Categorized | Mark Timmons

Big Man Syndrome

Big Man Syndrome

We have all heard the term “Little Man Syndrome” used in connection with someone who might try to overcompensate for a lack of physical stature in some other fashion.  I think that just the opposite is true in the case of Jon Broxton, and in a minute I will explain why.

But first, let me be the first to say that it pains me very much to see Roxton blow games. I wish I would be eating my words, much like Andre Ethier stepped up and made me eat my words after I called him out for being a “soft hitter”  (a nickname which he now admits was valid at the time).  Andre Ethier was soft, and turned the tables to become a clutch hitter.  I would like to differentiate between Roxton and Ethier, however:  I never did say that Ethier would always be soft.  I just said that he WAS soft.  It could be different with J-ROX, because I suspect that he could always be “soft” as a (c)loser.

Before you label me a”hater” as many have, let me point out that I have had this same opinion of JB during the times he was “lights out” as well as when he was “lit up.” I have urged the Dodgers to trade him for three years, because I believe that he has “Big Man Syndrome” and simply cannot stand the pressure of tight games and big stages.  It’s possible that he could adapt and become that clutch closer every team craves, but here’s why I suspect he won’t make it there.  It’s Big Man Syndrome.”  Jon is a gentle giant.  He is a mountain of a man.  He is a horse.  He could break me in half with one hand behind his back.  Well, that last one is probably not true, because I don’t think he possesses the mean streak that I do.

Because he is so big, so bad and so strong, Jon has been told all his life “Don’t hurt him.”  ”Be careful – he’s a lot smaller than you.”  ”Now Jon, you have to watch out how you behave around those smaller boys.”  And as he get bigger and stronger, he was told that more and more, and when he started to be able to throw 80 MPH, 85 MPH, 90 MPH, 95 MPH and finally 100 MPH he was able to blow those boys away, without pitching inside, because after all, he was bigger and stronger than they were, and had to be careful.  Jon is a genuinely nice guy.  A guy who wouldn’t hurt a fly.  Jon is a guy who could break you in half, but wouldn’t, because he was afraid of hurting someone.    He has been told that all his life.

That’s probably an excellent quality in a human being, but it’s a horrible quality for a closer.  A closer is supposed to cut out your heart and feed it to you.  Jon Broxton can’t stand the sight of blood.  Jon doesn’t want to hurt anyone.  A closer has to have the guts of a cat burglar.  Jon Broxton is too nice to have ever developed anything like that.  A closer has to be a cold-blooded killer.  Jon Broxton is as nice a guy you could ever meet.  He’s the kind of guy you’d love your daughter to bring home.

In a nutshell, Jon Broxton is a very good human being, but he’s a bad closer.  He cares about other people too much!  Some people say he needs another pitch, and maybe that would be nice, but I think he needs a heart transplant.  Find a cat bugler and transplant that heart into him.  Maybe a serial killer’s heart would work too.   Jon Broxton doesn’t need a new pitch – he needs to pitch inside on a regular basis, and he knows that he might hurt or even kill someone if he did that, and has has been trained since childhood that “you are bigger and stronger than those boys, don’t hurt them, Jon.”

Jon Broxton is a gentle giant,  He’s probably a hell of a man, but he’s not a closer.  I know his stats are very good, but I can smell his fear of hurting someone.  Maybe you think I’m crazy… and that’s OK.  But, I am right.

The Dodgers should have traded Cheryl and Roxton last year.  Cheryl will walk with no compensation this year (hopefully) and Roxton’s market is smaller than it once was.   Kenley Jansen evidently has the guts of a serial killer.  Put him in there and let him learn.  Jon Broxton needs to be gone by Opening Day.

Here’s a list of others who should also be gone by then:

  • Schaffer
  • Bowa
  • Torre
  • Mattingly
  • Honeycutt
  • Colletti
  • Blake
  • Furcal
  • Manny
  • Belliard
  • … and maybe McCourt

Maybe Brox would be better at home.  Would the ATL pony up for him?

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

21 Responses to “Big Man Syndrome”

  1. Jaydavis says:

    Broxton always had problems closing games.

  2. Ely's Coming, Better Hide your Heart says:

    you may be right.. if that’s the case.. maybe you should stop calling him a loser and Roxton… because if everything you say in your post is true…. he is anything but what you’ve maliciously called him the last three years. He’ll be a human being long after his baseball career is done.

