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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Bruney’

How can anyone question whether the Yankees or better or not? Some are debating the topic, and I’m looking to settle the argument.

Gone: Hideki Matsui, Chien-Ming Wang, Jerry Hairston Jr., Brian Bruney, Austin Jackson, Melky Cabrera, Phil Coke, Shelley Duncan, Eric Hinske, Mike Dunn, Arodys Vizcaino

Newcomers: Curtis Granderson, Javier Vazquez, Nick Johnson, Boone Logan, Jamie Hoffman, Reid Gorecki, Royce Ring, and David Winfree

Still up in the air: Johnny Damon

Let’s do a quick overview:

The Goners

  • If Matsui didn’t have the postseason he had, nobody would be crying if he left us. You have to judge him based on his regular season. He was nothing spectacular during the regular season, and he locks up the DH spot since he can’t play the field at all with his knee problems. This is coming from a fan of his. He is one of those players you respect in the game, but you need to know when to cut your ties.
  • Chien-Ming Wang fell off the charts dramatically. The guy has thrown only 137 innings over the past two years. He went (W-L) 1-6 with a 9.64ERA last season. What makes you think he can pitch right now? He was a 19-game winner. Not anymore.
  • Hairston, Bruney, Cabrera, Coke, Duncan and Dunn will not be missed. As for Hinske..we could use him, but he’s not a major loss.

The Newcomers

  • Curtis Granderson is taking over centerfield. He brings another power bat to the lineup, more speed, and serves as a defensive upgrade in the outfield.
  • Javier Vazquez will take the 4th slot in the rotation. He didn’t fair so well with the Yanks his first time around, but can you give him another chance? This guy could be an ace on many major league ball clubs. Power pitchers are key in the playoffs…just remember that.
  • Nick Johnson walked 17.8% of the time in ’09, which was the highest percentage in the major leagues. His .426 on base percentage was second-best in the league to Albert Pujols. Enough said? Don’t give me that..”Oh..he’s going to get injured.” You never know how the season will go. You can’t predict injuries. How did A.J. Burnett do last season?
  • The club also brought in a young bunch of players: Boone Logan, Jamie Hoffman, Reid Gorecki, Royce Ring, and David Winfree. Hoffman will compete for an outfield spot come Spring Training.

and those still up in the air

  • Johnny Damon is still undecided where he is going to play next season. His options are running out, and there is still a chance he can return to the Yankees. Let’s wait and see what happens.

This off-season, the Yankees basically got rid of players that were over the hill, had injury problems, weren’t anything special at the major league level, and some prospects that haven’t proven a damn thing. Instead, they brought in an all-star center fielder, a pitcher that could be an ace on many ball clubs and a DH that finished behind Pujols in OBP last year. This team should be stronger than last year’s. I am well aware that things don’t always work out, but this team is clearly better on paper. Now, let’s see if they can do it on the field.

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Darryl Strawberry is going to appear on ‘Apprentice’. “No, the former Mets and Yankees slugger isn’t up for a front-office position, but something a bit more television-friendly. It was revealed Monday by NBC that Strawberry, 47, is one of the cast members in the next season of “Celebrity Apprentice,” entrepreneur Donald Trump’s reality show that begins airing in March after the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.”

LoHud.com’s Chad Jennings wonders if the Yankees’ lineup would seem better if Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner swapped positions, since Granderson has the power of a corner outfielder and Gardner has the speed of a center fielder.

The agent for Chien-Ming Wang told 1050 ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand that he has heard from 15 teams, whom are interested in Wang.

Blomberg wants to do radio. He  joined Ed Randall on WFAN radio and fell in love with the microphone, opening another potential avenue for the 61-year-old who for years has had a hand in everything from motivational speaking, to scouting for the Yankees, to running sports camps for youths in New Jersey. “I want to do radio,” says Blomberg, who was taken by the Bombers with the first pick of the 1967 draft and spent seven of his eight major league seasons in pinstripes. “It’s a natural thing, I love to talk to people and talk baseball.”

