Double Door Summer House - It's something to be labeled based on your results. It's one more matter to succumb to that particular label as easily 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, however he also tosses with an all or nothing mentality. And the worst part is, he shows no signs of fighting to rid himself of this label.
Instead of seeing this weekend as the opportunity to demonstrate he can scrape and claw to maintain his team in a match despite a bad start, Burnett let his emotions get the top of him. This weekend it became increasingly obvious that Burnett does not have want or the focus to toss in grind-it-out situation. It seems that he feels if he does not have a jewel going by the second inning, what is the point? Why even bother?
At 33, Burnett should also know a few other things. When things get tough he should know that most great athletes rise to challenges and bear down. He should know that it's the job to give his team a chance to win each time he takes the mound of every starting pitcher. He does not have to dominate in every outing. Sometimes his task will be to maintain the match close. Sometimes his task will be to maintain his own offense within striking distance.
Most of all, it is a starting pitcher's job to give each time he is called on to toss to attempt. This does not just mean physical effort. This means mental exertion. Should 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 machinists get slack as a result of attention and lost focus. And surely, do not lose control of your emotions.