According to Dylan Hernandez of The LA Times, “the turning point for Jon Broxton this season was on June 27, when he threw 48 pitches in blowing a four-run lead at home
against the New York Yankees. Broxton recorded the last four outs of a 9-4 victory the previous day. Broxton went into that June 27 game with a 0.83 earned-run average. His ERA in 31 games since: 7.58.”
Then Hernandez went on to say that “Joe Torre said he believed Broxton’s issues were psychological and that his decline had nothing to do with his usage in the Yankees series. Torre added that at some point, Broxton would have to do some soul-searching if he intended to regain his form. “There are some scrambled eggs up there,” Torre said, referring to Broxton’s head.”
While I am not a Joe Torre fan, he probably hit the nail right on the head. J-Brox certainly was not “sunny-side-up” the last part of the season. He wasn’t just “fried.” he was “scrambled” and the game was “over easy.”
For the record, I recognize Jon’s immense talent as much as I do his immense waist. It has been suggested that he loose weight and get into better shape. There’s a pitcher in the AL named CC, who’s pretty good and is a fat boy like J-Brox. That may just be his body type. I mean, if he can get svelte, then by all means he should do so, but as Joe Torre said, Brox is going to have to de-scramble his eggs.
Pro athletes often have fragile psyches, and the line between success and failure is often thin. Sometimes they lose control of a certain aspect of their game almost overnight. The list is long and includes, Steve Sax, Chuck Knoblach, Steve Blass, Rick Ankiel and many others. Most never recovered. I believe Jon Broxton’s are completely mental. In an effort not to be wrong, some fans defend him and blame it on Torre in order that they will not be wrong. They say that Torre mishandles pitchers and it’s all his fault.
Yeah, Dusty Baker has that same bad rapp, and yet after this season he will have won 4 Manager of the Year Awards. Joe Torre managed the greatest closer in the game for most of his carrer and it sure didn’t hurt him.
I don’t have time to post the videos, but look at a video of Broxton and he appears reluctant to throw the pitch. I am not talking about looking into his eyes – I am talking about observing his whole Persona. Then look at a video of Kenley Jansen.
The Body Language,
At age 22, I learned how to walk through Harlem or the Bowery and not be hassled. I learned how to walk with purpose. I learned how to make my body language say “don’t mess with me.” If you have to ask how I can do that, you will never understand it. Being 6′ 4″ and 250 pounds didn’t hurt, but it not just size that matters in cases like that. It’s the eyes, the persona, the body language, the demeanor! Jon Broxton needs to learn how to comport himself like that.
Al Hrabosky was 5′ 11″ and 185, but he looked bigger than 6′ 4″ 295 pound Jon Broxton. Jon Broxton doesn’t pitch with that intimidating presence of a pitcher like the Mad Hungarian. Watch Kenley Jansen – he throws a pitch, gets the ball back and can’t wait to throw it again. Broxton takes his time and it is painful to watch. So many times, it looks to me like Brox is in pain just thinking about throwing the next pitch.
I doubt that there is much of a market for Brox, so all I can hope for is that Someone…. Anyone, can reach him. In fact I’ll root for that. I am just not very confident!
Maybe a new pitching coach is just the ticket!
I can walk through Harlem (or Gary, Indiana) and not get mugged. I believe Kenley Jansen has that same persona. Jon Broxton? I’d pick the other side of the street.
Is is fixable?
I’ll give you a “definite maybe.”