On Sunday afternoon, A.J. Burnett finished his workout with the Phillies and boarded a plane. He had an important place to be.
Burnett's 12-year-old son was playing in an elimination playoff game. The pitcher had co-coached the basketball team all winter and made sure he returned to the bench to help the team.
The team won, surviving for another day.
"They've got another game on Tuesday, though," Burnett said, motioning to fellow pitcher Cliff Lee. "I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make that one."
After hanging out with his family for a little bit after the game, Burnett was back in the air. His plane landed in Florida at 1:30 a.m. Monday morning.
Baseball is back in session and Burnett will take the mound in a Phillies uniform for the first time this weekend. He is making his spring debut vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday at Bright House Field in Clearwater.
Burnett pitched for the Pirates in each of the last two seasons, but chose to leave the team for Philadelphia this winter. Philadelphia is closer to his family's home in Maryland.
Here is the entire pitching schedule for the first week of games in Florida:
TUESDAY - INTRASQUAD
WEDNESDAY vs. BLUE JAYS
THURSDAY at BLUE JAYS
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
FRIDAY vs. TIGERS
Justin De Fratus
SATURDAY at YANKEES
SUNDAY vs. PIRATES