Double Entry Door Security - It's one thing to be labeled based on your results. It's one more matter to succumb to that particular label as readily as A.J. Burnett did this weekend. His behaviour on Saturday was a clear indication that not only does he toss with all-or-nothing results, but he also tosses with an all-or-nothing attitude.
Instead of seeing this weekend as the opportunity to demonstrate he can scrape and claw to help keep his team in a game despite a poor start, Burnett let his emotions get the best of him. This weekend it became clear that Burnett does not have want or the focus to toss in grind-it-out situation. This indicates that he feels if he does not have a jewel going by the second inning, what's the point? Why even bother?
At 33, Burnett should also understand a few other things. He should understand that most good athletes rise to challenges and bear down when things get tough. He should know that it is the job to provide his team a chance to win every time he takes the mound of every starting pitcher. He does not have to command in every excursion. Occasionally his job would be to keep the game close. Occasionally his job would be to keep his own offense within striking distance.
Most of all, itis a starting pitcher's job to provide each time he is called on to toss to effort. This does not just mean physical effort. This means mental effort. If you give up an early lead, like Burnett did on Saturday, suck it up and give your team an opportunity to come back. Don't let your mechanics get slack as a result of lost focus and concentration. And definitely, do not lose control of your emotions.