While Burnett will be pitching the night after his father had open heart surgery, on May 14, 1996 Dwight Gooden took the ball the night before his father was to have open heart surgery. Doc tossed a no-hitter that night. The Yankees would settle for less than that from Burnett tonight, as a third straight respectable start would further alleviate concerns generated by Burnett's struggles through August and early September. Regardless of his performance tonight though, Burnett and his family have already cleared their biggest hurdle this week, and it had nothing to do with anything that happened on baseball diamond.
In entirely unrelated and far less important news, the Red Sox DFA'd minor league first baseman Chris Carter yesterday. You may recall that the Yankees placed a waiver claim on Carter last month, as the Red Sox apparently tried to sneak him through as the player to be named later in the Billy Wagner deal. It was a bit of a dick move on the Yankees part, as they clearly had no interest in Carter, but it was also strategical as it forced the Sox to pull him back and continue to use a 40 man roster spot on him.
In the Yankees defense, the Sox were trying to skirt the system by sneaking a player on their 40 man roster through waivers as a PTBNL. While that's no consolation to Carter, who likely would have been in the Big League's for the last month had he made it through waivers, it was a risk that both the Red Sox and Mets took by agreeing to a creative deal.
The Sox have ten days to trade, waive, or release Carter. Because the season has not ended and it's after July 31st, Carter still has to clear waivers in order to be traded. And since the Sox pulled him off waivers once already, they no longer have that option to pull him back should he be waived this time around. There's a chance he could be released outright and sign with the Mets, though I'm not sure MLB would view that as being completely on the level. While this has absolutely no bearing on the Yankees or really even the Sox any longer, I am interested to see how it plays out and how the Wagner deal ends up being completed.