Bruney loves his facial hair. “I can finally grow some facial hair after four years,” he said. “That’s great. That was one of the first things I thought about. When I was traded, I said, ‘Wow, finally, I can grow a beard.’”

David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution believes that if his price tag drops to well below $10MM, Johnny Damon could be a good fit for the Braves.

Strikeouts on the rise for Sanchez. “In his last four regular season appearances with Scranton, Sanchez had 22 strikeouts in 18.1 innings. During the Triple-A playoffs, he had 17 strikeouts in 10 innings. This winter in Venezuela, Sanchez has 47 strikeouts in 33 innings (his previous three winters combined he had just 22 strikeouts in 34.1 innings).”

Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues wants the Yankees to stay away from free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd. 

Randy Johnson announces retirement. “I would like to officially announce my retirement. I’ve taken this long because I definitely wanted to kind of relax from the season being over and make sure I had a clear head when I made this decision, and that I would be making it wholeheartedly, and that I would stick with it. Without a doubt, 100 percent, I will be retiring at this time.”

Bay: “I just kind of assumed Damon would be back”. “I didn’t really see them having a hole,” Bay said. “They moved some guys, and I just kind of assumed Damon was going to be back. I just never really gave it a lot of thought to be honest.”

The Misery Tenor. The Yankees have moved on and they have no plans for Ronan Tynan to sing during the 7th inning stretch at future home games.

A-Rod still has Madonna on his mind. “Actress Kate Hudson reportedly dumped sportsman Alex Rodriguez, her boyfriend of nine-months, because he is still obsessed with Madonna.” (more…)

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Wrapping up the first day of ther Winter Meetings:

-Pete Caldera reports that Andy Pettitte can expect an offer of over $10 million when the Yanks make their formal pitch to the 37-year-old lefty, according to a source familiar with the club’s thinking.

-John Heyman reports that Johnny Damon is another Yankees priority and they are expected to offer about $20 million over two years to keep him. Yankees’ backup plans are: for pitcher, Pineiro and Wolf; and for outfielder, Mike Cameron, Jermaine Dye, Curtis Granderson and possibly Byrd.

-According to Marc Carig, the team “told entire coaching staff that they’d be offered jobs again.”

-Joel Sherman reports, both the Yankees and Mets have interest in Kelvim Escobar. He might pitch in Venezuela in December to show his health.

-According to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, the Mariners, Giants, Mets, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Orioles, and Yankees are interested in Nick Johnson.

-Tyler Kepner reports that the Yanks interested in Chapman, but at less than $15 mill

Chad Jennings has a ton of updates for us:

-Just talked to a source who seems to agree with most of the conventional thinking that’s floating around. He sees the Yankees going after Johnny Damon but letting Hideki Matsui slide, he sees Andy Pettitte as an early key to the Yankees offseason, and he’d rather keep Phil Hughes and give up Joba Chamberlain in a trade for Roy Halladay. He also has some Red Sox notes for us: (more…)

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And the first deal during the Winter Meetings is Brian Bruney to the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later. Yup, did not see this coming, not until rumors this morning at least. Talk about a swing of luck, going from the best team in baseball to arguably the worst team. While I would have hoped for the Yankees to keep him, I am not sad at his departure, especially with Joba or Phil able to fill the 8th inning duties.

No chance this ‘player to be named later’ is Stephen Strasburg, is there?

I wonder if this will be the only time a World Series ring will be given to a member of the Washington Nationals in Nationals Stadium…

Update: Zell’s Take: Supposedly, there was a rumor going around that Brian Bruney might be traded to the Atlanta Braves in return for some prospects. It’s hard to imagine that they would need him beside Wagner, Saito, and Soriano in their bullpen. A team interested in Bruney contacted the Yanks, and was told “he is going to the Braves.”

