Open Thread: Brian Bruney


(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

There is more than one way to build a bullpen, and the Yankees employ basically all of them. They have high-priced imports (Rafael Soriano), homegrown pieces (Mariano Rivera and David Robertson), trade pickups (Boone Logan), and scrap heap signings (Cory Wade). A few seasons ago they went the scrap heap route and signed Brian Bruney to a minor league contract about six weeks after the Diamondbacks released him in the middle of the 2006 season.

Bruney, then just 24, saved a dozen games for Arizona in 2005, though he pitched to a 7.43 ERA and 5.11 FIP while doing so. Bruney was young, threw very hard, and had a track record of racking up huge strikeout totals, so the Yankees took a flier on him. He struck out 22 in 14.1 IP for Triple-A Columbus before being called up in mid-August. Bruney was dominant the rest of the season, striking out 25 and allowing just a pair of runs in 20.2 IP. That earned him a spot on the roster next season.

Over the next three seasons, Bruney was dominant, terrible, hurt, and everything in between. A Lisfranc sprain derailed an otherwise strong season in 2008 (1.83 ERA and 3.45 FIP), then elbow trouble cost him the eighth inning job in early-2009. He went on the DL, rushed himself back, then re-injured it. During his 3+ seasons in pinstripes, Bruney had pitched to a 3.25 ERA (4.66 FIP)  with 8.18 K/9 and 5.70 BB/9 in 144 IP. That amounted to 0.5 fWAR and 2.5 bWAR. It seemed like he came to camp 10-20 lbs. lighter every year, but it never helped him harness his admittedly nasty stuff.

The Yankees traded Bruney to the Nationals two years ago today, receiving a player to be named later in return. That player was Jamie Hoffmann, who the Yanks instructed Washington to take with the first overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft the next day. Hoffmann didn’t make it through Spring Training, but the Yankees were likely to non-tender Bruney later than month because he was due to make close to $2M in 2010. Bruney has pitched to a 7.23 ERA with 32 walks and 32 strikeouts in 37.1 big league innings since then, bouncing from the Nats to the Brewers to the Mets to the White Sox. He’s currently a free agent and struggling to hang on, so the Yankees likely received the best stretch of his career after rolling the dice.

* * *

Here is tonight’s open thread. There’s college basketball on all over the place, plus the Rangers and Islanders are both playing tonight. Talk about whatever you like here, just don’t be a jerk.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Brian S. says:

    So when is Boston going to be not a racist town? They can’t keep thinking this is the nineteenth century forever can they?

    • Dan says:

      I agree Boston is a bastion of white anger… but why do you say so this time…?

      • Brian S. says:

        Just bringing up something for discussion.

        • Dan says:

          oh, in that case, yeah. the case for Boston as America’s most racist major city is pretty strong. However, that Klansman Papelbon and his “Was that My Cousin I just humped” face going to philly weaken it a bit.
          I’m always up for a good Boston bashing. Lemme know when we get to do Philly!

          • Mister Delaware says:

            I’ve lived in both and I’d say Philly is worse. So lets switch over now.

            • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

              Philly can be terrible. Geno’s Cheesesteaks basically flaunts its bigotry the moment you step up to the counter.

              Every town has its crap, though. We just keep it nice, hidden, and under tons of layers of overrationalization in NYC.

              • Rockdog says:

                I’m a Yankees fan from NJ, lived in a bunch of different cities, and been in Boston for 20 years. Honestly, I don’t think that it is any more racist than anywhere else, although not really sure how you measure that.

                • Mister Delaware says:

                  Going on 3 years and while the older stories are pretty horrible, I haven’t seen much if any. Philadelphia … not so much. Terrible.

    • Soriano Is A Liar says:

      But they’re the Greatest City in American Sports(TM)!

    • Professor Longnose says:

      I once went to a wonderful Chinese restaurant in Boston. My wife is from China (I’m from New York), so we headed toward Chinatown and found a huge place with a big open floor, like a warehouse with tables. There must have been at least a hundred Chinese people eating and talking animatedly (the Chinese don’t have a custom of being quiet in restaurants). There were no menus and no ordering. Food was wheeled around on carts, and you hailed what looked good, the cart drivers adding what you took to your ticket on the table. The food was great and the atmosphere exciting.

  2. IB6 UB9 says:

    Is there a scenario where the Yankees could sign Darvish and have him start once a week until the All Star break to get acclimated?

