TORONTO — Could “Hang tough” be the new unofficial team slogan for these Blue Jays? For the second time this season, one A.J. Burnett had the New Kids on the Block 1989 hit “Hangin’ Tough” as his pregame warmup music.
Following his start on Thursday night, after reporters breezed through the usual question-answer session about Burnett’s outing, the Globe’s Jeff Blair got right to the point — right to the REAL question on everyone’s mind.
“Is there a story behind New Kids on the Block?”
Burnett chuckled and said:
“I was just looking for something different. I found it. It was actually just a joke that me and B.J. decided to come out with something and he suggested that. We’ve stuck with it. Why not? Because we’re hangin’ tough right now. We’re going to get on a roll here soon and hopefully sooner than later. Hang tough.”
Burnett said this with all seriousness, though with a smirk the entire time. Over on the other side of the clubhouse, Jays closer B.J. Ryan quickly dismissed being the influence behind Burnett’s song choice:
“That was not my suggestion,” said Ryan, laughing and shaking his head. “That was all him. I might’ve encouraged him from the peanut gallery.”
Burnett’s also sporting a mohawk these days with some zigzag designs buzzed into the shorter hair on the sides of his head. One reporter pointed out that his ‘do wasn’t really a New Kids kind of look.
“Yeah, it’s more Vanilla Ice.”
What decade is this again?