.
“It’s the toughest decision I had to make in my career, hands down,” Burnett said. “Going there, and dealing with what I dealt with before I went there, and having it turn around and being accepted, not just in the locker room but the fans, the people as well, the organization, it was a turnover for me. It was a very tough decision. It was tough to leave them 25 guys in there, you know, for sure.”
Burnett said that things with manager Clint Hurdle ended on good terms.
“I’ve got no problems with Clint Hurdle. I’m a competitor to the point, I get paid money to pitch and I get paid money to pitch until I can’t anymore,” Burnett said. “There are certain times that pitchers don’t want to come out of games, and I overreact a lot maybe because I don’t want to come out of games, or I don’t believe I should come out of games. But you look at what he did and how, and once you look back and look past the heat of the moment and everything, you know the moves he made were fine. They were good moves. It’s just I just don’t like coming out of games.”
Burnett added that Hurdle reached out to him, and that things ended on good terms.