Monday, June 22, 2009
AJ Burnett, P
Played for Marlins: 1999-2005
Other Teams: Toronto (2006-2008), New York Yankees (2009-present)
Marlins fans know him because: Burnett came to the Marlins in the post-1997 World Series Al Leiter trade. He no-hit the Padres on May 12, 2001, the third no-hitter in team history. He also held the team records for wins and strikeouts for a brief period, and shares the record for career shutouts (8) with Dontrelle Willis. Burnett was one of the heralded young starters on the 2003 World Series team, but missed most of that season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. At the end of the 2005 season, Burnett successfully burned all bridges with the team, being dismissed by the team after criticizing Jack McKeon in the press for killing all joy in the clubhouse and not letting younger players get any playing time. He signed with the Blue Jays shortly thereafter, though the Marlins were not expected to attempt to sign him after the season, anyway.
Everyone else knows him because: Burnett pitched three servicable years with the Blue Jays (leading the AL in strikeouts in 2008), and parlayed himself into a 5-year, $82.5 million deal with the Evil Empire.
Best Marlins moment: His 2001 no-hitter, in which Burnett earned the added distinction of holding the record for most walks in a no-hitter (nine). He also hit a batter, it was probably the wildest no-hitter ever pitched.