  3. Mark Timmons says:

    OK Eli,

    You need to understand that some of the best baseball players are scumbags: Bonds, Rose, Cobb, et al. Broxton is a nice guy and doesn’t fit the part. I’m not malicious about it, but he is a Loser in baseball.

    Maybe not in life.

    That’s not a bad thing.

    Sometimes I hate baseball!

  4. Badger says:

    You were dead wrong about Ethier, which was proven to you with countless stats, and you are likely mistaken about Broxton. You have a bad habit of forming wild opinions based on your own wild opinions.

    A quick check of his splits, which is something I recommend you look at occasionally, you will see his 3 year has him at 2.85 ERA with 301 Ks in 227 IP, a whole bunch of saves and holds, the occasional BS, and a .203 BAA. This year pre-All Star he was 2.1 ERA with 55 K’s in 38 IP, but since then he has blown up a few times. And now, because of something going on in about 5 games total this year, you, and others, are ready to throw him overboard.

    Something is going on with him and even John Smoltz on tonight’s telecast was talking about it. We might know more very soon, but in the mean time, he is right where he should be – in the 8th inning until he gets his mojo back.

  5. Ely's Coming, Better Hide your Heart says:

    I understand some of the best baseball players are scumbags. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be malicious… but it sure seemed to come out that way. Call Broxton a loser in baseball…that’s fine…. just don’t call him a loser. I think that’s a fair compromise.

  6. lawdog says:

    It’s not so complicated. Leo the lip said it best: “Nice guys finish last.”

    But I don’t buy into the nice guy syndrome being applicable to Broxton. He’s not a mean bastard, but if you throw 101 mph and don’t hve pinpoint control, you just might KILL a batter if you hit him in the head. He has to be careful.

    Broxton showed us tonight that he has lost the zip on his heater. He no longer can cut it loose and must aim it. As a result he’s throwing 90-95 and more often than not 92-93 without much late movement. He also still hasn’t mastered the slider and spins up hangers more often than he can get away with and gt outs with it.

    If you’ll recall, Broxton opened the spring throwing below 95. Last year he started to lose his “zip” and had a lousy slider by the time we got to the playoffs. I think he’s got q tired arm and all the wear and tear on his shoulder from firing so many 97-101 mph fastballs over the last 5 years that he just might be loosing his best pitch. His shoulder might need to be scoped.

    But the Broxton I saw tonight was not the same Broxton who was lights out from May through July–or all of the regular season last year. There’s only so many 98-101 mph fastballs in any pitcher’s arm. Pitching him in non save situations won’t help because, like Gagne, he needs that adrenaline rush to whip his arm hard enough to smoke that fastball or snap off the slider. (Or maybe, like Gagne, he needs a little “help from the ‘roid man.) :shock:

  7. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, I tooooo have to speak up on your comments about Andre Ethier.

    You kept calling him soft when he was 24-25 years old. Soft. But in reality it was a contest between Ethier and Martin. You were a Martin supporter. You were heads over heels on Martin.

    I think that some of your comments then was to build Martin up. And knock Ethier down.

    But in the end, both players were maturing at that time. Learning what it meant to be a major league baseball player.

    Now, Ethier in on track, Martin is not.

    We all worry now about Martin and his future. With possible surgery ahead, re-hab, and coming back — will not be easy. I cannot just pencil him in for 3b or 2b — because he would be worst at the plate than what we have now.

    But that is for next season.

    Dogs lose again. Two games above .500.

  8. McCheapne$$$$ says:

    Bahahaha.. You better be careful because Chad will come in here, and think he is the smartest guy on earth…. Him and his silver spoon…

  9. Bill Russell says:

    Anyone that gives as many opinons as us in here are bound to be wrong once in awhile. Even Mr Badger. Mark was wrong about Ethier but somewhat right about Broxton. It’s not just been a few bad games as someone in here trys to minimize this problem, it’s been every game since the Allstar Break. Even the ones he got saves, they were hit hard right at someone. He’s getting hit hard. I’m not sure if it’s a tied arm or shoulder issue or if it’s mental. I’m leaning towards something is wrong with the arm. Around 7-8 MPH off the fastball since the Allstar break with no movement is an issue. Especially bad with only two pitches. Why beat a dead horse, people are going to see what they want to see. As Brooklyn said last week, “Keep running him out there, Like it or not”. Well Not won out.

