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Brian Bruney ( 1982 - )  Category ( Sports_Figures ) [suggest a correction]
 

For Brian Bruney, the issue has always been control.

Throughout his baseball career, the native of Astoria, OR has flashed the weapons to be an effective major league relief pitcher, notably an upper-90s fastball and a mid-80s curveball. At times, he has enjoyed some personal highlights while working for the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Yankees.

In a sport obsessed with statistics, however, Bruney can't avoid the number 6.3 -- denoting the batters he has walked per nine innings.

That wildness reached its peak (or its depths) in his second season with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005, when he negated a strong rookie effort (a 4.31 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 31 innings) by ballooning to a 7.43 ERA. In May of 2006, Bruney was "designated for assignment" (cut) and cast adrift until he signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees.

After being retrieved from the Yankees Triple A farm team in Columbus, Bruney pitched well in 2006 and 2007. He came to spring training in 2008 20 poundsl lighter, then fractured a bone in his foot that caused him to miss most of the season.

2009 provided a Bruney revival, however, as he posted a 3.92 ERA for the Yankees and was named to the World Series roster. The Yankees apparently viewed this as an increase in market value, trading him to the Washington Nationals, for whom he has the opportunity to be the closer in 2010.

As a Yankee, Bruney gained perhaps more attention with his mouth than his arm. In June of 2009, he told reporters that New York Mets' closer Francisco Rodriguez had "a tired act" and that watching Rodriguez pitch "embarrasses me."

The reference was to Rodriguez's habit on pointing to the sky and pounding his chest whenever he registers a save.

"I'm not going to get into a media war with K-Rod," Bruney said. "He's had a great career. He set the save record and besides, he doesn't know who I am. So it doesn't matter what I think.

"I stand by what I said. I don't know that it makes any difference, since the guy's never heard of me. He may be a great dude, I don't know. I've never met him. "I was taught to play the game a different way and you won't see me doing those kinds of things."

Bruney also got into an exchange of words with MLB Network broadcaster Harold Reynolds when Reynolds said the Yankees didn't have any effective setup man for Mariano Rivera.

Born Feb. 17, 1982 in Astoria, Bruney once appeared as an extra in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "Kindergarten Cop" and worked briefly on a crab boat off the Oregon coast. He was drafted by the Diamondbacks out of Warrenton (ORE) High School in 2000.


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