No, he didn't hurt himself the night before shoving a shaving cream pie in the face of teammate Nick Swisher(notes) — an amusing conspiracy theory proffered separately by Fox TV's Tim McCarver and ESPN radio's Dave Campbell.
After leaving the game in the top of the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays, Burnett told trainer Steve Donohoe that he cut his hands bracing himself after falling down the dugout stairs at Yankee Stadium.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi relayed Burnett's cover story to a national TV audience on Fox, and Brian Cashman did likewise to YES Network reporter Kim Jones.
Double cut facepalms.
So, would you like to try door No. 2, A.J.? (So, to speak.) Racked with guilt, or after realizing he was being a dope, Burnett changed his story.
Via the Newark Star-Ledger:
Clearly frustrated after allowing three runs over the first two innings of his start this afternoon, Burnett went into the clubhouse and pushed a pair of plexiglass lineup holders on the wooden double doors leading into the showers with great force, causing both of his palms to be cut.
Oh, well that's OK.
It's not OK, of course, though Burnett doesn't seem injured enough to miss a start — which Yankees fans can take as good news or bad.
But leading his manager and general manager to tell an un-truth? Not cool, A.J.
Burnett says he apologized to Girardi and Cashman and will to his teammates at the next opportunity.
"I let my teammates down," Burnett said. "I let me frustrations get the best of me. It's something I've got to deal with.
"100 percent it won't happen again."
It would have been funnier, and more peculiar, if Burnett really did hurt himself doing his pie-faced schtick. Maybe then he would stop doing it, eh? Or let Nick Swisher be the clown for once.
Still, the self-inflicted wounds are yet another odd injury suffered by a Major League Baseball player over the past several days.
Mat Latos(notes) of the Padres sneezed and has to wipe his nose on the disabled list. Seattle's Russell Branyan(notes) couldn't open the curtains in his hotel room without all heck breaking loose. And now Burnett busts through the double doors like he's Wild Bill Hickok entering his favorite saloon.
"I'm embarrassed more than anything else," Burnett said.
At least it detracts from his atrocious pitching.
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