Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New York Yankees have little choice but to start A.J. Burnett in today's ALCS Game 4

Dave Martinez could be in line for Toronto’s managerial job.


Dave Martinez could be in line for Toronto’s managerial job.

NEW YORK — Most of the focus at Yankee Stadium was on the pitcher starting Monday's Game 3 for the Rangers, Cliff Lee.

But most of the talk — and controversy — was about the pitcher starting tonight's Game 4 for the Yankees, RHP A.J. Burnett.

The Yankees made — and apparently are sticking with — the decision to pitch Burnett despite a horribly inconsistent season in which he went 10-15, 5.26, was winless over his final six regular-season starts and was skipped in the first round of the playoffs.

"We all know what A.J. can dial up," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "And we believe in him."

The reality is that they have no choice, despite the public outcry to instead used CC Sabathia. Doing so would compromise their staff for the remainder of the series: Sabathia — who got rocked in Friday's opener — would be on short rest tonight and again for a possible Game 7, Phil Hughes would be for the first time in his career for Game 5 and Andy Pettitte, who missed two months with a groin strain, would be for a potential Game 6.

Burnett is, at the least, aware of the controversy. "To be honest with you, I hear it everywhere, but I'm not really paying attention to it," he said.

"I know a lot of things have been written. I don't read a lot; I don't dig into it too much. But I do go off with everyday people that I meet at breakfast and lunch and stuff, and it's been nothing but positive toward me. I'm just going at it as it's my turn to pitch in Game 4 of the AL Championship (Series)."

Burnett hasn't pitched since Oct. 2 and said that might be a good thing, too. "From the work I've been doing, I'm in a pretty good groove," he said. "I haven't pitched in a long time, so I haven't struggled in a long time."

LOUD RECEPTION: Rangers starter Tommy Hunter, a 24-year-old in his second big-league season, pitches in New York for the first time tonight. While he knows enough to expect it to be loud, he isn't exactly worried about the impact of having 50,000 people yelling at him.

"I had Mom screaming at me when I was 12," he said. "That's probably more intimidating than people I don't know."

TENSE TINO: Tampa's Tino Martinez played in 99 postseason games during his stellar 16-season career. But in none of those was he as nervous as he was Monday, and in a handful of other similar appearances since his 2006 retirement, when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

"It's nerve-wracking," Martinez said. "When you're out there playing, you're into a groove and you don't worry about it. … I've done it a couple times, and it doesn't get any easier. Since they asked me last week to do it, I've thought about it every day. … It's one throw — if they let you throw five or six warmup pitches and then throw one, I could do it."

Martinez was worried for no reason: He threw a strike and got a huge ovation.

MISCELLANY: The Rangers have homered in each of their eight playoff games; their regular-season high streak was six. … Ex-Ray Jorge Cantu isn't getting much of an opportunity with the Rangers. He was out of the lineup in favor of lefty swinging Mitch Moreland on Monday against the left-handed Pettitte and in last week's Game 5 vs. Rays LHP David Price.

Martinez interview

As expected, the Blue Jays asked for — and the Rays granted — permission to interview bench coach Dave Martinez for their vacant managerial job.

Martinez, 46, played 16 seasons in the big leagues. He has been on the Rays' coaching staff full time since 2008, after serving as a spring instructor the previous two years. He has no managerial experience, except for spring training and games in which Joe Maddon was ejected.

Martinez has also been mentioned in connection with managerial openings in Milwaukee and Florida.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

New York Yankees have little choice but to start A.J. Burnett in today's ALCS Game 4 10/18/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 7:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  2. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  3. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  4. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  5. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Derek Norris, right, celebrates with Logan Morrison as he scores in what could be his last game with the Rays.