Double Door Kitchen Pantry Cabinet - It is another matter 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, but he also pitches with an all-or-nothing mentality. And the worst part is, he shows no signals of fighting to rid himself of this label.
Instead of seeing this weekend as a chance to show he can claw and scrape to keep his team despite a poor start in a game, Burnett let his emotions get the very best of him. This weekend it became evident that Burnett doesn't have want or the focus to pitch in grind-it-out circumstances. It seems that he feels if he does not have a stone going by the second inning, what's the point?
At 33, Burnett should also understand some other things. He should understand that most good athletes rise to challenges and bear down when things get tough. He should understand that it's the job to give his team an opportunity to win every time he takes the mound of every starting pitcher. He does not have to rule in every trip. Occasionally his job is to keep the game close. Occasionally his job is to keep his own offense within striking distance.
Most importantly, it is a starting pitcher's job to give effort each and every time he is called on to pitch. This does not only mean physical effort. Mental exertion is meant by this. Suck it up, like Burnett did on Saturday if you give up an early lead and give your team the opportunity to come back. Don't let your machinists get slack as a result of concentration and lost focus. And surely, do not lose control of your emotions.