February 16, 2011
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
6. Hey, Chris Speakman forgot someone in his latest and greatest print. 700 Level
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
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