It turned out that the rumor was false, and he is in fact being shipped to the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later. Bruney had a great power arm, but it really didn’t translate into a successful season for him.

He made $1.25 million this season and lost the setup man role because of his poor pitching. This year, Bruney would have likely gotten a raise on his $1.25 million, so this is another way for the Yankees to shave some payroll.

Overall, the numbers he put up since joining the Yankees aren’t all that bad. He had a great 2008 campaign before landing on the DL, posting a 1.83ERA through 34.1IP and struck out 33 batters. I thought he would be more of a “bulldog” out of the pen in big spots and we just didn’t see enough of that.

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The Hot Stove keeps getting hotter….

According to SI’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees are entering the mix for Roy Halladay. Toronto Blue Jays GM, Alex Anthopoulos, has stated that he is willing to trade within the division.

Freddy Guzman and Josh Towers were removed from the Yankees 40-man roster. Brian Cashman has said that both players have elected free agency.

The Detroit Tigers are letting the league know that their center fielder, Curtis Granderson, is available. New York Post’s Joel Sherman believes that the Yankees would have interest. I would definitely like the Yankees to go after a guy like him, but what would they have to give up? Austin Jackson could definitely be a possibility. You guys willing to part with him?

Could the Bombers let Wang go? According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees  “will be very cautious” with pitcher Chien-Ming Wang. That’s understandable, considering his recent injury problems and there is a quite a bit of questioning on whether or not he can still compete at this level. The team has always gone year-to-year with him, so this is a routine procedure with him.

Scott Boras is at it again with his big mouth. comparing Damon to Jeter and Holliday to Teixeira? Oh God. Is he kidding me? Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that Scott Boras “sounded as if he wants a three- or four-year deal for Johnny Damon”.  Sherman doesn’t know whether Boras is willing to have Damon take less than the $13MM salary Damon made the last four seasons. It would definitely be nice to have Damon back, but the Yankees could do without him. Johnny needs the Yankees more than they need him. The team can just as easily go out on the market and buy a player if they wanted to. At this point in Damon’s career, he should just be trying to win more championships..and in New York he has the best opportunity to do that. (more…)

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Cliff Lee was amazing tonight, the offense was horrible, and the bullpen couldn’t get the job done when they were called upon.

CC Sabathia pitched seven solid innings, allowing two earned runs and didn’t get one run of support from his offense.You can give credit to Cliff Lee because he pitched really well, but the Yankees didn’t look good at the plate at all. CC’s line was: L, 7IP 4H 2R 2ER 3BB 6K. Phil Hughes come on in relief and couldn’t record a damn out. It’s very frustrating to watch him struggle, considering he was so good for us throughout the season. He wound up walking two batters and left the game without recording an out.

Damaso Marte was brought into the game and recorded two outs without giving up a run. David Robertson came on in and tried to get the last out of the inning, but instead he gave up a walk to the first batter he faced. D-Rob gave up a single, scoring two runs which were both charged to Phil Hughes.

Briany Bruney entered the game in the 9th inning and was absolutely dreadful. The guy gave up 2 runs on three hits, and was replaced by Phil Coke. Coke recorded the last two outs of the 9th with no problem at all.

The Yankees had a total of 6 hits on the game. Derek Jeter had 3 hits, which was half of the offensive production. Damon, Posada, and Matsui each had a hit on the game. Sad, isn’t it? That’s all the offense we saw today.

It’s definitely disappointing to lose the first game of the series, especially when your ace was on the hill. This was an even pitching match up, and I thought either team could’ve taken this one. Cliff Lee made the Yankees look like little leaguers and it was painful to watch.

