Yankee Goes After Teammate

"It couldn't happen to a better guy on the mound, either. He's got a tired act."

After [striking a guy out he] pounds his chest and points to the sky while letting out a roar.

"I just don't like watching the guy pitch," Bruney said. "I think it's embarrassing."

Wait.  Check that.  Brian Bruney was criticizing someone on the Mets.  So confusing.

39 comments… add one

  • I should add that I personally don’t really give a crap about Joba, K-Rod, Paps, etc., though on times it seems like the energy can be a bit out of proportion for the situation. I just find these kinds of “lack of awareness” moments kind of funny.

    SF June 15, 2009, 7:14 am
  • Oh, and obviously from the article Bruney walked back the comment, a smart, creditable thing. So good for him I suppose.

    SF June 15, 2009, 7:42 am
  • though on times it seems like the energy can be a bit out of proportion for the situation.
    I think that’s my biggest problem with most of this. KRod does his 10-second “performance” after every single outing, whether it’s successful or not. If you get a crucial save, sure, pump your fist a bit. But after you allow the game-tying homerun in the 9th, you need to sit the f*ck down. I’m sure your teammates don’t appreciate you dancing on the mound after you just blew a save.
    And in fairness to Paps/Joba/whoever, KRod’s theatrics are in a completely different league.

    Atheose June 15, 2009, 7:48 am
  • And in fairness to Paps/Joba/whoever, KRod’s theatrics are in a completely different league.
    Yup.

    Rob June 15, 2009, 7:54 am
  • “And in fairness to Paps/Joba/whoever, KRod’s theatrics are in a completely different league.”
    yep
    yet, i do agree with krod that bruney should just shut the f*** up…
    this incident just reminds me again why i have so much admiration with mo…class and dignity win or lose

    dc June 15, 2009, 8:05 am
  • The only difference here was that Bruney was calling him out for the fistpump and celebration before his team actually won….which they didnt!

    sam-YF June 15, 2009, 8:30 am
  • I’ve always had a huge amount of respect for Mo. He quietly does his job, never complains, and doesn’t raise a lot of attention. Truly a professional. To be honest I always feel a tiny bit sorry for him when he blows a lead.
    Just a tiny bit though. The other 99% of me is giddy.

    Atheose June 15, 2009, 8:35 am
  • It seems like more and more closers had premeditated, well thought out routines when they do in fact get a save. You can now add Brian Wilson to that list. It’s a fine line, but I am ok with the “in the heat of the moment” show of emotion. It’s the the planned out acts that drive me nuts. It reminds me of Ocho Cinco and his many different famous celebrations. In the Torre book A-Rod gets criticized for visibly pointing out the location of the OF’s when he’s on 2B as a runner. Most players will turn, look and make note of where the guys are. The criticism in the book was that Alex needed people to see that he was a smart player, so he would point. K-Rod’s celebration reminds me of just that. It’s great that he thanks God after every save. I am not a holy roller, but that’s a great sentiment, the only problem is do 50,000 people need to see you do it?

    John - YF June 15, 2009, 8:45 am
  • I think these closers are the equivalent of today’s NFL receivers. Being an ass is their way of standing out (see Joe Horn – why do I even know his name – because of some lame “routine”) in a job that’s among the most over rated in the game.
    Then there’s Jerry Rice. That’s Mo’s comp.

    Rob June 15, 2009, 8:54 am
  • I think that’s one problem with K-Rod is that it has nothing to do with god, it has everything to do with K-Rod getting attention. The word “theatrics” is very accurate: most of the time he falls to his knees, lifts his head up and throws both hands towards the heavens. It’s like an over-zealous preacher screaming “I HAVE BEEN HEALED!” And this isn’t just after saves, it’s after every appearance!
    Papi points to the sky and “thanks god” when crossing the plate after every homer, but it’s quick and subtle.
    Two glaring instances that I remember were from last year in the ALDS: K-Rod allowed a go-ahead homer to Drew in the 9th inning of Game 2, then does his routine after getting a double-play three batters later. The next game he loads the bases in the 10th before Jed Lowrie hit a hard line-drive to the outfield, which was caught for the third out. He dropped to his knees, screamed to the heavens, then jogged back to the dugout.
    Both times his team lost, but before the game was over he was celebrating like they won the world series. The fact that the Red Sox won both games made it all the more glaring.