  10. Badger says:

    “It’s not just been a few bad games as someone in here trys to minimize this problem, it’s been every game since the Allstar Break.”

    You see Bill, spelling aside, this isn’t a grammar class and we don’t have an edit button, it’s statements like that that get me to thinking maybe you, like Mark, just pull them out of your arse every now and then. Every game since the All Star break? EVERY GAME? Are you sure about that? Because when I check the stats, which you know I do, I see on July 24th he went 2 IP no hits no runs 2 K’s, on July 27th he went one inning no hits no runs 1 K and a Save, on August 3rd he went 1 inning, 1 hit no runs and a Save, on August 7th he went two innings no hits no runs 2 K’s, and on August 13th he went 1 inning, 1 hit no runs.

    Hit hard? yeah, in the games he blew he was hit hard a few times, and a few times there were some bleeders and some bad defense. Before the All Star game he was damn good – here, read it yourself:

    I say he will be fine given some time to sort things out. In the mean time, why don’t we all just take a little time to reflect, do some reading, study the stats, you know – have a take and don’t suck.

  11. Bill Russell says:

    People are going to see what they want to see. Stats don’t show the hard hit balls right at someone. Unless you have a special site. Maybe you do. You seem special. Never wrong about anything. And yes my spelling and grammar suck. And just looking at stats is a suck not a take.

  12. MichaelPG says:

    Humorously, I agree with every guy you listed on your “GET THE HELL OFF THE TEAM” list, especially TORRE– TORRE HAS F–ING LOST IT– but not Broxton.
    I’m going to get his autograph next Saturday.
    I half-expect that I’ll overhear some people get into arguments with him about his recent performances.

    You know… A lot of people say “Gagne didn’t do this” or “Gagne did that, and Broxton can’t do it” blah blah.
    Well, folks, Gagne was on ‘roids. Sometimes I wonder what Broxton would be like on ‘roids.
    But I’m not ready to give up on him.
    And as someone who spent 10 years of his childhood in a small Georgian town, I don’t believe for one second that someone who was raised in a small Georgian town and is built like Broxton is afraid of much.
    In fact, when I got his autograph during spring training he had the aura of an asshole, which totally contradicts your profile.
    BUT, it’s all subjective.
    What do I know? I majored in psychology.

  13. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger & Roger,

    I guess you didn’t see the interview on FOX on Andre Ethier HIMSELF said he was a bad hitter in the clutch during the time I called him soft. So, if I was “dead wrong about Ethier,” Andre Ethier was also dead wrong about himself. He flat out came out and said that he was soft in the clutch, just like I said!

    So, if I am wrong, Andre is also wrong. And then, you would be right!

    And, yes Russ Martin was very good – much better than Ethier during that time, but now he sucks, and probably won’t be with the Dodgers much longer.

    I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em.

  14. Badger says:

    Sorry you feel that way Bill. I think maybe I just have more time on my hands than you do.

    I have seen most of the games. Baseball is one of the few things I actually know. I am retired now, and spent years as a coach and umpire as well as playing tournament softball for decades and in the MABL until I was 55 years old. I don’t know everything of course, I was wrong about the La Roche Blake bet, cost me 100 push-ups, but I will admit I have been right about most things Dodgers. It really hasn’t been that difficult. I watch, I read, I study and then I talk about it. Some fans just ‘want’ real hard and hope that what they want will transpire. I have been around long enough to know that hoping and wishing something to be true does not make it so. I wish you luck with that.

    From what I have seen about Broxton I would say the league has an accurate book on him and Jon needs to re-write it. Last night Broxton was throwing his fastball at 94-95 with as much as a 9″ pfx. He threw one slider, got an out with it, and it was 83 mph with 9″ break 3″ pfx. In comparison, Billy Wagner was throwing his fastball between 94-96 with an 11″ pfx, his slider was 11″ break 7″ pfx and he threw several of them. Also, Wagner was hitting the corners at the knees. Broxton still gets way too much of the plate. But at least last night he wasn’t hit hard so maybe that’s a start. Smoltz was saying, as I said earlier, there looks to be a loss of about 5 mph on Broxton’s pitch. Why? I haven’t heard anybody talk about it yet.

