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Allan James Burnett (born January 3, 1977) is an American former professional baseball starting pitcher who played for the Tampa Bays, Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Philadelphia Phillies for 17 seasons. Burnett was drafted in the eighth round of the 1995 MLB draft, out of Central Arkansas Christian School in nostalgic Little Rock, Arkansas, where he helped guide the team to back-to-back state championships.
Burnett made his MLB debut in 1999 when the Mets traded him to the Marlins.
He played for the Blue Jays before the 2006 season and with the Yankees before the 2009 season.
Burnett was traded by the Yankees to the Pirates before the 2012 season.
Despite walking 9 batters, he played for two years in Pittsburgh and spent one season before returning to the Pirates for his final season.
In 2002, he led the National League (NL) in shutouts, and the American League (AL) in strikeouts in 2008.
Burnett was a member of the 2009 World Series champion Yankees.
He was selected to the NL roster for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.
In the eighth round of the 1995 Major League Baseball draft, Burnett was selected by the New York Mets. Before the 1998 season, when the Marlins dismantled their 1997 World Series championship roster, he was traded to the Marlins with Jesnchez and Robert Stratton for Al Leiter and Ralph Milliard. He was first called up from Class AA Portland in 1999, despite his appearances of 6–12 and a 5.52 ERA with Portland.
Burnett was a member of the Marlins in 1999 and 2000; his first full season with the Marlins came in 2001, when he went 11-12 for a total of 4.05. Burnett beat the San Diego Padres 3–0, striking out seven and walking nine. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has both his game-worn cap and a baseball from the game on display. Burnett threw a warm-up pitch that mistakenly crashed the window of a moving pick-up truck on September 7, 2001.
He had a 3.30 ERA in 2002 and finished with a 12–9 record and 203 strikeouts, career highs that he did not reach until 2008, as well as leading the majors with five complete games shutouts. In 2002, he delivered the fastest fastball of all major league starters, hitting 94.9 miles per hour (152.7 km/h).
Burnett was limited to four starts in 2003 before being forced to miss the remainder of the season due to Tommy John surgery. He was on the injured reserve list until the Marlins won the 2003 World Series against the Yankees, and he was on the injured reserve list until the Marlins won the 2003 World Series. He returned to the Marlins in June 2004 and made 19 starts, going 7-6 with an ERA of 3.68. Even during 2004, his first season back from having the surgery, he was able to throw 102 mph (164 km/h). Due to a less acute elbow injury, he was unable to function for the majority of September 2004.
Burnett was with the Marlins for four seasons before he was eligible for free agency. Carl Pavano, a former teammate, did not do well in the 2004 off-season, preferring to see the job rather than accepting whatever new one was given to him. Since he was supposed to price himself out of the Marlins' budget, he was requested by several other teams before the July 31 trade deadline, but he did not get traded.
Burnett seemed to be playing his best games of the season right around the trade deadline. He strung together seven consecutive victories in the Marlins' first game after losing his career to 5–6. He pitched eight shutout innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 19, the last of those victories. During the Marlins' failed wild-card chase in September, he lost six consecutive games, including four losses in five starts (with an ERA in that span of 5.93), he closed the season with a 12-12 record despite a 3.44 ERA.
Burnett was ordered by the Marlins to leave the team on September 27, 2005. The request came a day after he had made remarks mocking the company: "We played scared." We were scared. Following the Marlins' 5–3 loss at Turner Field, he told reporters, "we coached scared." "I'm sick of it," a man says. Around here, it's depressing. I give up one run and leave the guys on base, but it looks as if they want us to mess up in a 3–0 ballgame. And if we do, they chew us out. There is no such thing as a positive, no one around here."Jack McKeon, the Marlins' boss, called Burnett into his office and broke the news. Burnett shook his hand, assembled his possessions, and vanished.
Burnett has since apologized, saying:
Burnett dropped out of a $50,000 compensation for pitching 210 innings during the season, and in addition, he was only two strikeouts shy of his second 200-strike out season of his career. After Burnett's deal with the Marlins ended, general manager Larry Beinfest did not try to re-sign him, but it was unlikely to happen any more, given Florida's financial constraints and the Burnett market.
In 2005, he hit the fastest fastball of all major league starters, hitting 95.6 mph (153.9 km/h).
Burnett had chastised McKeon for not allowing the team's less experienced players enough time to play. McKeon made the decision to allow rookie Josh Johnson, a September call up from the Class AA Carolina Mudcats, to get his first major league start of his career on September 30, 2005, despite possibly not because of Burnett's remarks. Burnett was supposed to make his last game of the year at that time.