    Atheose June 15, 2009, 9:05 am
  • Also, with Papelbon and Joba it’s clear that they’re fired up and have a lot of in-the-moment emotion, because they’ve helped the team. With K-Rod it’s not about the team, it’s clearly all about him. Look at me everyone!

    Atheose June 15, 2009, 9:11 am
  • Of course Joba has proven he doesn’t really belong in this group. He can get more than 3 outs in one appearance!

    Rob June 15, 2009, 9:16 am
  • I love Papi, but I wish he wouldn’t summon God to intervene in baseball games at home plate. It bugs me (a non-believer) just as much as an infusion of politics does. Baseball is for escape from all that, dammit!
    I suspect it bugs a lot of believers too, on the grounds that God must have better things to do…..
    Not a huge issue, though.

    dabize June 15, 2009, 9:23 am
  • I believe Ortiz has said he is paying homage to his Mother, who passed away early in his career, when he does that after touching home plate.
    Either way athletes do bring A LOT of the Lord with them. I once heard Mike Timlin say in a Radio interview that on days he was pitching well he knew he was channeling God, so there’s that.

    Pj-SF June 15, 2009, 9:31 am
  • Really PJ? That’s interesting, I had never heard that. That’s a lot less tacky than thanking god, in my opinion (as an agnostic).
    Mike Timlin channeling God, huh? So what happened, God stopped helping him in 2008? If you’re a major-league player, you have worked very hard for a long time. Giving all the credit away for something you have worked hard for may have been selfless at one point, but to me it’s just tacky nowadays.

    Atheose June 15, 2009, 9:35 am
  • Mike Timlin channeling God. And here I was thinking God is great.

    IronHorse June 15, 2009, 9:46 am
  • Also, with Papelbon and Joba it’s clear that they’re fired up and have a lot of in-the-moment emotion, because they’ve helped the team
    I am not sure this is entirely true. I believe Joba has gotten extremely excited when working out of jams early in games. I recall one instance where he gave up a run, but could have given up more, but still went bananas when he ended the inning.
    I think it is hard to know what is an “act” and what is motivational energy. Like others, I liken K-Rod’s silliness to when a cornerback gets beat deep, but lays a good hit on the receiver, and glares or celebrates following said hit. That being said, I don’t really know what is a put-on and what is part of a player’s motivational efforts. If one takes K-Rod’s silliness out of K-Rod would he be as good a pitcher? Or would he be missing something? I honestly don’t know.
    I think that Paps, Joba, and K-Rod all share some things, which is intense self-confidence, brashness, and energy. Distilling the exact difference between the three is a subjective, visual, and guttural thing, but it’s also completely inexact. Bruney could easily have been talking about Paps or Joba, in my mind. While we may feel his comments were “more” appropriate for K-Rod, to me that is hair-splitting.
    Regardless, he is smart to have walked them back, especially for his teammates’ sake.

    SF June 15, 2009, 9:59 am
  • “Paps, Joba, and K-Rod all share some things, which is intense self-confidence, brashness, and energy”
    And an inability to control one’s emotions. Whatever else you might call it, it is either that or it is pre-meditated. It isn’t something to go crazy about, but it makes opponents and certainly opposing fans that much happier when they get shown up. Bruney just articulated what probably most of the league and opposing team fans thinks about all three of those guys. Yes, it was good to backtrack. Doesn’t make it any less true.

    IronHorse June 15, 2009, 10:07 am
  • I think it is hard to know what is an “act” and what is motivational energy.
    Maybe so, but if there was ever a clear-cut case it’s K-Rod’s. His is all act.

    Atheose June 15, 2009, 10:08 am
  • Wait, so Beckett never shows excitement, energy, brashness, etc on the mound?

    Rob June 15, 2009, 10:10 am
  • Wait, so Beckett never shows excitement, energy, brashness, etc on the mound?
    In a victorious way? No, he hasn’t. After every crucial strikeout or big inning-ending moment, he calmly walks off the mound. Now if he thinks the umpire or batter is a douchebag, that’s a different story. He’ll yell and scream and drop f-bombs like it’s a goddamn Scorsese movie.

