By JON KRAWCZYNSKI,  AP Baseball Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi is defending embattled starter A.J. Burnett for his latest outburst after being pulled from a game.

Television cameras caught Burnett mouthing curse words on Saturday night after Girardi pulled him from the game in the second inning of a loss at Minnesota. Both said the comments were aimed at Burnett’s displeasure with the umpire’s strike zone and not Girardi.

On Sunday, Girardi said before the series finale that he knows Burnett’s emotions sometimes bring unwanted scrutiny.

But he also says he doesn’t have a problem with them and sees them as a sign that Burnett cares about his performance.

Girardi says he can’t control the way Burnett vents his emotions, and the more important thing is they get the struggling
right-hander pitching better.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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