A.J. Burnett’s post-baseball mornings will begin at 5:50. Burnett was known as an early riser during his pitching career, preferring to complete his workouts at dawn, but now he has another reason. A 5:50 alarm means he spends the morning with his sons, 14-year-old A.J. Jr. and 11-year-old Ashton, before the school bus gets them at the end of the driveway at 7.
“And then I’m sure Karen’s going to try to get me to go to some gym class with her,” Burnett said of his wife.
This is the retirement Burnett has envisioned. He declared the 2015 season, his 17th in the majors, his last. He chose to spend it with the Pirates, taking a pay cut to do so, and made his first All-Star team. In a ceremony before the final game of the regular season, he took the microphone and pointed to his teammates. “Every one of you,” he said. “That’s why I came back.”