Double Wide Door Mats - It's one more matter to succumb to that label as easily as A.J. Burnett did this weekend. His behavior 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 mentality. And the worst part is, he shows no signals of fighting to rid himself.
Rather than seeing this weekend as a way to show he can scrape and claw to maintain his team in a game despite a bad beginning, Burnett let his emotions get the very best of him. This weekend it became increasingly clear that Burnett does not have want or the focus to pitch in grind-it-out situation. This indicates that he feels if he does not have a jewel going by the second inning, what is the point?
At 33, Burnett should also understand a few other things. When things get tough, he should understand that most good athletes rise to challenges and bear down. He should know that it is every starting pitcher's job to provide his team an opportunity to win each time he takes the mound. He does not have to control in every trip. Occasionally his task would be to keep the game close. Occasionally his task would be to keep his own offense within striking distance.
Most of all, itis a starting pitcher's job to provide each time he's called on to pitch to attempt. This does not only mean physical effort. This means mental exertion. Like Burnett did on Saturday in the event that you give up an early lead, suck it up and give your team the opportunity to come back. Don't let your mechanics get lazy as a result of concentration and lost focus. And certainly, do not lose control of your emotions.