Double Entry Doors Wood - It's something to be labeled based on your own results. It's one more thing to succumb to that label as readily as A.J. Burnett did this weekend. His conduct on Saturday was a clear indicator that not only does he pitch with all-or-nothing results, however he also pitches with an all-or-nothing attitude. And the worst part is, he shows no signs of fighting to rid himself of this label.
Instead of seeing this weekend as a way to show he can claw and scrape to help keep his team despite a bad beginning in a match, Burnett let his emotions get the very best of him. This weekend it became increasingly evident that Burnett doesn't have want or the focus to pitch in grind-it-out conditions. It seems that he feels if he really doesn't have a jewel going by the second inning, what's the point? Why even bother?
At 33, Burnett should also understand some other things. When things get tough he should understand that most good sportsmen rise to challenges and bear down. He should know that it is every starting pitcher's job to provide his team the opportunity to win every time he takes the mound. He really doesn't have to dominate in every outing. Sometimes his task will be to keep the match close. Sometimes his task will be to keep his own offense.
Most importantly, it's a starting pitcher's job to provide every single time he's called on to pitch to effort. This really doesn't only mean physical effort. Mental effort is meant by this. What this means is tossing to the ebbs and flows of the match. Suck it up, in the event that you give up an early lead, like Burnett did on Saturday and give your team the opportunity to come back. Don't let your machinists get lazy as a result of concentration and lost focus. And definitely, do not lose control of your emotions.