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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Today in The Journal News

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Sep 29, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

I was going to post the link to my story. Then I noticed that a big chunk of the story was missing on the version that was posted on LoHud.com. Plus if you use Safari, you can’t get to the second page anyway. So here is the original version.

Once again, I apologize for the web site’s problems.

By Peter Abraham
pabraham@LoHud.com

NEW YORK — The cavernous home clubhouse at Yankee Stadium still smelled faintly of the champagne spilled in celebration the day before when Brian Bruney arrived early Monday afternoon.

The 27-year-old relief pitcher contributed significantly to the victory that clinched the American League East, entering the game at the start of the seventh inning and retiring all five batters he faced as the Yankees beat the Red Sox.

Bruney’s unshaven face still wore a smile a day later.

“The thing that was special for me was the crowd reaction,” said the 27-year-old right-hander, referring to the standing ovation the fans gave him when he left the mound in the eighth inning. “I’ve been through a lot all year, fighting a lot of injuries, mechanics and pitching like garbage. I would have loved to look up and give a thank you, but honestly I had tears in my eyes and I couldn’t do it. That’s been my best moment in baseball. It was an awesome feeling.

“New York fans aren’t like any other fans. They feel baseball and they feel it with you.”

Bruney did not pitch in Monday’s 8-2 victory against the Kansas City Royals. But there are five games remaining in the regular season for him to try and convince the team’s decision-makers that he belongs on the roster for the American League Division Series next week.

The primary set-up man when the season started, Bruney pitched well in the opening weeks before going on the disabled list on April 25 with a sore elbow.

After missing nearly a month, Bruney returned and pitched in only one game before going back on the disabled list. He admitted to misleading the team about how he felt, which drew the ire of manger Joe Girardi.

Bruney caused more problems on June 13 when — unprompted — he criticized Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez, saying he had a “tired act.”

Rodriguez tried to confront Bruney during batting practice a day later, sparking a brief fray that CC Sabathia helped quell. Bruney was called into the manager’s office again, this time told to keep inflammatory opinions private.

Bruney has pitched in 35 games since with varying results, putting 53 runners on base over 27 2/3 innings and posting a 4.55 ERA. Bruney was so desperate to change his fortunes earlier this month that he changed his uniform number, dropping 38 to become only the second player in team history to wear 99.

The last was outfielder Charlie “King Kong” Keller, who wore 99 in the two games he played with the Yankees in 1952.

Keller did not make the postseason roster that year. Will Bruney? Girardi and coaches will meet with general manager Brian Cashman and members of his staff before the game on Tuesday to discuss the roster. Bruney’s status will be one of the prime subjects of debate.

The Yankees are planning to bring 10 pitchers to the best-of-five Division Series. With only three starters needed, Joba Chamberlain will work out of the bullpen. That figures to bump Bruney, Chad Gaudin or Damaso Marte off the roster.

Bruney believes he deserves a spot, saying his performance Sunday was a sign of what is to come.

“I’ve been feeling better. My mechanics, right now, I feel like myself when I go out there,” he said. “You can build off of that. I feel good right now and it’s the right time to feel good.”

Girardi was non-committal.

“He had such a good April for us and then he got hurt and it was a long road with his rehab and getting back and (he) had some setbacks,” the manager said. “We’re going to have a lot of tough decisions. But I believe that Brian Bruney has a ton of talent.”

Bruney’s fate could be determined based on how he pitches in the next few days. Though meaningless for the Yankees, Bruney can bolster his resume in those games.

“I think I’ll be there,” he said. “I hope they feel that way.”

Notes: Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera were the only regulars in the lineup. Cano had a grand slam and rookie Ramiro Pena the first home run of his career. … The Steinbrenner family invited the players and coaches to a reception at the Stadium’s steakhouse after the game on Tuesday. … Right-handed reliever Dave Robertson, whose status could impact Bruney, has been cleared to pitch after missing 24 days with a sore elbow. … A.J. Burnett will rejoin the team on Tuesday and is scheduled to face the Royals. He was excused from Monday’s game to be with his father Bill, who underwent triple-bypass surgery in Arkansas. “Everything went well,” Girardi said.

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45 Responses to “Today in The Journal News”

  1. Vrsce September 29th, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Bruney will not likely make the post season roster. Gaudin has earned that spot.