We saw the 1996 Yankees come back from 2-0 in the series against the Braves, so why can’t these Yankees come back? These guys have done nothing but fight back day-after-day. (Game#1 of ’96 Series: Atlanta Braves – 12, New York Yankees – 1) Girardi has to rally his troops…

There’s always another day in this game. That’s whats great about it. Tomorrow the Yankees will head back onto the field in the Bronx, as A.J. Burnett will face off against Pedro “Who’s your daddy?” Martinez in Game#2. Should be a fun night in the Bronx. Remember guys..this is a best out of seven series. “It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over”- Yogi Berra (more…)

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     Bob Sheppard was on Ed Randall’s radio show this morning on WFAN. It was quite a surprise to hear from him. We haven’t heard from him for a long time now, so it’s good to hear that he’s doing well and getting better. He lost a lot of weight while he was sick, but he is back at “good fighting weight.” He was told by his doctor that when he reached 145 lbs, he would be able to go back to work. He said his current weight is 145.5 lbs. That’s great to hear. Now all he needs to do is work on his stamina. There would be nothing more fitting then having Mr. Sheppard announce the lineup in the first game at the new stadium.

     This is some of the best news I’ve heard in a long time. I can’t wait for his return…

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Odds and Ends on Posada, Brackman and Bruney / This Week in Yankee History 

Sunday in the park / AT 39 AND OFF SURGERY, RIVERA NO SURE THING

MITRE NOT UPSET HE GETS 50 DAYS WHILE A-ROD CAN PLAY

For Joba Chamberlain, best place is Yankee bullpen

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     The cover story of the latest issue of Sports Illustrated is Alex Rodriguez. No surprise at all. The magazine hits newsstands now. The printed story is an extended piece of the origional article released this past week. This story won’t die for a long time. It will even last for years after Alex is retired. When you are a such a big star…on the biggest stage in the world..you are going to get this kind of attention. I think I might need to go get a copy of SI, even though it’s a really sad story. It’s one of the biggest stories in my lifetime.

     I am getting sick and tired of all these A-Rod stories. I mean..I have seen the name “A-Rod” everywhere I go. Let’s not forget that the Yankees are a team, and not an individual player. I rather talk about the Yankees winning the 2009 World Series. That’s what it will all be about when it’s all said and done at the end of the year. It’s time we get back to business.

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The Many (Awkward) Faces Of Alex Rodriguez / Congress to leave A-Rod alone

Angels and Abreu agree to one-year deal / A-Rod is talk of MLB after admission

Experts see body of lies with A-Rod / Girardi: Now is a time to shine

Bruney, Albaladejo and Posada / Wednesday’s A-Rod Opinions

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     It looks like Alex is not in the country. So Alex was confronted by Selena Roberts about these steroid allegations in Miami and then leaves the country? Scott Boras said that Alex will issue a statement soon.

From the Associated Press:

Major League Baseball and the players union issued statements Saturday, refusing to confirm or deny the report on Rodriguez, citing player confidentiality.

Scott Boras, Rodriguez’s agent, said Saturday that Rodriguez was out of the country but would issue a response “as we go forward.” SI.com reported that, when it asked for comment, Rodriguez said: “You’ll have to talk to the union.”

and along with that…Brian Bruney backs A-Rod:

While the team’s front office had nothing to say about Sports Illustrated‘s report that A-Rod failed a drug test in 2003, Yankees reliever Brian Bruney threw all of his support behind his teammate.

“We’re all very supportive of all our teammates,” Bruney said. “Alex has no reason to do anything like that. I’ve seen firsthand – as I’m sure everyone has – how hard Alex works. I don’t believe it. That’s where I stand. I honestly don’t believe it.”

Bruney said the SI report, which cited four anonymous sources, had “no backbone,” and until he heard who was making the claims, he chooses not to believe the story.

“It’s unfortunate that something like this comes out with no backbone on it,” Bruney said. “Alex, honestly, is the hardest worker I’ve ever seen in any sport. It’s pretty impressive to see how he works and takes care of himself, what he eats. He’s kind of like a robot. He already is the best player to ever play this game, in my opinion, and he would have no reason to do anything like that.”

