A.J. Burnett a trend-setter?

BOB ELLIOTT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It's official. I'm old.

As a youngster I giggled along with cousin Geoffrey watching the Three Stooges toss pies in the face during some socialite banquet.

Curly, Larry, Moe (and Shemp) always seemed to be farmed out as fill-in caterers.

When the Montreal Expos arrived, I enjoyed listening to what the hero of the game had to say on the post-game interview from outside the dugout.

How the rookie starter dedicated the win to his pitching coach who left the team to fly home and be by the side of his hospitalized son.

Or how a hitter explained what he was thinking coming to the plate in the bottom of the 10th after committing an error to force extras.

In this cliche-era where players have media coaches and P.R. reps hanging around listening for proper sentence structure, perhaps we aren't missing much when it comes to from-the-heart answers, but now?

Who figured A.J. Burnett as a trend-setter?

This season, Burnett took his post-game pie-in-the-face routine to the New York Yankees, where it is a regular happening.

Francisco Cervelli, the rookie Yankees catcher who delivered a walk-off win with a single in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday, actually asked: "Where's the pie?" in the midst of his post-game interview.

Burnett soon smoked him with shaving cream.

And everyone howled.

We're tired of the pie in the face.

When someone asks for it, maybe it's time to move on to something else.

Vernon Wells used to pie the hero at the Rogers Centre, on nights when there were heroes, which is where we guess Burnett got the idea.

It's time to move on, hey what about that orange Gator ade bucket ... naw, never mind.

Backup catcher Toby Hall appeared to hurt his shoulder a year ago August as Jermaine Dye fought off an attempted pie-in-the-face attack.

The other night on ESPN's SportsCenter we saw five pie-in-the-face post-game visuals.

A new dessert is needed.

A pineapple upside-down cake turned right side up? A mascarpone-filled cake with sherried berries?

How about lemon and white chocolate mousse parfaits with strawberries or chocolate babaroise?

That would be better than night after night of Edge or Gillette Foamy shaving cream.

From now we think only Baltimore Orioles' Felix Pie should get the pie treatment as he did last month when he hit for the cycle. Both Adam Jones and then Robert Andino hit him with pies in his face on a Pie-squared night.

The shaving cream in the eyes gag stings worse than post-season champagne, we've been told.

It's all fun and games until someone gets hit and loses an eye ... now that something my friend's great-grandmother always used to say.

Next president?

One of the latest names to surface as a potential president of the Blue Jays is former Oakland Athletics boss Sandy Alderson, who was with the San Diego Padres for four years until leaving in March when Jeff Moorad took over.

Alderson has the same chance of being hired by Paul Beeston, the Jays CEO on interim basis, as former Jays scout Epy Guerrero or former manager Tim Johnson.

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THE BOOK ON ...

J.P. ARENCIBIA -- Triple-A Las Vegas C

WHAT A MAJOR LEAGUE SCOUT SAYS: "He's out of Alex Rodriguez's high school, Westminster Christian in Miami. We knew all about him at the University of Tennessee. I think that the Jays overrated him a little last spring to think that he'd be ready to be the guy next spring.

"He's a little hyper back of the plate catching the ball. The best catching instructors I've heard teach that the ball meeting the glove is like a head-on collision. Your glove hand has to give when you catch the ball. Last time I saw him, he was stabbing at balls with a straight arm.

"You have to give him some time. He's only had two full seasons and 63 games in 2007. Can he get better? He has a chance. Their other guy, Brian Jeroloman, will be a solid catch-and-throw 30 to 40 games a year backup."

STRENGTHS: "I like his power and I like his run production."

WEAKNESS: "I don't like his .236 average, his 26 walks against 114 strikeouts or his .284 on-base average of his .728 OPS."

Season Stats

AB R H HR RBI Avg.

466 67 110 21 75 .236

Sun Rating: 2 out of 5

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THE TOP 5

Yankees career hit leaders

Derek Jeter, the anti-Moneyball player with athleticism and instinct, became the New York Yankees' career hit leader earlier this month with his 2,722nd hit. The previous Yankee leaders and how long they owned the title.

1. LOU GEHRIG

(63 seasons)

The Iron Horse became franchise leader in 1937 with a 200-hit season and held it 26,303 days.

2. BABE RUTH

(Eight seasons)

Ruth began on the mound with the Red Sox, but in 1929 his 172 hits made him No. 1. He owns the highest career batting average as a Yankee (.349).

3. WALLY PIPP

(Eight seasons)

Known mostly for being given a day off and replaced by a rookie (Gehrig), Pipp had 190 hits in 1922 to take the lead and had 1,941 hits in his career.

4. HAL CHASE

(12 seasons)

The first baseman had 166 hits in 1911 to take the franchise lead and hit .300 in two seasons.

5. WILLIE KEELER

(Nine seasons)

Wee Willie had 160 hits in 1903 to take over the club lead. He "Hit 'em Where They Ain't" 2,932 times in his 19-season Hall of Fame career.

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NORTHERN LIGHTS

Aaron Guiel, Langley, B.C.

OF, Yakult swallows

The year started in controversy for Guiel when he knocked Chicago Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster on radio for not pitching for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic.

He is hitting .258 with 23 homers and 69 RBIs with the Yakult Swallows of Japan's Central League.


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