Categorized | Mark Timmons

That Big Letter C

That Big Letter C

I know that Ivan DeJesus, Jr. should have fielded that ball cleanly and turned the double play to end the game and if he would have done that Jon Broxton would have recorded a save.  But he didn’t.  You can use that as an excuse, but I’ll bet J-Brox would tell you he still should have closed it out.   Donnie Ballgame used Jon all spring as a middle-reliever, deliberately not putting him in a save opportunity until last night.

In his first save opportunity, he blew it!

You can blame IDJ2, but a Closer finds a way to get it done. A closer finds a way.   Jon Broxton clearly has no confidence and when you take the letter “C” out of “Closer,” you spell loser.

Jon Broxton would be an excellent set-up man.  Put him in the mix with Guerrier, MacDougle, Cormier and Blake Hawksworth and you have something special.  Let Kuo and Jansen close.  I believe both are Closers.  If Donnie keeps running J-Brox out there as a Loser, it will continue to end badly!  I have seen enough!  I am not the only one who feels this way – the stats don’t tell the tale – other “professional” baseball types feel this same way:  Jon Broxton is a second-tier closer and an Elite set-up man.  Don’t keep putting him in a role where he will continue to fail.

He’s an elite set up man – expensive, but very good in that role.      Some will say that I am just negative on J-Brox.  OK, how’s this?  I am positive that he’s not a closer!

It’s only one game and it’s wasn’t his fault he lost.“  That will be the mantra of his supporters.  Keep talkin’  – I ain’t belivin’…

About Mark Timmons

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

33 Responses to “That Big Letter C”

  1. mike says:

    You do realize that the 9th inning for 95% of camp is populated by scrubs and minor leaguers, right? Look around and tell me how many other closers saw a lot of real save opportunities this spring. Come on.

  2. the truth hurts says:

    A sign of things to come!

    The truth is Broxton will never be the closer you all want to “believe” he will be. How many free passes do you guys hand out? ????

    And no I do not want him to fail. I would Love to be wrong about broxton but THE TRUTH IS THAT I AM RIGHT.

    Some of you are sick of the “broxton bashers”. I am sick of the broxton supporters that say to “give the guy a break, it was one bad half” ……no, the guy is a joke, an embarrasment to the dodger blue I so bleed. I want a killer, a murderer closing for my team. A kuo, a jansen-these guys exemplify confidence. Not a introverted teddy bear.

    I do not have any faith in him in any game.

  3. DRomo says:

    Rarely do I agree with Mark 100%. But Right here right now, I believ he is right on! Broxton should have nailed it down. IDJ2 blew it, and I can overlook it as nerves on his part (this time). But Broxton has been here before. He needed to wiggle off the hook and could not. Myself and most Dodger fans have lost our faith in him.
    I believe Donnie will give him a week or two to figure it out in the regular season but thats it! Donnie’s job depends on winning games. He will not hesitate to pull the plug on this tub of goo.

    Jansen looked bad also. He couldn’t find the plate last night. I had to wonder if he has come back down to earth after being incredible last season.

    On another note I was glad to see the Dodgers locked up Billingsley for a few years. Not because I am a big Bills fan, but because it is a sign that the club is interested in extending these guys. Lets hope they do the same with Ethier, Kemp, and Kershaw before it costs the house to do so.

  4. Roger Dodger says:

    Dave posted last night about midnight, I was typing this on that earlier thread, and moved it here. Kind of repeats what is above:

    I think the point you make Dave is: if DeJesus makes that play, turns the D-P — Broxton gets a save —– and Donnie looks like a great manager of talent. He believes in Junior and has Broxton back in form.

    But one little thing goes wrong — and the house of cards falls down.

    The decision you make Dave, on trading junior is a difficult one. Trade him and any future he might have is gone for the Dodgers and I am not sure just how deep the minors are at that position. Might be better for him in the short term, playing for Pittsburgh or KC or whoever — but the Dodgers just might need him in a year or two.

    On the other side of that — to keep him on the farm, with a few Starbucks trips — hurts his chances for the Hall of Fame . . . if he ever put it together.