    Atheose June 15, 2009, 10:16 am
  • Again, I think the word “act” implies that the gesticulations are of primary importance and not the in-game performance, that the gesticulations are calculated and planned, and I am pretty certain that is not the case, with any of these guys. They may have been at one point, maybe with K-Rod, but even then I am not sure. In K-Rod’s case, I would venture that what he does has become habit, and that’s that. It’s not done for a reason other than for himself. I don’t think he does what he does because he’s trying to brand himself, or to further his recognizability. The proposition that this is an “act” means it is completely insincere. It isn’t. It may be annoying, misguided (at times), misappropriated (at times), unsportsmanlike (at times), but I don’t think it is phony and disingenuous.
    As for Beckett – congratulations Rob, you win the Goodwin prize.

    SF June 15, 2009, 10:26 am
  • “Mike Timlin channeling God. And here I was thinking God is great.”
    Think of it this way, IH.
    MT stunk up the joint so badly toward the end of his sojourn with the RS that any sign of Divine intervention on his behalf would have stood out clearly enough to make me shed my infidel ways immediately.

    dabize June 15, 2009, 10:36 am
  • “I believe Ortiz has said he is paying homage to his Mother, who passed away early in his career, when he does that after touching home plate.”
    Makes me feel better about it, actually. Thanks.

    dabize June 15, 2009, 10:39 am
  • When someone says “your act is tired” it doesn’t necessarily connote phoniness, pre-meditation, etc. It is an idiom in its own right that really simply means “I am tired of the way you behave”.
    As for Beckett, I have to say that he really doesn’t do the excessive celebration thing. If anything he seems to slow things down and walk to the dugout at a snail’s pace with that faraway “I just slept with your wife and stepped on your cat” face. Somehow when he does this the pubes on his lower lip seem all the more pronounced. It makes me hate him all the more because it doesn’t feel to me like Mo but I can’t claim that it is Joba/Paps-like either – it is smugness to the nth degree.
    And before anyone gets in a lather about this, I am not suggesting there is anything unsportsmanlike about Beckett – it’s just that he is great, he knows it, and I hate it. If anything, take it as a sign of begrudging respect.

    IronHorse June 15, 2009, 10:50 am
  • Beckett is pretty stoic on the mound from what I have seen.
    Personally, I think David Cone had the best take on it during the YES broadcast yesterday…basically he said there’s going to be some players who annoy you for whatever, but it’s best to keep it between the lines and not go through the media like Bruney did (he likened what Bruney did to what Papi said about Joba through the media earlier in the year). I agree with that. Settle it on the field.
    And FWIW I have no problem with guys celebrating on the field as long as it’s not showing another player up. Frankly I don’t think Joba, Paps, or K-Rod fall into that category.

    Mark-YF June 15, 2009, 10:59 am
  • As for Beckett – congratulations Rob, you win the Goodwin prize.
    I feel honored!
    I’d like to thank YF and SF for making this site possible. I’d like to thank my Mom and Dad for the mistake of having me. Lastly I’d like thank A.Josh Buckett for infuriating inconsistency.
    [fist pump!]

    Rob June 15, 2009, 11:08 am
  • Lastly I’d like thank A.Josh Buckett..
    Except for those times when his team really needs him. Like, the playoffs for instance.
    I think Brian Bruney should keep his mouth shut about such things, at least until he’s able to stay on the mound for more than a month.
    If I were a Yankee fan, I’d be more infuratied with the other part of that interview when Kim Jones asked him if when he says “I feel good” is any different than the last time he said “I feel good”, to which he responded “I was lying last time”.
    Kudos for admitting you are a liar, Brian, but why put the team’s efforts on a bad arm and selfish attitude?

    Brad June 15, 2009, 11:18 am
  • Timlin, iirc, also was vocal about his far-right-wing politics.
    Generally I find that the more one knows about an athlete, the less you’ll like them. I’d say David Ortiz is one of the rare exceptions.

