If you’re the sort of person that wonders about uniform numbers, the AJ Burnett trade probably made you a little curious. Burnett’s worn #34 for almost his entire career (save a bit of time early in his career, when he wore 43), from Florida to Toronto to New York. In Pittsburgh, that’s Dan McCutchen’s number. So what happens? Bill Brink has the story:
Some players get a watch when a veteran who joins the team takes their jersey number. Daniel McCutchen got a college fund. For his unborn daughter, due in May
During the interminable “We know AJ Burnett is going to be traded to the Pirates but we don’t know when,” phase of this story, someone asked me about the thought that some people had that Burnett was a surly veteran who didn’t want to come to Pittsburgh and would be miserable and a bad teammate, etc. etc. I said that I thought the whole idea was laughable, that Burnett was “the pie guy” with the Yankees that everyone credited for loosening the team up, and that if the Pirates somehow managed to be any good in 2012, that Burnett would end up getting a ton of credit for it as the veteran guy who’s been there before and who taught the Pirates “how to win.” Obviously we’re a long ways away from any of that and it’s still plenty possible for Burnett to be a jerk, but in light of this story, I’m standing by my prediction.