    Sabathia would keep his routine, they could use Burnett as spot starter/long man and Nova, Hughes and Garcia would get an extra day every now and then.

    • Professor Longnose says:

      That’s an interesting idea. It would probably be hard to manage, because you would be throwing everyone off a regular schedule except one guy, Sabathia. Plus you would have to have a 6th starter make some starts, and the Yankee rotation is weak enough.

    • Steve S. says:

      I suppose you could keep that in the back of your mind if there’s a rain out or off day, but pitchers are creatures of habit. You can’t upset 3/5 of your rotation to accommodate one guy. Then if one is pitching poorly, everyone will point to Darvish as the reason, fair or unfair. Just stick him in the rotation (if they land him) and see how it goes. Girardi pays close attention to how guys do with short/extra rest, so I trust he’ll adjust accordingly when possible.

  3. Steve S. says:

    Goodness gracious there’s just nothing going on in Yankee land. I need a post idea for tomorrow, preferably two.

    Darvish has been done to death, and I happen to think both sides are way off base. The pro-Darvish folks are too dismissive of the transition and the money. Just because you’re not paying a 40% tax on a 100 mil outlay doesn’t mean its cheap and/or cost effective. As was said numerous times this week the Yanks are hesitant to import pitchers from the NL West, but they should throw caution to the wind for someone from Japan who will be more expensive?

    The anti-Darvish folks seem to think Cashman has downplayed the idea of targeting him, and I don’t think that’s what he’s said at all. He’s said “we’ve learned from prior experiences”. That doesn’t mean they won’t bid, just that they know more about who’s worth targeting and who isn’t.

  4. Steve S. says:

    The thing I remember most about Bruney was how ticked off he was when he wasn’t getting work, and when he was sent down to AAA. Like it was everyone else’s fault that he was pitching like crap. That told me a lot about him.

    BTW-Didn’t he get accused of tearing up the clubhouse, or misbehaving in some way that they tried to keep quiet?

  5. Robert says:

    Does anyone remember the game in 2008 when Joe had him start because he thought that it would be rain shortened?

    • Steve S. says:

      That wasn’t as crazy as it seemed, the weather reports were such that you could have lost your starter at any point over the first few innings, and then it was supposed to clear up later. By starting a reliever, Girardi protected himself against burning out his pen, which IIRC was already short at the time since Hughes and IPK were pitching like garbage.

      It was creative and Joe got killed for it. Baseball doesn’t embrace new ideas, no matter how much sense they make.

      • Jesse says:

        I thought Girardi didn’t want Kennedy pitching in that game period simply because he may have had to warm up multiple times yet he brought him in relief. IIRC of course, could be wrong.

      • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

        That last point is the ultimate problem with the no-bunting stance espoused here. In the inevitable times the batter failed to get a hit or advance the runner, msm types would kill Joe for not having called for the sac bunt (rather than looking at the math of it).

  6. jay h says:

    Does anyone know if Nakajima is a friend of Darvish. I just had a thought that we went after Nakajima for the same reason Boston signed Okajima after they got Dice-BB

  7. Rey22 says:

    So assuming Pujols suffers no major injuries and keep being Pujols for the Angels, what uniform does he go into the HOF with? Still the Cardinals right? Numbers in his prime there plus 2 WS rings

    • Steve S. says:

      The overwhelmingly likelihood is that contract doesn’t work out well. He’s signed for 10 years and will be 32 in January. I think people will remember him most fondly as a Cardinal.

  8. Greg says:

    Braun failed a PED test. News just breaking

  9. Avi says:

    Braun caught with PEDs

  10. Virgil Earp says:

    That MVP award should be immediately revoked from Braun and awarded to a clean player, Matt Kemp. What a fraud.

    • CP says:

      How do you know Kemp is clean?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      He failed the test in the playoffs, reportedly. MVP is a regular season award.

      • mustang says:

        Are you kidding??????!!!!!!

        Yes, people he started using PED’s only in the playoffs.

        Wow just wow.

        So if they are caught during Spring Training they should only be suspended for spring training games?

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Yes, people he started using PED’s only in the playoffs.

          Why not? Some people think players can magically up their game in the playoffs.

          Prove he took it during the regular season, then take the award away. It’s not very hard.

          So if they are caught during Spring Training they should only be suspended for spring training games?

          Didn’t say anything about the suspension, we’re talking about the award.

