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AJ Burnett has epic struggle to spell Pedro Alvarez’s name

AJ BurnettA.J. Burnett made an effort to stand up for teammate Pedro Alvarez on Monday, but he ended up in an embarrassing situation instead.

The Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher was stunned and disappointed to learn that Alvarez, who is third in the NL with 22 home runs this season, was not chosen by David Wright to represent the NL in the Home Run Derby. Burnett expressed disgust with the omission, but he misspelled Alvarez’s last name in the process. Multiple times.

Not to worry, Burnett noticed his error and set out to correct it:

Wait, didn’t he just misspell it again? That’s OK, third time’s a charm …

Finally, he just gave up.

From exploding rosin bags to misspellings, it’s been a rough couple of days for Burnett.

AJ Burnett victim of exploding rosin bag prank again (Video)

AJ Burnett returned from the disabled list to start for Pittsburgh on Sunday, and his Pirates teammates welcomed him back with a familiar prank.

AJ Burnett rosin bagBurnett went to the rosin bag after walking Chicago Cubs catcher Welington Castillo in the fourth, and the bag opened up on him. Burnett threw up two fingers at his teammates in the dugout to say, “You’ve got me twice with that prank!”

Luckily the prank didn’t bother Burnett, who struck out Brian Bogusevic to end the inning. He went five innings allowing three hits, two walks, and two runs in a 4-3 loss in extras to the Cubs. The Pirates are tied with the Cardinals for the best record in baseball. Burnett leads the league with two busted bags.

Also see: Rosin bag explodes on AJ Burnett on Opening Day

Pirates giving away epic AJ Burnett t-shirts (Picture)

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AJ Burnett is such a bad-ass. Even if the Pittsburgh Pirates don’t improve upon their recent misfortunes in 2013, their fans are lucky that Burnett is still anchoring the team’s staff. In order to remind the fans of how fortunate they are to have acquired Burnett, the Pirates are giving away the incredible t-shirts you see above before Friday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Can you think of a better giveaway than that? Prizes like this team-branded waffle iron and this Coco Crisp bobblehead doll come close, but nothing beats a T-shirt that features Burnett rocking sunglasses and throwing up a BAMF hand signal. The dude has it all, and if you don’t believe me just check out this GIF that Getting Blanked passed along:

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Are we done here? Game, set, match.

Fist pound to Big League Stew

A.J. Burnett has rosin bag explode on him during Opening Day start (Animated)

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AJ-Burnett-rosin-bagPittsburgh Pirates ace A.J. Burnett had a pretty rough first game of the season on Monday. His pitching performance was actually quite solid — he Burnett threw 5.2 innings and allowed three earned runs on six hits. He also managed to strike out 10 Chicago Cubs, but the Pirates were unable to give him any run support and went on to lose 3-1. Oh, and then there was the whole exploding rosin bag thing.

Burnett was simply trying to dry his hands off like any other hurler when he fell victim to either a rosin bag malfunction or a brilliant April Fools prank. I’m going to pretend it was the latter and that his teammates were snickering in the dugout waiting for him to pick the thing up. Could something like that frustrate Burnett and throw off his rhythm? Perhaps, but it’s the first game of a 162-game season. And they’re the Pirates. Sorry — it’s a little too early for low blows.

Watch the video below to see the full thing:

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A.J. Burnett blasts Hanley Ramirez for home run celebration (Video)

Hanley Ramirez and A.J. Burnett got into it during Thursday’s Dodgers-Pirates game after Burnett felt Ramirez showed him up following a home run.

Ramirez hit a two-run homer (the 150th of his career) off Burnett in the bottom of the fourth to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. As he was rounding second base, he appeared to put his hands to his eyes in the shape of glasses, upsetting Burnett. The gesture seems to be a ripoff of the “lo viste” gesture developed by the Marlins, for whom Ramirez played before being traded to the Dodgers. “Lo viste” is the players’ way of saying “did you see that?” in Spanish, though it’s unclear exactly what Ramirez intends his new gesture to mean. Regardless, Burnett felt Ramirez was showing him up.

Later in the game after the Pirates had reclaimed the lead, Burnett struck Ramirez out and stared him down. He also clearly yelled, “Sit down!”

“If you’re going to hit a homer, act like you’ve hit one before,” Burnett told reporters after the game according to the Associated Press. “The first batter, (James) Loney, hit one, was very professional about it. Ran hard the whole way. I just thought he did a little something at second base. I could be wrong. It was the heat of the moment.”

As for the “sit down” comment, Burnett said he was just excited to get a hitter out that sent one a long way off of him the last time up. Obviously, there was more to it than that. It’s hard to not side with Burnett on this one. Hanley clearly made the gesture in his direction, which is a classless move. Moments like those are the reason many of Ramirez’s former teammates weren’t sad to see him leave Miami.

A.J. Burnett giving Daniel McCutchen’s daughter a college fund in exchange for jersey number

A.J. Burnett probably wants to leave most of his Yankees memories behind in New York, but he’ll be sticking with the same jersey number. As is the case when any new player comes to town, Burnett had to strike a deal with a current member of the Pirates in order to keep his No. 34 jersey. Daniel McCutchen, the 29-year-old reliever who wore No. 34 in Pittsburgh last season, is planning for the future. That’s why he has agreed to give his number to Burnett if A.J. sets up a college fund for his unborn daughter, who is due in May.

“When a veteran comes in and takes a number, some of the guys usually get something,” McCutchen said according to the Post-Gazette. “I know he has kids. He asked me what I wanted, I brought that up. Eighteen years from now, we’ll see what the market is.”

Anyone can ask for cash or something materialistic in exchange for a jersey, but it’s nice to see McCutchen turning his situation into a long-term investment. Hopefully Burnett doesn’t become a bust with the Pirates and only fulfill part of the agreement like a certain quarterback in Minnesota seems to have done.

The amount is unknown at the moment, as the College America 529 plan’s true value won’t be determined until McCutchen’s daughter heads to college. Regardless of how much money he has to invest now and how much it costs him in the long run, it’s a deal Burnett should feel good about agreeing to.

H/T Hardball Talk

Nick Swisher will take over A.J. Burnett’s pie-smashing duties for Yankees

The idea during the offseason is to address your biggest needs, and the Yankees have done just that. By trading A.J. Burnett, the Yankees unloaded a pitcher that was clearly a bad signing and couldn’t cut it in New York. The departure of Burnett also left a huge hole within the organization, however. As you may know, A.J. was in charge of smashing his teammates in the face with a shaving cream pie after walk-off hits last season. Fortunately, Nick Swisher is ready to step up and fill that void.

“You know, A.J. was a good buddy of mine, and he was a good buddy of all the guys in here,” Swisher said in an interview with MLB.com. “I’m sad to see him go, and wish him the best of luck. We’re going to have to keep something going, man, because people in New York want pie! You know, let’s just keep it going.”

The one issue that could arise is that Swisher is a position player, meaning he could be the one delivering the walk-off hit. He says he won’t be pieing himself if that happens and that someone else will step up. Thank goodness for that.

It certainly sounds like the Yankees are ready to go. Their pie-in-the-face plan is in order. Oh yeah, and they happened to add Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda which should solidify their starting rotation. All is well in New York.

H/T Hardball Talk