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Sunday 25th Feb 2018

Early last summer, Diane and I were driving back from Chicago to the Bay Area on Route 66.

About ten miles east of Amarillo a summer thunder storm turned into a downpour which presented us with that hail you hear about the size of golf balls. It is actually kind of scary as those big pellets crash into the roof and windshield.

As it poured, the rain fell so thick and furiously that along with most of the other motorists we pulled over to the side of the road.

I cannot remember what radio station we were listening to as we sat and waited out the storm, but from what seemed like out of nowhere (a "Bat out of Hell?") Meat Loaf's 1971 song, "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" came through the car's speakers.

Diane is not really a music junkie like I am; she did not have to have the ear piece from her transistor radio surgically removed during adolescence. But, we sort of looked at each other and I sang the Meat Loaf parts and she sang the Ellen Foley parts like we had been working it as a routine for years.

It was a really fun vivid moment.

And, for some reason that line in the song when Meat gives into temptation, and admits "I couldn't take it any longer, lord I went crazy when a feeling came upon me like a tidal wave...".

Well, after A.J. Burnett's 4.1 innings of seven run, 13-hit ball, which all by itself destroyed a four point lead over second place in LABR, I couldn't take it any longer, lord I went crazy, and I decided to drop him.

I looked carefully and realized that I had a hundred strikeout lead over second place, and though wins, as to be expected, is tight, A.J. has not given me a victory in six starts, and he is certainly not helping my WHIP, ERA, or saves.

Not that I begrudge the eight bucks I plopped down on draft day in either Tout or LABR, for he did help me get to where I am with a decent first half over which he was 8-7, 4.15, and over the past month is 0-2, 6.71 over five starts and 29 innings (1.67 WHIP).  Which is on path to a repeat of last year when the right hander was 5-7, 4.75 over the first half and 3-8, 5.98 over the second.

Well, when A.J. could not hold a 13-6 lead, and simply limp through the fifth, where he only needed two outs, he doesn't really deserve to be on the team. 

Since in LABR the rule is you cannot move an active player acquired during the draft to the reserve list unless he is released or sent down, or put on the DL by his major league club, I decided it was time to cut bait on A.J, and get just a little conservative to protect my numbers.

Since my remaining starters are C.C. Sabathia, Gio Gonzalez, Jeremy Guthrie, Erik Bedard, and Mark Buehrle, they can carry the bulk with Jim Johnson, Jordan Walden, and Andrew Bailey in my pen. So, I thought I could do fine without Burnett, by adding the likes of Tony Sipp.

Then, before the transaction period ended, Larry Schechter said he would take Burnett off my hands for Jon Rauch. Since he needs to take more of a gamble than I, it is understandable. And, Rauch affords me a third opportunity for saves is a nice angle for me.

I do think Guthrie and Bedard both will settle back in for the end of the season. And in Tout I will simply place A.J. on my reserve list where he can languish with another failure, Brian Matusz.

Although, I might just cut Matusz, for although he was sent down, well, I can't take him any longer, either.

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