  2. murphydog September 29th, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Pete:

    I would like to see a “Momument Park” here on the Lohud Blog.

    I’m thinking about a little link somewhere on this page that will bring us to a picture and description of an individual who made a lasting, unique and positive contribution to the Lohud Yankee Blog. (I’d figure out how to do it myself, but I’m only capable of posting comments and using my blackberry).

    I nominate you, Pete, as first member, for being blog founder and for growing this place into what it currently is. I also nominate Todd Drew for sharing his unique and extraordinary insights and talent and because he left us all too soon.

    What does everybody else think?

  3. Jarret September 29th, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Pete first comment long time reader do you have any idea whats up with Bruney’s hat? It doesn’t have a logo of any kind on the back like everyone else on the team. I thought they had to wear official hats and such.

  4. ditmars1929 September 29th, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Bruney probably won’t make the post-season roster, but when healthy he’s got such a good arm, so I’d like to see him get some rest in the off-season and would love to see him come back strong next year.

  5. Bronx Jeers September 29th, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Nice piece on Bruney. Who knew he was such an emotional guy.

    So here’s a nice awful 80′s tune to begin our last day with Pete.

    To paraphrase someone funnier than myself:

    Cheesy synthesizer riff? Check
    Lyrics about space travel? Check

    Oh yeah baby its The Final Countdown!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZkllM8znx4

  6. Wang IS Taiwan September 29th, 2009 at 9:42 am

    I second that, Murphydog. Pete built something from scratch that went on to become quite extraordinary and the most talked-about Yankees blog online. It was due not only to his tireless efforts (and honestly — did Pete EVER sleep??), but his wit, insight and sheer ability to entertain and inform his loyal readers.

    Pete — enjoy your last day to the fullest. An era of pure pleasure for true Yankees fans will end with your departure.

    All the best!

  7. Vader September 29th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Murph…I totally agree and all that needs to be said is the attached link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALxXQ7dON1I

    As for Todd…I also agree, RIP.

  8. Doreen September 29th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    murphydog -

    Nice idea.

  9. Bronx Jeers September 29th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    LoHud HOF ?

    I think we’d be arguing and bickering within minutes of it’s inception and in the end no one would be inducted.

  10. upstate kate September 29th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Agree, Pete created something special here, he will be missed. A good mix of information and wit.
    Kim Jones commented on Erica’s (and maybe others, she wasn’t specific) GTLU game on the pre game show, saying no one could have predicted that crazy line up.
    Speaking of which, did Erica do the post season roster game yet?

  11. GeorgeInJax September 29th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    If one of our playoff starters only gives us 5 innings, I’m confident in the back end of the bullpen.
    MO, Hughes, Joba, & Robertson can all throw a lights out 1 inning.

  12. MBD September 29th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I would trust Bruney over Joba in the playoffs.

  13. ditmars1929 September 29th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Good intentions by murphydog, but I’ll agree with Jeers on not having a LoHud Monument Park. However, I’d be nice to keep Pete’s picture on the blog and include him in any sort of “about this blog” section. Sort of like how some business execs are officially retired, but always listed as the “honorary” chairman”.

  14. Vader September 29th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Pete…is and always will be the “Blogfather” to me.

  15. disco stu September 29th, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I think it may have been too little, too late for Bruney … at least for the first round. Should we advance to the ALCS, I would imagine we go back to 11 pitchers because we will need 4 starters, which takes Joba out of the bullpen. Then, Bruney could be added at that point.

    But as long as Robertson is healthy and/or Girardi decides to only take one of the Gaudin/Aceves combo, I dont see how Bruney is one of the 7 relivers in the pen in the first round:

    Mo, Hughes, Coke, Robertson, Joba, Aceves, and Gaudin would be my guess … Bruney and Marte get squeezed in the first round, but one of them comes back in the ALCS.

  16. GeorgeInJax September 29th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    C.C., Andy, & A.J. starting
    Rivera, Hughes, Joba?, & Robertson locking down the back end,
    Coke as a lefty, and then 2 long relievers Gaudin/Mitre/Joba?
    I don’t know if Bruney makes the cut?

  17. Stevie September 29th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    upstate kate September 29th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Speaking of which, did Erica do the post season roster game yet?
    =============================================

    Yes. Torre actually wrote and said ARod should bat 8th.