    If Castro were in the position last night, he makes that play. Miles, probably so.

  5. troyfromwv says:

    If Broxton is topping out at 94 MPH I dont see him being effective. If he’s throwing 97-98 consistently, I’m not too worried.

    So…. anybody know his fastball speed last nite?

    • Ray says:

      from TrueblueLA

      Broxton’s only swinging strike of the night was his final pitch to Brandon Wood. Per Gameday, Broxton threw 11 fastballs averaging 93.3 mph, with a high of 96 (once), and he hit 95 three times.

  6. Badger says:

    The negativity in here! I thought it was a new day at LADodgertalk? I guess that is only on the days Broxton doesn’t pitch.

    I saw the box score. He didn’t give up an earned run. Pitchers life in L.A.?

    Relax. Broxton will be fine. He is making 7 XL this year and living the good life. He is tougher than most people believe. And he has a large condo on the beach and cattle on his ranch. He has lots of girlfriends and an expensive shrink that doubles as his personal life coach. All is good. If the Dodgers unload him he will go somewhere that has a coaching staff that will teach him a change-up, not look into his eyes for answers and he will make even more money and buy more cattle. BTW, he was hitting 95-96 on the gun last night. He is close. It’s a long year. You want him there in September? …. don’t ask him to strike everybody out in exhibition games.

    Both teams got 3 earned runs last night. The Angels were 8 for 35, the Dogs were 8 for 34. Neither deserved to win.

    19,000 at the park. Another sign?

    The gints look ready. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, they got some good players up there.

  7. Roger Dodger says:

    On Broxton. I think the big driver behind this is –

    He is only 26 years old. The Dodgers have paid him about $7 million so far in salary.

    And it looks like the team owes him $7 million for just 2011 alone.

    I think if he were down at $750,000 or a figure like that, they would move him. But this investment of $14,000,000 so far — they simply want to find a way to get him back and up and moving forward.

  8. Bill Russell says:

    Broxton didn’t give up and earned run last night but he walked a batter, threw a wild pitch and everyone else squared him up that if from the Angels Triple A system. Wake up people, it’s not negativity, It’s the truth.
    To Troy, Broxton was throwing 95-96 last night and topped out at 97 according to the Stadium gun.

  9. Bill Russell says:

    And no Strike Outs I might add. Shouldn’t elite closers strike out at least one Triple A hitter? It will always be someone else fault to some in here.

  10. Mark_Timmons says:

    In defense of Broxton, he generally does not do well in Spring Training. I get that. He topped out at 96 last night, but his slider was the problem (again). His pitches were flat. It is early, but I just don\’t think he is a closer and we shall see.

    Is it negative to say that he\’s not a closer, but an Elite Middle Man? If you said I wasn\’t a ballerina, would that be considered negative?

  11. Desert dodger says:

    Mark, did brox bang your wife our daughter? Because you sure have a hard on for flaming him… It’s really pretty pathetic.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      I say the guy is not a closer. I never said he was a bad guy. I just don\’t think he\’s a closer. I don;t think Matt Kemp is a leadoff hitter and if Donnie had him there, I would say the same thing. I also don\’t believe Jon\’s psyche is conducive to closing. I also said he an elite setup man.

      How is that flaming him? What\’s pathetic is people who make excuses for him. He doesn\’t. He knows.

      Watch and learn!

  12. Bobby says:

    vin scully even mentioned something to the effect of “usually when he gets 2 strikes, look out, it’s over. but not right now”

    i don’t care about the whole “he doesn’t have it mentally”, or “it’s not in his eyes”, or “he’s an introvert and not an extrovert”..

    what i do care about is what i saw last night: his fastball is not fast anymore. he could not blow it by anybody. the brox in the past could blow it by anyone, and this guy can’t. something is physically wrong with his arm. if it were only mental, he’d be throwing 99mph fastballs high and wide and low and down and everything, but it’d be fast.

    this guy was throwing as fast as john ely last night.

    physically, he does not have it.

  13. Badger says:

    I would wait for the real season to begin before throwing him under the bus. Gameday had his velocity high enough for an exhibition game, in fact, he was throwing as hard as the Angels closer – who also got a BS – the difference is – Rodney has a change-up.

