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Linsanity would never happen in MLB

Chris Ruddick,
MLB Editor


Rounding Third Logo Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The whole sports world seems to be enamored with what's going on with the New York Knicks and Jeremy Lin. It's become a story that has transcended not only the National Basketball Association, but all of sports.

In case you've been living under a rock for the past week, Lin was the 12th man on the Knicks' bench, but was given a chance on Feb. 4 against the New Jersey Nets and since then has set the NBA world on fire. His inspired play has helped the Knicks win five straight games and have led some to amazingly question how Carmelo Anthony fits on the team now.

It's truly Linsanity.

Lin jerseys are flying off the shelves as quickly as they are put on. Time Warner Cable and MSG Networks, who have been feuding since the start of the NBA season, now have the added pressure of coming to some sort of agreement because New Yorkers want their Lin, who has already donned the cover of the New York Times three times.

It's an incredible story. A true rags-to-riches turnaround. But, unfortunately one that would never see the light of day in Major League Baseball.

At least not anymore.

You see MLB fans have become so jaded over the past 10 years or so that if someone like Lin burst upon that scene, he would immediately be subject to steroid speculation. Heck, baseball fans are wary of their biggest stars these days, let alone the 25th player on the bench.

Pitchers sometimes come out of nowhere. Not to this extent, but it happens. Can you imagine Ramiro Pena or Wilson Valdez or a Esteban German being the driving force offensively and changing the entire perception of their teams?

Actually, those three are 10 times more likely to do it than Lin. That's how big a long shot this was.

Thankfully, pitchers and catchers report in less than a week and we can get back to talking about-on-the-field issues.

YANKS, PIRATES DISCUSSING A.J. BURNETT DEAL

A. J. Burnett
If this deal goes down here in the coming days, A. J. Burnett would have been paid $1.45 million for each of his 34 wins in the last three years with the Yanks.
In some actual baseball news, the New York Yankees may have found themselves a sucker, er, a potential suitor, for right-hander A.J. Burnett. Apparently the Yanks are deep into talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates to send the underachieving pitcher to the Steel City for a ton of cash and a few minor leaguers.

Why the Yankees are even haggling at this point is beyond me? As soon as the Pirates said they were interested, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman should have agreed to the deal - any deal.

In a bizarre twist, the Yanks want to deal Burnett and are willing to eat a good portion of the $33 million owed to him to free up a little more dough to go and add a couple of bats.

Yes, that's right, the Pirates are taking some of Burnett's salary off the Yankees' hands so New York can free up a few million and go sign Raul Ibanez or Johnny Damon. Luckily there are teams like the Pirates to absorb some salary, so teams like the Yankees can get by.

Either way it's a no-brainer for the Yanks. Aside from the World Series title in 2009, one the Yanks don't win without Burnett by the way, he has been an utter disaster, putting forth two of the worst statistical seasons ever by a Yankees starter over the last two years.

If this deal goes down here in the coming days, Burnett would have been paid $1.45 million for each of his 34 wins in the last three years with the Yanks.

And poor Jeremy Lin was sleeping on a couch just last week.

Not bad work if you can get it.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Chris Ruddick at cruddick@sportsnetwork.com.

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