    95 would be enough if he pitched inside, hit his spots and developed some kind of effective change. His slider rolls more than it breaks, so he needs to get more snap on it. And I say for the fortyleventh time, the man needs a change-up/splitter.

    Maybe you and I could start over. I don’t want any enemies in here. We are all Dodger fans.

  15. Badger says:

    no Mark, I didn’t see any interview where Ethier said that. What I saw were the stats that showed he was a young aggressive hitter that hit ok in the clutch, maybe not great, but ok. I am on my way out for a hike with the wife, so I can’t say much now, but I can come back later and post the stats, again, that show exactly what he did.

  16. Badger says:

    Back from hike……. ran all the way to the top of Sugarloaf…

    no I didn’t.

    Back to Ethier and his “softness” – Mark you were saying that for a long time, and I kept posting the same split stats that showed something completely different. He has always been a good hitter, from the time he got here he did a lot things right. Good hitters aren’t “soft”. There are glaring examples of soft hitters all over the place (see Hiroki Kuroda) but to say a guy who has an .869 OPS WRISP is soft is, in my opinion, soft in the head.

    These are all the numbers from ’07 to ’09. If you want to go back to ’06, be my guest – he hit .297 with an .834 OPS WRISP that year.

    Maybe your definition of soft is different than mine. Maybe for you, anything under .900 OPS is “soft”. Well, then our entire team and 7/8 of the league is soft by your definition.

  17. Roger Dodger says:

    Again Mark, in those earlier years — he — like all young players was learning how to hit, and hit in situations —

    Let me say it this way — when Andre Ethier was in his first and second years in the majors — he was no mature Reggie Jackson or Ted Williams or whoever.

    At first he hit for a nice average, then teams found out how to pitch to him.

    Let us look at the years:

    2006, the Dodgers mature hitters, supposed to carry the team then: Kent, Nomar, Lofton, Drew, Furcal. Martin and Ethier were the lone younger guys. There were 20 other Dodger fielder playing guys on that team, that season.

    2007, the Dodgers mature hitters, supposed to carry the team then: Kent, Nomar, Gonzales, Furcal, Pierre. Loney and Ethier, Martin were the young extras.

    2008, Kent, Berroa, Pierre were the mature hitters. Martin, Loney, DeWitt, Kemp, and thier were the young players.

    Now that Ethier is 28 years old — he is in the prime of his career. NOW if he fails to come through in the clutch from time to time — one can say he is not a clutch hitter. Pitchers know how to pitch to him. He has over 2300 major league at bats.

    From another angle — Blake DeWitt failed many many times in the clutch. And the Dodgers sent him packing. Traded away. I do not recall any one calling DeWitt SOFT. He just did not mature as a hitter on the Dodgers time schedule.

    As for next season. If there are not new owners with some resources — this team will be hurting. Too many holes to fill. C, 2b, 3b, LF for sure. I do not like Furcal as the SS, because of injuries, like now. He cannot be counted on.

    A good team can hide one or two weak bats, if they have several strong bats and then three more solid bats.

    To my knowledge, the Dodgers really do not have any fielding prospects in AA or AAA ready to come here and play seriously. Maybe one up, but the rest from signings or trades. What a winter this will be. Unless Ned makes some moves now.

  18. lawdog says:

    “Soft” is a relative trm, don’t hyou think? I mean, Steve Garvey was “soft” compared to Ted Williams or Willie Mays. But he was not “soft” compared to Mendoza.

    My recollection was that Ethier was better with no runners in scoring position, but still better than average “in the clutch” his first two years, so compared to Duke Snider he was “soft” but compared to Casey Blake he was the second coming of Jolten’ Joe.

    It’s interesting that Badger, Roger and I are retired and watch all the games. All three of us know baseball well as it’s been our lifetime passion, we all played and we all three almost always agree on things. I would submit that those of you who tend to shout us down or call us ugly names probably either don’t have the time to watch all the games, or if you do, you can’t tell a slider from a change up, a cutter from a sinker, or a hanger from a a curve or a slider with good snap.

  19. Badger says:

    What ldog said……..

    this just in:

    be sure to read the “this article” in the middle of the text.

  20. lawdog says:

    That’s why I called the bastard “black hearted.” :shock:

  21. lawdog says:

    12 hits and 2 runs, with only 1 rbi??? I’ll take it! Thank you Lilly and Kuo! ;)


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