Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yankees should not ignore Burnett story

AJ Burnett answered some questions with his pitching last night, but opened the door to a flood of new ones with the black eye he sported.

Burnett looked pretty solid in giving up only three runs in seven innings and pitching well enough to win. His good outing seemed to do wonders for his confidence, with Burnett saying he felt good on the mound in attacking the hitters and in his mind. But his start became almost an afterthought the minute those television cameras zoomed in on his face. As Kim Jones said, the bruise was impossible to ignore.

"The story is he pitched well tonight," Joe Girardi said.

No, it isn't Joe. The story is that he pitched well while sporting this mysterious bruise on his face. Because Burnett is prone to bursts of anger that have gotten him hurt, as when he injured his hands slamming something off of a clubhouse door after a particularly frustrating outing, the media isn't going to stop until they find out what happened. And given that these injuries have kept him off the baseball field in the past, the media and New York Yankees fans that pay his salary have a legitimate right to know what happened.

The problem with refusing to comment is that the Yankees lose the opportunity to spin the story in their favor. Do they really think in this day and age of 24-hour media that the story is going to stay quiet? I guarantee that the tabloids have reporters working around the clock to find out what happened to AJ in Baltimore.

Judging by the small smile on his face in the postgame interview, I think Burnett realizes this. He was polite in declining to answer the questions from Jones and other beat reporters. But the questions won't stop there. The Yankees could have gotten in front of the media firestorm by releasing a statement explaining what led to the black eye and giving the media nowhere to go from there. Instead, they lost control of the story by trying to ignore it or pretend it didn't matter.

No comments:

Post a Comment