They probably held on to the underachieving Burnett longer than the George Steinbrenner-era Yankees would have, but in the end New York shed Burnett’s contract before it could turn into an embarrassment this spring.
There will be no stories written about whether or not Burnett would accept a demotion to the minor leagues if/when he lost his spot in the rotation. No stories about Burnett’s ability or willingness to pitch in relief.
How many times did Mets fans have to hear that Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo were still with the club only because ownership was unwilling to eat such large contracts?
Each of them stayed with the team way too long, denied someone else a roster spot and contributed next to nothing on the field as their playing days wound down. By the time both were finally jettisoned, it no longer mattered.
Neither Perez nor Castillo would have lasted a month in the Bronx. One-time Mets closer Armando Benitez only lasted two and a half weeks there before he was shipped out of town.
So the Yankees will open camp today for pitchers and catchers without any of the drama that would have been associated with either Posada or Burnett. It’s no longer the George Steinbrenner-era Yankees, all right. It’s just about baseball now, and that’s not a bad thing. Especially in February.
Frank Verde’s website frankverde.com features his sports blog and information about his current and soon to arrive e-books. He is the author of the family saga “One Christmas Knight,” detective mystery “Devil’s Hollow” and children's adventure tale "Star Camp," now available at amazon.com.