    I just checked Gameday and Broxton should have been out of the inning on 4 pitches. And, his slider was breaking 7-8″, which is fine if he is coming over the top with it. On Trout’s at bat, all 5 pitches were on the outside corner and he hit a well placed slider – at the knees low and away.

    We’ll see. You naysayers may be right but I am not worried yet. As long as he has a clean bill of health, he should be fine. And btw, he is an All Star closer, and that is why he is getting the 7 XL. IF his arm is ok, not blown up after overuse, he should be fine. And yeah, sure, use him as a set up guy. Sometimes the actual save is in the 7th or 8th inning. I would fine with him getting big outs in the 8th – it may not be worth $7 million, but, put him where he will get the job done.

  14. CEEEZ/LA says:

    Not sure how accurate the dodger website is but I was watching the game through the game day graphic shit and he never got to 96. At times he was actually throwing 92-93. Not sure if that was more of a split finger fast ball.

  15. MillaBlue says:

    Not sure how any of this anti-Broxton stuff is productive. We know what he is capable of and should be hoping he returns to for. The guy had one bad year. Doesn’t make any sense.

  16. Kevin says:

    Mark hit the nail on the head on this one. Broxton is not a closer. I knew right when DeJesus muffed that ball that Broxton wouldn’t nut up and close the thing out. Sometimes you have to pick your teammates up and Broxton just doesn’t do that EVER.

  17. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I didn’t see the game, so I don’t know what kind of stuff he had. What I do know is this. Last year his velocity was down, and his slider was flat. If it’s the same this year, he will not be successful. If he’s hitting in the mid and upper 90′s, occasionally triple digits, and his slider has bite, he’ll be successful. This has nothing to do with the look in his eye or toughness, it’s simply about stuff. If Broxton has the weapons he will be successful, if he doesn’t, he will not have success. He definitely needs the two pitches that brought him success in the past, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt if he was able to add a third pitch.

    And I’ll go back to Billingsley, who I was glad to see sign a three year extension. At the beginning of last year he was being criticized, largely due to his terrible 2nd half of 2009, and also because he was viewed by some as being soft, especially after his blowup against the Phillies in 2008. Sound familiar? Well it was never a matter of anything in Billingsley’s toughness or character, it was simply the fact that he needed to make adjustments. It’s no different with Broxton. AND YES, IT WAS SPRING TRAINING!!!

    • Bill Russell says:

      He was working on a pitch last night I guess. Wake up people. How many blown saves will it take to convince people that he’s not a closer. For the real Dodgers fans in here, I would think you want to win games and put yourself in the best position to do so. I just don’t get it when people say it’s negative, like Jonathan is going to hear us. It looked like he couldn’t fool any of the Triple A batters last night so when the opening day bell rings in two short days, he’s going to get hit even harder by major league hitters. It’s not the beginning of the SPRING it’s the very end of spring training folks. In the game of baseball errors get made behind the pitchers and the good pitchers battle back. What’s the excuse going to be next week? Stay tuned………………..

      • Badger says:

        “How many blown saves will it take to convince people that he’s not a closer.”

        uh… four? (Rodney Dangerfield “Back to School”)

        On June 26th of last year Broxton had an ERA of 0.83 after 33 games – with 48 K’s in 34 innings, 16 of 18 in SVO (15 in a row) and a BAA around .200. Then something happened…. I don’t know what, maybe somebody can look it up for me…..

        he made the All Star team and closed it. You don’t have numbers like that if you aren’t a “closer”.

        And yeah…. what Brooklyn said. If that third pitch is a change up he is back closing All Star games. I won’t say he will be doing it post season though. I think you know why.

  18. Jaydavis says:

    That C stands for c

  19. The Bunny Rabbit Inside Broxton's Soul says:

    What Brooklyn said

  20. Joe says:

    It is frustrating to see him get 2 strikes on a batter and not be able to put them away. Maybe he was working on another pitch when he gets 2 strikes on a batter so they don’t key on the fastball but I would have liked to have him going into the season on a strong note. Can’t say it was totally his fault last night due to the error and a well executed hit and run by the Angels that tied the game and sent the lead runner to 3rd. If they didn’t hit and run there it could have been a game ending DP as the ball was a grounder to where Dee would have been playing… If my memory is correct.