  18. Erica - always OPPC September 29th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    upstate kate
    September 29th, 2009 at 9:55 am
    Agree, Pete created something special here, he will be missed. A good mix of information and wit.
    Kim Jones commented on Erica’s (and maybe others, she wasn’t specific) GTLU game on the pre game show, saying no one could have predicted that crazy line up.
    Speaking of which, did Erica do the post season roster game yet?

    ****

    I did it yesterday- But I will allow yout to get in on it.

  19. GeorgeInJax September 29th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Yeah, I forgot to include Aceves in the mix.

  20. 86w183 September 29th, 2009 at 10:05 am

    I fail to see the sense in carrying Joba, Gaudin and Aceves. Exactly how bad do you expect the starters to be?

    The four starters, Mariano, Coke and Hughes are absolute mortal locks.

    Robertson if he proves he’s ready is next in line with Marte’.

    If it indeed comes down to Bruney or Gaudin I’ll take the guy with more talent and more experience in pressure bullpen situations. They can add Gaudin when they go to 11 for the ALCS.

    All the best Pete! Thanx for introducing me to this fascinating, annoying, entertaining, frustrating, aggravating thought-provoking family.

  21. 86w183 September 29th, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Left out Aceves. He’s in for sure.

    Looks like Gaudin, Marte, Bruney and Robertson for two jobs. Robertson gets on if he proves he’s ready. Marte or Bruney for the other. No reason to carry three long men for a best 3-of-5 series.

  22. disco stu September 29th, 2009 at 10:12 am

    “I fail to see the sense in carrying Joba, Gaudin and Aceves. Exactly how bad do you expect the starters to be?

    The four starters, Mariano, Coke and Hughes are absolute mortal locks.

    Robertson if he proves he’s ready is next in line with Marte’.”

    86w183 – if you take your own logic about the starters then why the need to have a second lefty in Marte?

    Exactly, how many lefty/lefty matchups will the Yankees need to have in the first round against either the Twins or Tigers if CC, AJ, and Andy are pitching deep into the games?

  23. upstate kate September 29th, 2009 at 10:15 am

    thanks Erica

    1 Tex
    2 Cano
    3 Jeter
    4 Arod
    5 Matsui
    6 Posada
    7 Damon
    8 Melky
    9 Brett
    10 Swish
    11 Pena
    12 Guzman
    13 Hairston
    14 Hinske
    15 Molina
    16 CC
    17 AJ
    18 Andy
    19 Joba
    20 Hughes
    21 Coke
    22 Mo
    23 Ace
    24 Gaudin
    25 Bruney

  24. 86w183 September 29th, 2009 at 10:16 am

    stu —

    You’re kidding, right? You are many times more likely to face late game match up situations than you are to have all three starters mess in the bed. Joba and Aceves already give you two guys who can go “long”.

    You almost made a good point. If it’s Detroit, the only match up lefty hitter is Granderson making Marte less needed. If it’s the Tigers I leave out Gaudin and Marte. If it’s the Twins, Bruney is odd man out.

    Of course this depends on Robertson proving he’s ready which he has not even begun to do.

  25. Doreen September 29th, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Yesterday I heard out of the corner of my ear that one of those teams (I don’t remember which one it was, Twins or Tigers – I think it was Tigers) had a winning record against lefties. Since the Yankees might line up CC then Andy, could this be a potential blip?

  26. Doreen September 29th, 2009 at 10:17 am

    And also, if it’s the team that does well against lefties, do they leave Marte off?

  27. Tom in N.J. September 29th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Gaudin does have experience comming out of the ‘pen. Plus, he has experience comming out of the ‘pen in the playoffs-3 games; 3.1 ip; 0.00 era. Plus, as a Yankee, he doesn’t show the penchant for melting down and giving up the big inning the way Bruney does. In the postseason, it’s not about hoping a guy has it that day, it’s about trusting a player not to blow up and either hold the lead or keep it close. Who do you trust more right now, Gaudin or Bruney?

  28. 86w183 September 29th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Kate — Not sure Hairston will be ready. Would rather have Cervelli on the squad rather than Pena, Hairston AND Guzman.

    I see you’ve written off Robertson.