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     I shared my thoughts on the state of the Yankees over the last five years over at WasWatching.com. This is what I had to say:

From those who were 19 years old or younger when the Yankees last won a ring in 2000:

From Kevin of Zell’s Pinstripe Blog answering the question “How would you describe the state of the Yankees over the the last five years?” –

Over the last five years the New York Yankees have gone after the wrong players. It’s not bad to go after big name players, but you need to go after the right guys. Sheffield over Guerrero? Big Unit over Beltran? The Yankees won in the 1990’s with clutch players who were hungry to win. They weren’t all about the big bucks. The idea over the last five years was to buy everyone they could. I don’t blame the organization for trying to get the Yankees back on top, but spend the money wisely. Don’t just get a player just for the sake of bringing in a big name. Get a player who will help benefit the team and is devoted to winning a World Series ring. Some other mistakes they made…Kevin Brown, Jaret Wright, Javier Vazquez, Raul Mondesi, Kei Igawa, Clemens. (in ‘07) These moves just didn’t make sense. The Yankees finally made the right moves this off-season. They brought in the two best pitchers out on the free agent market. (Sabathia, Burnett) They obtained Mark Teixeira to play first base, which is a big upgrade over Jason Giambi. They finally have a legitimate top of the line rotation, and have depth in the minor leagues. They haven’t had that for a long time now. They improved their defense as well. They have a gold glove winning player at first base, and they will have either Gardy/Melky playing in CF over Damon. If this isn’t the year they win it all, then I don’t know when it will come…

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 67 Days Until Home Opener: April 16, 2009

4 Days, 22 Hours Until Pitchers & Catchers Report

Angels, Yanks have big holes to fill / The Yankees’ rise and fall

Swisher, Bruney shed pounds this offseason / Rice Struck Fear Into Yankees

To Brian Cashman, ‘A-Fraud’ no real worry for Alex Rodriguez / Ball Four

Game used Staten Island Yankees jerseys available / Canseco looks ‘Vindicated’

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      Here are some of the latest photos taken of the new ballpark. The entrances to the ballpark look amazing. It’s better then I ever imagined it would be. I want to thank Wikipedia, YanksRule & yankies4life from Baseball-Fever for the photos.

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Rick Peterson: Understanding why young pitchers get hurt

Yankee Stadium Steel construction / Brian Bruney fit for Yankees’ pen

Has Yanks’ Competition Risen Or Have Yanks Fallen? / Yanks Team Report

Lighter Swisher ready to join New York Yankees / “I’m a starter, morons”

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     Jason Giambi was talked about in Joe Torre’s new book, but not really in a bad bad way. Torre said that Giambi was a “defensive liability” in the field, but that is so true. Jason didn’t have any problem with it either. He said:

 “I’m OK with it. I knew what my job was. I came to New York to drive in runs.”

     Giambi is a very likable guy. He has a great personality and was very open with the media.

He had a few other things to say as well:

 “It’s definitely hurtful,” he told me. “When you play together that long, you’re family. There’s a certain trust involved. We were always like ‘keep everything in-house, especially in New York with that media.’ I was surprised to hear that he was writing a book … he meant so much to that town. But from his point of view you can respect it. He had to get things off his chest,” referring to Torre’s bitter exit from the Yankees.

“Look, he’s a great manager, he really is. I haven’t talked to Joe about the book yet … someday.”

When I asked if writing the book violated the trust of his former team, Giambi said, “That’s hard to answer. We were all going in the same direction, we were a family. I can see how other guys will be hurt by it.”

     Giambi was a guy that everyone liked in the clubhouse. It seems like he has mixed feelings on the situation. He likes Torre a lot, and thinks he is a great manager, but at the same time he believes that some people might be hurt by some of the things he said.

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 Torre on Letterman: ‘A-Fraud’ just a running joke / Derek Jeter’s Next Contract

Guidry’s suggestion to Yanks on Joba: Make up your mind / Jeter’s contract

Impressions of Joe Torre’s book / Brian Bruney fit for Yankees’ pen

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