  21. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Again, I didn’t see the game. But if the tying hit was a ground ball, then it doesn’t sound as if Broxton did what he was supposed to to do. What’s the difference between a ground ball directly at the shortstop and one out of his reach. Nothing, except placement.

    “For the real Dodgers fans in here, I would think you want to win games and put yourself in the best position to do so.” Personally, I take umbrage at that remark. I’ve been a Dodger fan since the ’50′s, and stay up late here on the east coast to watch every Dodger game that’s broadcast on MLB Extra Innings, ESPN, and even FOX when it’s not blacked out in NY. And when I was younger I stayed up late either listening to the Dodgers when I could get them on a strong radio station, or simply stayed up until I could get the score on the radio.

    Because I haven’t given up on a player that others think differently about doesn’t make me any less a Dodger fan than they are. I have fully stated my position, that I don’t believe his problems have anything to do with toughness. If it turns out that his problems are physical, and it becomes apparent that his stuff will never return, then I will be among the first to support his removal as our closer, and even from the team.

    And for all I know, he was working on a pitch last night. If he feels physically OK, it’s perfectly understandable that he might want to try something different before the regular season begins. And maybe the adrenalin rush of the regular season will add a tick or two to his fastball. I for one, will wait for the regular season. And I won’t judge him on one performance either. But if he continues to have problems, I will certainly begin to question his ability to close. But quite frankly, I prefer to leave that decision to Mattingly, Honeycutt, etc., who I believe are a lot more qualified to make that decision than I or anyone else on this blog.

    And finally, what I said about Billingsley above is absolutely true. After Billingsley’s problems in the 2008 playoffs, his second half meltdown in 2009, and his abysmal start to last season, there were definitely people (I don’t remember exactly which ones) questioning whether or not he should have been in the Dodger rotation. And suggestions were made that he was soft. Even I suggested that he might be better off working at the back end of the Dodger pen, especially since he had success there, I believe in 2007.

  22. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Excuse me. Take out the word “doesn’t” in my second sentence above. It should have said: “But if the tying run was a ground ball, then it sounds as if Broxton did what he was supposed to do.”

  23. Michael says:

    Talk about a hairpin trigger. Marks’ wrath makes Larry Bowa look like Mr. Rodgers.

    For the good of Dodger Nation we had all better hope Jon is Jon because plan B has disater written all oner it.

    Kenley has thrown a total of 27 innings in the bigs and only has one year of experience pitching. On the other hand Kuo has had like 9 arm surgeries, can’t go back to back and is really the only reliable lefty we’re going to have in the pen this year.

    I have to hold out hope, but if Brox is in trying to save one for Kid K opening day, I’m going to be pacing the dugout.

    Cross your fingers

  24. Willie Mays says:

    Broxton could not hold Brian Wilsons jock.

  25. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Willie, he wouldn’t want to. In fact, why would anyone?

    If I could write like Jon Weisman, I would have written this:

    “I’m seriously considering complete abstention from debating the merits of Jonathan Broxton for the time being. The season hasn’t even started, and already the fur is flying about his value. No, he didn’t do his job. Neither did De Jesus, Jansen or Lilly, but no one will question their manhood. I’m willing to admit I’m concerned about whether Broxton’s all the way back from his late 2010 troubles, but I just don’t know if I can spend yet another year arguing about the man’s courage, spine or gumption. It’s completely subjective, and people are just going to believe what they want to believe.”

  26. Michael says:

    Watching the game tonight I realized that this is like a Hollywood Stars game.
    These guys could use a break. Kind of hard to get up for this when you know the real thing is less than 44 hours away.
    Number one on everyones list should be, this is total folly; don’t kill yourself.
    That is the explanation for Matt playing ole’ with the ball in his two misplays in the first inning.

    Don’t have a cow man……yet

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