Friday, November 21, 2008

Burning Burnett

Beckett, Lowell, possibly D-Train and now Burnett? Is Boston's strategy for 2009 to recreate the 2003 Marlins? Actually, I should be grateful I can make that joke; were we still living under the Yawkee Trust, reassembling another club's championship team six years later might have been an operating strategy. This Thanksgiving, as every Thanksgiving since 2003, I'm grateful for the ownership of New England Sports Ventures.

But really: what's with the interest in Burnett? His post-2003 payday netted him over $13 million in 2005, but the return on that princely sum hasn't been anything spectacular: ERA+ of no more than 119 (or 19% better than the average pitcher), a pedestrian set of career graphs, only two seasons with more than 30 starts, and years worth of troubles in his pitching shoulder and arm. 2008 was his most durable year, but he's 31 years old: what the Blue Jays got this year was probably the most anyone will see in the future. I really hope the Sox are only in this contest to drive the price of acquisition up for Toronto or New York.

Meanwhile, fun Mark Teixeira metaphor for you to chew on while you watch the rumors swirl: replacing Manny with Teixeira would be like if Brady got with Gisele first...and she turned out to be crazy. In other words: I'll get excited about Teixeira if he ends up in Boston, but thinking he'll replace Manny is the kind of self-delusion we all engage in so we can sleep at night.