    Hudson June 15, 2009, 11:21 am
  • “why put the team’s efforts on a bad arm and selfish attitude?”
    I’ve seen nothing from Bruney from Spring 2008 to today to indicate a selfish attitude. The guy had an attitude problem in Arizona that he has talked about with impressive candor and self-criticism. He then backed up the rheoric by dropping serious pounds in the ’08 off-season and clearly working hard to live up to his potential. He was very good last year and in the appearances he has been able to make this year.
    If saying he feels good when in fact he is hurting is an indication of selfishness than Derek Jeter is the most selfish player in the league.

    IronHorse June 15, 2009, 11:23 am
  • I’d say David Ortiz is one of the rare exceptions.
    Except how much do you really know?

    Rob June 15, 2009, 11:25 am
  • Obviously I don’t know Big Papi well, but between his on-and-off-field demeanor, his statements to the press, and all of the various profiles (TV and print) I’ve heard or seen of him, I’ve not seen anything to suggest that he is anything but a good, happy-go-lucky, decent guy. I can’t say the same of most ballplayers who have had anything like the exposure he has.

    Hudson June 15, 2009, 11:31 am
  • saying he feels good when in fact he is hurting is an indication of selfishness than Derek Jeter is the most selfish player in the league.
    I would agree, if Derek Jeter was a pitcher in complete control of the game in high pressure situations. Kudos to Jeter for not taking time off when he’s hurt, but I believe that a pitcher is a different animal – especially one with a hurt wing.

    Brad June 15, 2009, 11:38 am
  • I agree completely, Brad. It infuriated me last year when Pettite basically admitted that he was hurt down the stretch but wouldn’t say anything because he felt like “the team needed him.” Yeah, the team needs you healthy!
    And based on his last 4 starts (and the fact that we have 6 SPs for 5 slots) I’m beginning to suspect he’s repeating that behavior again this year.

    Mark-YF June 15, 2009, 12:24 pm
  • I think injuries take a greater toll on pitchers than hitters. If a pitcher is injured and he tops out at 91-93 instead of 95-97, he’s going to suffer. Same if he’s throwing the ball down the middle of the plate instead of on the corners. In order to be successful most pitchers need to be at 100%, and the drop-off after that is steep.
    Hitters, meanwhile, can get away with a lot of they’re injured. Hell, Damon played through injuries pretty much throughout his stay in Boston, and was still a valuable part of the team.

    Atheose June 15, 2009, 12:28 pm
  • Yeah, but most of Damon’s injuries are to his head and he doesn’t really use that most of the time anyway…

    rootbeerfloat June 15, 2009, 12:54 pm
  • > Then there’s Jerry Rice. That’s Mo’s comp
    That’s a good one, though at least personality-wise I might say Barry Sanders.

    attackgerbil June 15, 2009, 4:32 pm
  • The point re: pitcher-injuries being different from other player-injuries is a good one but a couple things should be pointed out:
    1. It is a fallacy to think pitchers need to be at or near 100%, especially as they get older. If you believe what any number of major league pitchers say, they are rarely at or even near 100% once the season gets going and they learn how to pitch with pain – the difference between pain and injury and between the kind of pain or injury you can still pitch effectively around and the kind that should make you sit down might seem crystal clear to those of us pontificating from the stands, but I doubt it is so clear to players, managers, etc. If pitching near 100% or at your optimal velocity were required, David Cone would rarely have pitched during the years that he was the rock of the Yankee rotation.
    2. As this conversation started around an accusation that Brian Bruney has somehow been selfish in this regard – pitching when he shouldn’t have and therfore hurting his team – it has to be pointed out that this is patently false. The guy appeared in 10 games this year. He gave up a cumulative total of 3 hits in that time and 3 ER, the first two of which he picked up in his first appearance of the year on April 6 – i.e. not when he was coming back from any injury. In fact, what happened with him is the opposite of selfishly pitching through an injury (if there is such a thing). He told the organization upon starting to throw again off the DL that although the MRI had shown nothing, it hurt to throw his breaking ball so they shut him down a second time until he could throw without pain. Now he’s coming back and hopefully will become again the mainstay of the 8th inning for the Yanks.

    IronHorse June 15, 2009, 4:54 pm
  • I don’t know about everyone else, but I think Papelbon should take a page from Chad OchoCinco and legally change his name to Jonathan CincoOcho!

    SoxFan June 16, 2009, 2:16 am

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