  29. scott a September 29th, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Gaudin makes it if only because of his K ability against right handed batters. Even if he does not pitch in long relief he has value as a one out guy.

  30. Ed.H September 29th, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Erica! I must have missed the Guess The Roster Game when I was at my mom’s yesterday. May I put together an entry too, please?

  31. Trevor (Super Mario) September 29th, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Doreen I wouldn’t worry too much about that stat. There’s a lot of bad pitching in baseball. Maybe the Tigers are feasting on bad left handed pitching :?
    All I know is when they faced CC twice this year they did nothing.

  32. 86w183 September 29th, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Gaudin has never been a one batter guy. Bruney is a better choice for that role.

    Detroit is better vs LHP, except Granderson who is their best player and is brutal against LHP. Interesting call.

    The Twins are better against RHP, but that’s less of a factor with Morneau out.

  33. haiku-man September 29th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    -Bruney is a hard call,is he really back,or just motivated to get on the roster?I can decide.

    -Det/Twins have to slug out a double hitter today,this late in the season.Who ever wins won’t get much rest before the postseason starts. A twins sweep would tie it up.I’m hoping for a tie.

  34. GeorgeInJax September 29th, 2009 at 10:29 am

    It will be interesting to see how Joba will be used.
    Will he be sent to throw all out & dominate in 1 inning of work or will he be called on to pitch multiple innings?

    At least for the playoffs, I’d like to see him turn it loose again.

  35. Doreen September 29th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Trevor -

    I know. CC and Andy aren’t your average lefties. Any potential pitfalls, though, you know? My stomach’s already starting to get in knots, thanks to one phrase I read this morning – “three bad games.”

    My husband asked me if I was going to be able to watch the playoffs. :lol: I told him I would force myself.

  36. tex's friend September 29th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    I dont necessarily think the yankees need to bring marte onto the alds roster unless there is one big lefty in the lineup for him to face. does detroit have that lefty? minnesota has morneau but he is out. gaudin may be more valuble.

  37. Tom in N.J. September 29th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Bruney hasn’t been that good against righties this year-.826 OPS against. Gaudin has; righties have a .677 OPS against him.

    Side note: I do love the fact that we’re debating the merits of the last man in the bullpen.

  38. haiku-man September 29th, 2009 at 10:36 am

    -86w183

    Your 10:16 post contrdicts your 10:27 on Det vs LHP I’m confused.

    Is Granderson the only one on the team that’s good with lefties or is the whole team?

  39. ditmars1929 September 29th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Tom in NJ, debating who the last guy in the bullpen is would be a good thing. It means all of the important issues are settled and the Yanks are ready to roll!!

  40. 86w183 September 29th, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Haiku-man —

    No it doesn’t. Detroit as a TEAM is better against LHP, but their best player, Granderson is much worse against LHP.

    Therefore it’s a tricky decision if you want an extra lefty for matching up against just one guy.

    If it was 4-of-7 I’d take Gaudin, but in a shorter series with CC starting twice I’d rather have Bruney.

  41. scott a September 29th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    86w183

    Gaudin has value as a versatile relief pitcher who can come in and get a K against right handed batters. I never said he had that role but if you look at his spits you can see he can do it if needed. I like pitchers who can get a K.

  42. GeorgeInJax September 29th, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Bruney may be a good add vs. another long man, but if it comes down to Bruney Vs. Robertson, I’d give the edge to Robertson just based on him having better “stuff”. Robertson & Hughes have the best strikeout ratio on the team.

  43. scott a September 29th, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Bruney vs Gaudin against right handed hitters.

    Bruney 93 pa, 14 bb, 20 K.
    Gaudin 336 pa, 28 bb, 91 k.

    Gaudin has always had trouble against lefties but he’s usually lights out against righties.

  44. GeorgeInJax September 29th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Let’s hope the only relievers we actually see are Hughes & MO

  45. Steve G September 29th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Pete,

    What a great article. It’s actually the first of yours that I’ve read–shameful considering I’ve been such a frequent visitor to your blog. Your work serves as a reminder that real, colorful, AP-style print-journalism shouldn’t fall tousled by this wave of citizen journalism and blogging. It’s all info, but true good writing and research should rise to the top. Keep up the good work at the Globe. Go Yanks,

    Steve

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