Double Door Gate Latches - It is one thing to be labeled based on your results. It is one more thing to succumb to that particular label as easily as A.J. Burnett did this weekend. His conduct 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.
Instead of seeing this weekend as an opportunity to demonstrate he can scratch and claw to keep his team in a game despite a poor start, Burnett let his emotions get the top of him. This weekend it became increasingly evident that Burnett does not have want or the focus to pitch in grind-it-out circumstances. It seems that he feels if he really doesn't have a jewel going by the second inning, what's the point? Why even bother? The game is a lost cause.
At 33, Burnett should also understand some other things. He should understand that most great sportsmen rise to challenges and bear down when things get tough. He should understand that it's the job to provide his team a chance to win every time he takes the mound of every starting pitcher. He really doesn't have to control in every excursion. Occasionally his task would be to keep the game close. Occasionally his task would be to keep his own offense within striking distance.
Most importantly, itis a starting pitcher's job to provide every time he's called on to pitch to effort. This really doesn't 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 the opportunity to come back. Don't let your mechanics get slack as a result of lost focus and attention. And definitely, don't lose control of your emotions.