In an article that suggests the Yankees would use Joba Chamberlain to close if Mariano Rivera was unable to pitch (can they ever just leave this issue alone?), Joel Sherman has some telling quotes from Brian Bruney:
That is unless Bruney makes people forget about Chamberlain in the eighth inning, thus earning the right to try the ninth, if need be.
“I don’t give a [spit] about that,” Bruney said of proving the Yanks don’t need Chamberlain in the pen. “I am here to help the team win a World Series. I am not Joba, so I am not worried about Joba. Anyone who thinks Joba should be in the eighth, that is their business. The team is counting on me in the eighth inning.”
“Without sounding like Terrell Owens here, I know I have good stuff,” Bruney said. “I have an upper-90s fastball, upper-80s breaking ball and a good changeup. People wish they had my stuff. But I have to attack the strike zone. The count has to be 1-2, not 2-1. If that means throwing 93 [mph], not 97, I have to do that.”
“My ideal situation is to be a closer,” Bruney said. “I want that pressure situation. I want the toughest job. It not only pays better, but I like being out there with stuff on the line. I am not saying I want to take Mariano’s job. I just see myself as a closer one day. That is why this [year] is such a big step for later in my career.”
Wow. Bruney looked like a back of the bullpen type following 2007, as his poor control and often erratic command would continually bite him at inopportune moments. However, he rededicated himself to the game and has lost 40 pounds since that time. He looked very strong when healthy in 2008, and he should be a suitable member of a late game rotation with Damaso Marte. Ultimately, he will never be a closer due to his control issues. However, it is good to see that he has the mentality necessary to pitch in big spots.
What kind of season do you expect from Brian Bruney?
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