Burnett Brings the Heat
It has been three weeks since the Nationals shipped OF Lastings Milledge and RHP Joel Hanrahan to the Pirates for OF Nyjer Moran and LHP Sean Burnett. Both players have made immediate impacts for the Nats. Morgan has been lightning fast on the base paths and Burnett has been lights out in the bullpen. He has a 1.08 ERA (1 ER/ 8.1 IP) with a .129 batting average against and seven strikeouts in eight outings. He has pitched seven scoreless innings since giving up an earned run in his first appearance as a member of the Nationals. We sat down with Burnett to see how the first three weeks have been.
On the transition from Pittsburgh to Washington:
The first thing was adjusting with my family and moving my stuff over from Pittsburgh. Being in the [Pirates] organization is all we’ve ever known, so to move them here was the first big hassle and now that we’re settled in, got a place to live, it’s adjusting pretty well.
On finding his way around the area:
I just pretty much go from the apartment to the field, nothing too much… but the traffic is a pain. That’s for sure. That’s something different that we haven’t had to deal with but I guess there are a lot more people out here than in Pittsburgh.
On seeing the sites:
No, I haven’t done that yet. I know my parents have and I’m sure they brought my son around but I’m not too interested in all that. I’m sure eventually I’ll get around to that but not right now.
On the difficulty of leaving the city and people of Pittsburgh:
It was just tough because of the friendships. Baseball is baseball and whenever you go somewhere else you’re just going to play baseball and that’s easy to do. It’s just the friendships and the relationships you’ve had along the way and I’ve been there nine years and when I got there I was seventeen years old so I kind of grew up in the Pirates organization. I was just a kid when I first signed. They’ve watched me grow up and they’re a big part of my life and there will always be a place for Pittsburgh and those people and a lot of those relationships still carry on.
On the state of the Pittsburgh Pirates locker room:
I’m sure there are some unhappy people over there and it’s probably only going to get worse during the next couple of weeks but I can’t speak for them. I know it was a disappointment when I was there because we lost Nate [Mclouth]. He was a great friend of mine and we were drafted together and came up together so it was pretty neat to come up with a guy you started with. I know that was a little rough. I’m sure it’s a little different over there after we left, a lot quieter over there with Morgan gone… but it’s baseball. It’s part of the business and you realize it, but just the friendships you lose is the hardest part.
On having Nyjer Morgan with him to ease the transition to the Nationals:
It has helped. We knew each other pretty well throughout the organization. I think coming over together made it a lot easier and easier to relax and stuff like that. I didn’t know too many guys on this team but having Morgan with me and him having me, it was a lot easier of a transition.