Monday, June 15, 2009

Jim Baumbach Needs To Work On His Columns

That is the title of a column written by Newsday's Jim Baumbach. With Bruney poised to return from the DL shortly, perhaps you would interpret that to mean that he literally needs to work on his pitching motion, which he probably does. It does not.

Bruney needs to work on his delivery
Jim Baumbach
10:13 PM EDT, June 14, 2009

The funniest part about that quote, of course, is that Brian Bruney started this war with Francisco Rodriguez by doing the exact opposite.

What quote, Jim? It's the first sentence of the article and I'm already lost. Do you mean the headline? Because that's neither a "quote", nor "funny". What would be the "exact opposite" of working on one's delivery? Was Bruney was practicing his receiving?

So while Bruney respects the Mets closer for going shoulder to shoulder with him in the outfield during batting practice and yelling at him, perhaps the real question here is this:

Does Brian Bruney respect Brian Bruney?

What is/are the other question(s) you are alluding to which necessitate you to refer to your question as the "real" one? My question is actually this: Why did you insist on typing out Brian Bruney the second time instead of just saying "himself"?

Whether you agree with Bruney that K-Rod's celebrations are "embarrassing" and a "tired act," as Bruney told reporters after his rehab appearance in Trenton on Saturday, is not the point. The fact remains, Bruney's verbal attack was completely unprovoked and downright unnecessary.

I agree with this in principle, but I never heard such faux media outrage when other players were attacking Joba's fistpumping. Joba was destroying the integrity of the game with his unsportsmanlike showmanship, but any commentary on K-Rod's histrionics are "downright unnecessary"?

Hey, I'm all for a war of words through the media, because let's face it, on this topic, I'm 100 percent biased. If a Yankee wants to rip another Met, or vice versa, I have my recorder ready.

We know, Jim. You are ready to mail in a half-assed column on a "war of words" in a tenth of a second, because it keeps you from having to write about anything insightful. And I'm more than willing to do a line by line critique of it because it's easier than coming up with original material, so we are on the same side.

But you always must look at the person who's doing the criticizing, and take that into consideration, as well. If Mariano Rivera, Dennis Eckersley or, heck, John Franco, even, said those same words, then wow!

Way to undermine the importance of your entire article.

But Bruney? Try staying off the disabled list for 62 straight days before you start questioning the on-field behavior of the guy who set the major-league single-season record with 62 saves.

If you didn't rely entirely on a trite numeric device, you would have a point here. Bruney avoided the DL for well over 62 straight days in 2007. That's not really saying much, aside from the fact that Baumbach's original 62 days/62 saves set up was lazy and stupid.

At least he realized he made a mistake, admitted as much after Sunday's game and also didn't escalate matters when K-Rod went after him during batting practice.

For those keeping score at home, this is the 8th paragraph of the column and none have been over two sentences long.

Should Rodriguez have simply responded, "Who's Brian Bruney?" and leave it at that? You can make that case, sure. But I don't have a problem with him going on the offensive.

Let me see if I understand you correctly, Jim. Brian Bruney's verbal attack (which you didn't disagree with) was unnecessary, but K-Rod excaserbating the situation by actually confronting him in the outfield over it and having to be physically restrained by a teammate, that you agree with? Gotcha.

From the video, Rodriguez clearly let Bruney have it - verbally, not physically - before being ushered away by teammate Mike Pelfrey.

And Bruney, to his credit, stood there and accepted it, rather than open his mouth and say something else stupid. "He had some things he had to say," Bruney said, "and I'll leave it at that."

Please watch the video again, Jim. Bruney did not just stand there an accept it. Words were exchanged from both sides.

Hours later, both players said their tiff was over, and rightfully so.

This is over when Jim Baumbach says it's over.

As Mets infielder Alex Cora correctly pointed out, it's not like either pitcher will get a chance to drill the other with a pitch.

"They're two relievers," Cora said. "What are they going to do?"

Yell at each other in the outfield during BP?

After the first installment of Subway Series games, we've learned a few things about these teams. Luis Castillo should use two hands on pop-ups. The Yankees can't hit unknowns but do just fine against Cy Young Award winners. And Bruney really should start thinking before he talks.

We've learned a few things by reading this column. Any complaints about K-Rod's spastic victory celebrations are "downright unnecessary". Jim Baumbach looks forward to writing about trival bullshit.

And he loves one sentence paragraphs.

Remember, this is a guy who Saturday admitted he was lying when he told his bosses earlier this year his elbow felt good.

That doesn't indicate that he wasn't thinking before he spoke.

Admirable? Please.

Group these two one-words sentences into another paragraph? Please.

Days later, he was back on the DL and the Yankees were without their eighth-inning pitcher.

AHHHHHH! Maybe that was why he didn't want to tell them him elbow hurt in the first place, you dick. If he had told them eariler, they would have lost their eighth inning pitcher even sooner.

As K-Rod went looking for Bruney Sunday, he was asking teammates: "Is that him? Is that him?" Their one-sided chat lasted no more than a few seconds, and Bruney came away impressed.

"I heard he's a good dude," Bruney said. "I'm sure he is. It wasn't anything personal."

Okay, what? He "came away impressed" from K-Rod verbally assaulting him in the outfield?

Nothing personal? Ha! The question posed to Bruney was about the crazy end to Friday night's game, and he responded by offering this gem: "Couldn't have happened to a better guy on the mound, either. He's got a tired act."

Hmmm, I think you might have wanted to introduce the quote that sparked this entire feud a little earlier in the story, no?

Sunday, Bruney saw the Hunterdon County Democrat reporter who asked that question, and sarcastically thanked him for creating the stir.

Later, he turned his ire to the reporters surrounding him.

"I think it is ridiculous," Bruney said, "that this is a big story."

Joke's on us, I guess, for lending any credibility to his words.

Yes. Yes it is Jim. But thank you for acknowledging as much at the very end of your 600 word column which ran after the entire scenario had already played out.


  1. I for one, think that Jim Baumbach's column was thoughtful and well-written. Bruney has no right to say those things about one of the best closers in the game when he is a second rater who calls the DL his home. It was also nice to see how none of the Yankees came over until way after Krod started yelling at him. True Yankee pride folks! Keep showing that team spirit! Best quote ever:
    "It was cool," outfielder Ryan Church said. "Frankie walked right up to him and got right in his face. And the kid didn't say a thing."

  2. I am just glad the Red Sox stink when they are not playing the Yankees folks!

  3. I hate histrionics on a baseball diamond. It's why I like and respect Tim Wakefield, but despise Jonathan Papelbon. It's why I love Phil Hughes, and why I'm only lukewarm on Joba Chamberlain. K-Rod is just another one of these big phony, asshole tough guy ballplayers. I'm not saying it was right for Bruney to make that comment about him. If Bruney was asked his specific opinion on it, that's one thing; if he just offered it up, well, I'd say it was a bad idea to say anything. But still...the correct response from someone like K-Rod would be to laugh and say something like "who's Brian Burney?" [Intentionally mis-pronouncing, by the way.] Can you see Rivera getting upset if some journeyman pitcher criticized him? Laughable. K-Rod is a good baseball player. His demeanor on the field suggests he thinks he's a little better and a little more important than he really is.