Leaded Glass Double Entry Doors - It's another thing to succumb to that label as easily as A.J. Burnett did this weekend. His behavior on Saturday was a clear indication that not only does he pitch with all-or-nothing results, however he also pitches with an all-or-nothing attitude.
Rather than seeing this weekend as a way to prove he can scratch and claw to help keep his team in a match despite a bad start, Burnett let his emotions get the very best of him. This weekend it became clear that Burnett does not have the focus or desire to pitch in grind-it-out situation. It seems that he feels if he doesn't have a gem going by the second inning, what is the point? Why even bother? The match is a lost cause.
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 understand that it is every starting pitcher's job to provide his team the opportunity to win each time he takes the mound. He doesn't have to control in every trip. Occasionally his job would be to keep the match close. Occasionally his job would be to keep his own offense.
Most of all, it is a starting pitcher's job to provide effort each time he is called on to pitch. This doesn't only mean physical effort. This means mental effort. What this means is tossing to the ebbs and flows of the match. In case you give up an early lead, like Burnett did on Saturday, suck it up and give your team the opportunity to come back. Don't let your machinists get slack as a result of lost focus and attention. And certainly, do not lose control of your emotions.