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D12: 'Guys don't want to face me' says A.J. Burnett

Big League Stew

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Duk's Dozen is a selection of 12 morning-fresh links and items that will start your baseball news day off right. Got links? Send 'em here or via Twitter.

1. All eyes — heh — are going to be on A.J. Burnett(notes) this season and even the eternally optimistic aren't expecting much from him, always deferring to Phil Hughes(notes) when we talk about the New York Yankees' second starter. However, the team's $82 million creampie man has announced that his 2009 self (114 ERA+) — and not his 2010 edition (81) — has arrived in Tampa. He's even got a bit of a snarl when talking about it.

"I'm a force out there. Guys don't want to face me," Burnett says. "I just felt like guys didn't care if they faced me [last year]. I feel like I gave them that edge."

Burnett will certainly help solve some of the Yanks' rotation problems if he can pull himself out of that career pothole. At least he's come equipped with the right attitude. LoHud

2. How many AP photos are we going to see from Steinbrenner Field where the Hooters advertisement is used as a backdrop? I'm putting the over-under at 16 with Burnett or Nick Swisher(notes) being the foreground subjects in all of them. AP

3. Here's two tidbits from Giants camp that we should have already assumed: Tim Lincecum(notes) was officially named the opening-day starter and Brian Wilson(notes) is driving a fully equipped police cruiser to the park every day. San Jose Mercury News

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4. Chipper Jones(notes) says he's hoping to be recovered from his torn ACL in time for opening day, "but I'm not getting out there till I know I can do everything." AJC

5. Why Albert Pujols(notes) for Ryan Howard(notes) would be one of history's all-time worst trades. FanGraphs

6. Hey, Chris Speakman forgot someone in his latest and greatest print. 700 Level

7. Think Joe Blanton(notes) is a forgotten man in camp? Try being Kyle Kendrick(notes). Beerleaguer

8. Cameron Maybin(notes) will think twice before bashing Panda Express next time. Gaslamp Ball

9. Ken Griffey Jr.(notes) is back in Seattle Mariners camp as a special assistant and his duties — building morale, selling tickets, clubhouse napping — probably won't be all that different from the ones he had last year. Lookout Landing

10. Steve Kelley thinks Junior's first official duty should be apologizing for last year. Seattle Times

11. Carlos Silva(notes) sure has a lot of confidence in himself. "Competition is great," Silva told ESPN Chicago. "But I don't need to show them what I can do. I already showed them." Foul Balls

12. No offense to Andy Martino or his Speedo, but when deciding between Sports Illustrated's and the New York Daily News swimsuit issues this week ... go with SI's. NYDN

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