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As a Yankee, A.J. Burnett was often entertaining but seldom very good, and extremely expensive but rarely very valuable.
But on one night -- Oct. 29, 2009 -- Allan James Burnett was worth every penny the Yankees paid him.
Because simply put, if Burnett doesn't come back to win Game 2 of the 2009 World Series, the odds are Joe Girardi is still wearing No. 27 on his back. That is, if he's still the manager.
On that night, Burnett outdueled Pedro Martinez and took the World Series back from Cliff Lee, who threatened to make it his own after stifling the Yankees in Game 1.
In return for Burnett and for covering most of his salary, the Yankees get two minor leaguers, neither of whom is a significant prospect. Moreno throws hard with good control numbers but doesn't command the ball; he's had both injury and disciplinary issues and passed through December's Rule 5 draft unscathed. Cayones can play either corner and perhaps in center, but doesn't project to hit enough to profile as a big leaguer. They're warm bodies to make it look like a trade, but the Pirates really just got a free major league pitcher for less salary than he's likely to be worth.
“All the off-the-field stuff, I have to give 100 percent credit to my mom,’’ Bichette told The Post at the Yankees’ minor league complex. “From the time I was a little kid, she taught me, first off, to be respectful to adults. She has me do yoga to keep flexible. She also puts a lot of emphasis on prayer, you have got to remember who has given you the abilities to do things and give thanks for that.’’
When he started yoga his freshman year in high school, Bichette hated it.
“But now I love doing it,” he said, “because it keeps me healthy.”