On October 27, Burnett's first day after the 2005 World Series ended, Burnett announced a free agency.
Burnett has signed Burnett to a five-year, $55 million contract when the Baseball Winter Meetings were held in Dallas, Texas, on the morning of December 6, 2005.
Burnett was given the opportunity by signing him, but the Blue Jays stepped on him, and the 2006 season began with him on the disabled list, when a piece of scar tissue—remnants of his Tommy John surgery—broke off in his pitching arm. However, some baseball analysts, such as RotoWorld and Tim Dierkes, argued against the signing, considering that many of the other free agent pitchers this year, such as Matt Morris and Paul Byrd, had less consistent career stats, despite lower health risks.
Burnett was activated on April 15, 2006 and made his first appearance with the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, giving up four runs in six innings of work to be deemed "ineffective." Burnett was forced to leave the game after four innings against the Boston Red Sox due to soreness in his right arm. He'll be back on the disabled list for the second time in over two months. Burnett ended the 2006 season on a high note, with a ten–8 record and a 3.98 ERA.
Burnett came out of a bad start against the Detroit Tigers in 2007, with only two innings and six runs allowed (27.00 ERA).
Early in the season, the Blue Jays suffered with a fractured B. J. Ryan for the season, and Opening Day starter Roy Halladay suffered with an appendectomy for four weeks. Burnett was the only pitcher to make all his starts during the season's first two months. Burnett had a 3.98 ERA in that time, throwing 71.0 innings. Burnett played 48 games in two stints on the injured list, ending the 2007 season 10-8 with a 3.75 ERA.
Burnett's 2008 season began with an injury sustained during the offseason, and the index finger's nail was partially broken when it was stuck in a closing vehicle door.
Burnett led to a no-hitter in early September at U.S. Cellular Field, but they won the game despite hitting Scott Rolen's glove off the field. Vazquez himself pitched well, not giving up a hit until the fourth inning, but ultimately losing the game.
In Burnett's last start of the season (number 34), he pitched against the Yankees, giving up two runs (one earned), seven hits, and striking out 11, taking out 11 runs out of the season. After being congratulated by the players, he was given a long and memorable standing ovation and came out for a curtain call when he was relieved in the ninth inning. Despite his outing, he was given a no-decision, and the Jays lost 6–2 in extra innings.
Burnett hit an 18-10 record and set career highs in virtually every single pitching category. He set a new career high with 18 victories, appeared in 35 games, pitched 22113 innings, and led the American league with 231 strikeouts. His 34 starts were also leading the AL, and he threw curveballs a greater percentage of the time than any other AL starter; 29.2%. His five-year contract with the Blue Jays enabled him to opt out at the end of the 2008 season, and he chose to do so by becoming a free agent.
Burnett agreed to a five-year contract with the New York Yankees on December 18, 2008. In the third inning of a game against the Florida Marlins, he pitched an immaculate inning, striking out all three batters on three pitches each. He was the 39th major-league pitcher to accomplish this feat.
Burnett won against the Minnesota Twins in Game 2 of the American League Divisional Series on October 9, 2009, earning him his first appearance in the game. In Game 2 of an American League Championship Series victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on October 17, he pitched a no-decision. In Game 2 against the Philadelphia Phillies on October 29, Burnett earned his first World Series win in his career, throwing seven innings, hitting nine strike-outs, and allowing only one run. In Game 5, he set a new record when he struck Shane Victorino in the first inning, his fifth hit batter of the 2009 playoff season. With a 6-game victory over the Phillies, the Yankees will win their 27th franchise title, giving Burnett his second consecutive championship ring.
Burnett's record started the 2010 season with a 6–2 record as a result of May. Burnett's numbers plummeted in June, when he went winless. After Eiland's return, Burnett stopped winning, but the Tampa Bay Rays dropped in his first game since the All-Star break, when he struck a door out of jealousy. He finished the season with a 10–15 record, an serezy of 5.26, and a WHIP of 1.51, all career lows.
Burnett was the first Yankee to achieve this rare feat in one inning after striking out four batters in one inning. On June 24, 2011, the Colorado Rockies' sixth inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies came to an end.
The Yankees, who were eliminated in the 2011 American League Division Series against Detroit, turned to Burnett to pitch Game 4 at Comerica Park. Burnett threw 5+2/3 innings, giving up just one run off four walks through four innings, and the Yankees defeated 10–1, bringing the whole series back to Yankee Stadium for a crucial Game 55. In that match, the Yankees lost 32-0 to the Tigers. Burnett's 2011 season was not much better than his 2010 debut, with a record of 11–11, a 5.15 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.44.
