For closers like John Axford, mental battle is part of unstable job

Friday May 2nd, 2014
John Axford is back in the closer role for Cleveland after starring in it for Milwaukee in 2011.
Mark Duncan/AP

It's May, much too early to say whether Axford has returned to elite status, whether K-Rod will keep pitching like it's 2004, whether David Robertson can make people forget Mariano Rivera, or if Craig Kimbrel can continue to be the best closer in baseball. A closer like Axford only knows that there will always be good nights and there will always be bad nights. "That fine line between success and failure," said Axford, "is exactly why you can love this job one moment and hate it the next."

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