          • mustang says:

            No disrespect to you but I really can’t see how anyone who loves this game can be so indifferent about players who cheat in it.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              I haven’t seen anything that definitively shows that so called “performance-enhancing” drugs actually enhance a player’s performance, and if they do, by how much.

              • mustang says:

                Ok and OJ Simpson was innocent too.

                So if they don’t give them an edge why take them?

                Why risk what happen today?

              • Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

                During the years 1999 to 2004 we saw the establishment of HR records the like of which we have not seen since. Those records were by Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa. All 3 were linked to PEDs. Bonds hims3elf hit more homers in those years than he had in his previous career and this after 35 years of age. So you see you really don’t need a study to find out that hey enhance the performance of those are are good. It makes them better. Some of these guys will begin to notice the effect of these substances as they get older such as fatty liver.

            • mbonzo says:

              The line between cheating here is very thin. HGH in the medical field is pretty common for someone that needs to recover. Used right, it can help you get healthy. For a baseball player that is constantly destroying muscle and not letting it heal, why wouldn’t some form of PED’s be good for the game? Players will stay healthier if doctors become involved.

              There is also no indication of how PED’s help a player boost stats, or even if they do.

              It just seems silly that they call it cheating, when really they are just using modern medicine to stay healthier. The problem is that you can then point to old stats and say, well Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron never used PED’s. Well I’d argue that amphetamines have a much bigger impact on your play than PED’s do, and no one uses those today.

              Lets imagine that a baseball player has constant muscle tears in their calf. A synthetic chemical thats naturally occurring can help heal the muscle tear and fix that player’s problem. Now they can unlock their full potential and hit 10 more homeruns a season. How is that cheating? Thats like saying baseball players who wear contacts cheat because without them they wouldn’t play as well.

  11. DERP says:

    This is fucking hilarious. I am really happy about the Braun news for some reason, even though I like him.

  12. Steve S. says:

    “There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan’s complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program,” said a spokesman for Braun in a statement. “While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated.”

    Elevated levels of testosterone in Braun’s system triggered the positive test, which prompted MLB to ask the testing agency to perform a second test. The second test determined that the testosterone…was produced outside of Braun’s body.

    Testosterone in his body that was not produced by him…..

    Holey shit Ryan Braun is gay?!?!

  13. Jimmy McNulty says:

    It’s gonna be funny when Brewers fans get all butthurt tonight but go and root for Clay Matthews tomorrow.

    Clay as a USC freshmen:

    Normal sized head and body, now Clay:

    • Hall and Nokes says:

      Replace “Brewers fans” with “80% of America” and “Clay Matthews” with “the entire NFL” and I’m right with you.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Yeah I don’t get why the NFL gets a break. Look at some of these dudes and tell me they’re naturally that big. Also notice how they add on all this bulk and don’t slow down a tick? In fact they speed up? Please.

    • Bo Knows says:

      No offense but their is a huge difference between the body of a person when they are 18 yrs old, and when they are 25. Hell I’m 20 and I’m 30 lbs heavier, far stronger and faster than when I was 18

      • CP says:

        Clearly you’re a juicer.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Yeah try putting on another thirty pounds of muscle and shaving a couple ticks off your 40 time. Look if you start out as someone who doesn’t exercise it’s easier to get bigger and stronger because you can do some work and improve quite a bit. When you’re an NFL prospect it’s quite hard to put on weight cleanly. There’s also his head too. His head’s shaped an awful lot like Mark McGwire’s and Jose Canseco’s. I mean I’m sure the guy works his ass off, like most juicers, but at least 80% of the NFL is juiced.

  14. Jimmy says:

    Bill will indeed feed on Army mule tonight.

  15. Hey Now says:

    Those bug eyes…I knew it!

    Those are juicer eyes.

  16. mbonzo says:

    Hopefully this Ryan Braun news will encourage people to be indifferent about this kind of stuff. Doctors hand out PEDs all the time now, because under the right supervision, its good for you. They need to just allow it, but keep it regulated by doctors so that its done safely.

  17. Mantle28 says:

    So… anyone see/listen to the new Louis CK album?


  18. Mister Delaware says:

    I don’t get it. These are the same voters who know which HoF candidates shouldn’t get a vote because of past PED maybe-usage.

  19. Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

    Know who was never caught with PEDs? BRIAN F’NG BRUNEY.

    In hindsight, loved that guy. Probably wouldn’t have said that during the heights of his inconsistency.

