Thursday, April 15, 2004
Burnitz is 35?!?Posted by Matthew Namee
One of my everyday rituals is to head over to Baseball-Reference.com and check out the "birthdays" page. Today, I noticed, is Jeromy Burnitz's birthday (among others). That's not so weird -- everybody's got a birthday. What shocked me is the fact that Burnitz is now 35 years old.
I knew that Burnitz became a regular a little late, but I always assumed that he was maybe 25 or 26 when that happened. That would put him at around 32-33 this year. In reality, Burnitz was 28 when he first became a regular, with Milwaukee in 1997.
Did he deserve a job before that? Probably. In half a season at age 24, in 1993, Burnitz hit .243/.339/.475 (120 OPS+) for the Mets. I know he was in Dallas Green's doghouse with the Mets, which got him sent to Cleveland, but why he played in just 9 games with the Indians in 1995 is beyond me (he hit .284/.359/.503 at AAA that year). Burnitz was a part-timer with the Tribe in 1996, and hit .281/.406/.523 before being traded to Milwaukee. By this time he was 27...
Matthew Namee cofounded The Hardball Times in 2004, when he was working as the assistant to baseball author and Red Sox executive Bill James. Matthew still lives in Kansas, where he is currently pursuing a law degree. He can be reached at mfnamee [at] gmail [dot] com.