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:
- … and maybe McCourt
Maybe Brox would be better at home. Would the ATL pony up for him?