  20. Virgil Earp says:

    There needs to be an up or down revote for MVP and we need to get these writers on record, who’s a hypocrite and who’s not? The hypocrites will still vote Braun MVP knowing this while at the same time keeping all time greats out of the HOF. Matt Kemp should win and justice will be served.

  21. mustang says:

    Ryan Braun= Most Valuable Performance-enhancing drug user.

    Dumb ass is not even smart enough to get around the Mickey Mouse MLB drug test when he cheats.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      So he fails the test during the playoffs and you want to take his regular season award away? If a cop pulls you over for speeding, should he also give you a ticket for the previous day because come on, who only speeds that one time?

      • mustang says:

        I guess you are right but I still can’t see how anyone who loves this game can be so indifferent about players who cheat in it.

        That’s just my opinion.

      • FIn says:

        Come on. THe playoffs are an extension of the regular season. If he gets caught in the playoffs, it is a fact he was using them during the regular season, not just an assumption. I dont care about PED’s personally. I think they make sports better. However, your argument is rediculas.

        • whozat says:

          No, it’s not. And you’re presumed innocent in this country. If you have proof he was using in the regular season, Ok. He’ll get his 50 game suspension next season as per the rules. As is…he’ll get his 50 game suspension next season, as per the rules.

          So…the same exact thing will happen, no matter when he was using or not, pursuant to the rules of major league baseball. The game has always been dirty. Segregation, amphetamines, steroids, HGH…there is no golden age where everyone was clean. So, you can hate all major league baseball that has ever been played because it was rife with cheating, or you can decide you don’t care that all major league baseball that has ever been played was rife with cheating and just enjoy it.

          And, by the way, if you decide to hate baseball forever…then stop enjoying the NFL as well :-)

          • Mister Delaware says:

            Rediculas response.

          • FIn says:

            LMAO, the proof is he was caught in under a month after the regular season ended. U dont start using PED’s a day before u need the results. THey are long term drugs, requiring repetitive use to get results. Saying there is no proof he used them during the regular season, is the most assine argument i have ever heard. This assuming he doesnt, indeed have some sort of reasonable explanation how he tested positive.

      • Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

        You cannot take that away because then you would have to take about 3-4 from Barry Bonds.

  22. ryan says:

    If the Brewers lose Braun for 50 games, and without Fielder next year, they look to be pretty awful..

    Any chance this opens them up to trade Greinke, Marcum, or Gallardo?

  23. Rick says:

    Love where your head is at… I was just thinking wow they’re really f’d if they lose Prince as well. Chances Bud Selig makes it though the night?

  24. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Look to Mustang’s points, Mustang and I disagree on a lot. However, I’ll be more civil here. Steroid users and HGH users use these things to help them recover faster. So they do this stuff so that they can work harder. Steroids don’t work if you’re lazy. So while I understand where he’s coming from about the rules, yes they’re there and you have to follow him; I don’t think it’s such a front to the game. Steroids allow users’ muscles to recover faster so that they can work them harder. Anyone that’s willing to get an edge on the competition or do whatever they can to win is okay in my book.

    • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

      My issue with it is that from the perspective you lay out, which on the whole I find reasonable (particularly for hgh, somewhat less so for steroids) is that in that regard they are no different from aspirin, ibuprofen, contact lenses, etc. Basically anything not already naturally occurring in/on your body. 50 years from now when hgh usage is broadly established in the general population the way ibu is today, I’m pretty sure they’ll allow it in baseball. And might we not all feel quite silly then about all this drama?

  25. Dino Velvet says:

    Maybe the Brewers will sign Manny to fill in during Braun’s suspension.

  26. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    From The Textbook of Endocrinology, Edited by Robert M. Williams, M.D., WBSaunders Co.On HGH:Promotes the deposition of protein, carbohydrate, and waqter and loss of fat…In that sense it may help the healing process but I never saw it used that way during my 42 yrs as a practicing physician. I saw it used to increase short stature by 4-5cm in short children. Another bad effect of HGH is that it increases blood sugar and fat deposition in the liver. Long term use can cause growth of hands, feet and jaw what is called acromegalia.

  27. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    More things to say about cheating in baseball. While using PEDs is one form that is illegal there is one that is allowed by MLB. This where the Colorado Rockies are allowed to alter the baseball by allowing it to acquire more moisture: the so called humidifier. It can be interpreted as legalized cheating.

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