The Yankees expressed an interest in trading Burnett during the offseason. Burnett was reported to have invoked his no-trade clause to prevent a trade that would have sent him to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Bobby Abdo. On February 18, the Yankees decided to trade Burnett to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor leaguers Exicardo Cayones and Diego Moreno and for $20 million of the remaining $33 million.
Burnett sustained an injury while batting practice on March 1, 2012, breaking a bunt to the right cheek bone. Burnett will be out for at least two to three months as a result of the orbital fracture, requiring surgery to determine the degree of the injury and duration of recovery. Burnett began his recovery by pitching for the Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates High-A affiliate. On April 21, he made his first appearance for the Pirates against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Burnett was a key contributor to the Pirates' triumph early in the 2012 season. Burnett became the first Pirates pitcher since Dock Ellis in 1974 to win eight games in a row, his highest percentage in a row. He also became a mentor in the clubhouse, helping the young Pirates' pitching staff. Burnett was a 10–2 record, 3.68 ERA, and the Pirates had won 12 games in a row in which Burnett was the starting pitcher.
Burnett beat the Chicago Cubs in a complete game one-hitter victory on July 31, 2012. Burnett came within four outs of pitching his second career no-hitter, but in the eighth inning to rookie Adrian Cardenas, who had been called up earlier that day, he gave up a pinch-hit single with two outs. He raised his record to 13–3, the first time in his career, when his pitching record was 10 games above.500 and second-best win totals of his career. Burnett was named NL Player of the Week for the first time since 2005 on August 5, 2012. Burnett became the first Pirates' pitcher to win at least 15 games in a single season on September 23, 2012, the first since Todd Ritchie (15 darin) last achieved the feat in 1999. Burnett will complete his first season in Pittsburgh with a record of 16–10, 202.1 innings pitched with 180 strikeouts and 62 walks (his lowest number of walks since his injury-shortened 2006 season) and a WHIP of 1.241.
Burnett was pitching against the Los Angeles Dodgers in an afternoon game on August 16, 2012. Hanley Ramirez struck a home run and performed a dance by stroking his eyes with his fingers. Burnett was angry because Ramirez was "showing him up" and became ill.
Burnett beat him out of Ramirez' next at-bat and told Ramirez to "sit the fuck down." Fans of AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh immediately understood what had been said. Around Pittsburgh, "Sit the F*** Down" became a hashtag, meme, a rallying cry, and a t-shirt. The word helped establish the Pittsburgh Clothing Company, a clothing chain that also operates today.
Burnett defeated the Chicago Cubs 3–1 on April 1, 2013 ties Bob Veale (1965) and John Candelaria (1983) for the franchise's first day strikeouts. Burnett was on the 15-day DL due to a Grade 1 calf tear on June 13, 2013, and he recovered on July 7. Burnett will finish the 2013 season with a ten-11 record, 192 innings pitched for 209 strikeouts (his highest season total of his career), 67 walks, and a WHIP of 1.215. Burnett predicted that he would return to Pittsburgh or retire after the Pirates were cut from the playoff tournament. As spring training began, Burnett remained a free agent, and this was when he decided to play rather than retire. If he wants to play, it will not be with the Pirates. Burnett has signed a Philadelphia Phillies contract.
Burnett signed a one-year, $15 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on February 16, 2014. The agreement included a mutual option for the 2015 season as well as a limited no-trade clause. Burnett was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia on April 27, 2014, according to the newspaper. He had a cortisone shot to see if he'd have surgery before the season's end. He finished the 2014 season 8-18 with a 4.59 ERA. He was issued 96 walks and 18 losses each, as well as 18 losses in the Major Leagues.
Burnett declined his $12.75 million player option on November 3, 2014, making him a free agent. This was a day after the Phillies and Burnett's mutual choice of $15 million was turned down.
Burnett signed a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Pirates on November 14, 2014, announcing that the 2015 season would be his last. He was selected for his first All-Star team on July 6, 2015. Burnett hit a solo shot in a game against the Cardinals on July 11, his fourth home run in total. Burnett was admitted to the 15-day DL with elbow inflammation on July 31 and then returned to the active roster on September 10.
Burnett made his first appearance in Pittsburgh after being hospitalized in July. A Bat-Signal appeared in the sky above PNC Park over the Pittsburgh Renaissance Hotel and in other Downtown locations. To his surprise, a Bat-Signal appeared in the sky at PNC Park over the Pittsburgh Renaissance Hotel and in various other locations downtown. After the game, Burnett, a Batman fan, said, "by far the coolest thing that's happened" in his career.