Sunday, June 14, 2009

My thoughts on the Francisco Rodriguez-Brian Bruney feud

There was a whole to-do this morning, with a pre-game confrontation between Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Bruney. The Mets' closer had to be restrained by teammates from going after the Yankees' reliever.

Here's the thing - until he looked like he was going to shove Bruney, I actually think Rodriguez was in the right. While I'm as sick of Rodriguez's "tired act" as Bruney is - the Mets' closer makes Joba Chamberlain look like a wallflower - I think Bruney should be concentrating on getting back on the Yankees, and not making unprovoked verbal attacks on Met players. And this quote was a bit much. Bruney said the following after Francisco (I'm still refusing to call him K-Rod) got the loss:

"[It] couldn't have happened to a better guy on the mound, either," Bruney said. "He's got a tired act. ... He gets what he deserves, man. I just don't like watching the guy pitch. I think it's embarrassing."

Rodriguez responded twice yesterday. First, he said this before the game:
"He needs to keep his mouth shut and do his job,” Rodriguez said. “If he was a big guy, I’d probably pay attention. If he was somebody big like Mariano, I’d respect that. But if I don’t know who he is, I just don’t listen.”
After Saturday's game, the Met closer, whose celebration - for once - was relatively subdued after the Mets' win, threw this high hard one at Bruney:

“Instead of sending a message through the paper, next time when he sees me at Citi Field come up to me and say it to my face. Don’t be sending a message through the media. I don’t even know who that guy is. Somewhere in Double-A? I believe he hasn’t even pitched one full season. He’s always been on the DL. That’s all I know right now.”

Even though he's my least favorite Met, I gotta give Rodriguez credit here. Both quotes are classic. He was able to make Bruney look dopey just with these rejoinders. And unlike Brad Penny's slam on Joe Girardi, Rodriguez didn't need to use profanity to get his point across.

Francisco should have left the situation at that. But instead, when Bruney went to talk to him today, as per his own challenget, Rodriguez got heated and had to be restrained.

Bruney may be a nobody, but Rodriguez losing his cool like that doesn't make him look good. The Met closer wasn't a good closer when it comes to this feud.

At any rate, this is one of the sillier contretemps of the year. But nonetheless, it is entertaining!

Whose side are you on - Brian Bruney or Francisco Rodriguez? Tell us about it!


"Nutball Gazette" said...

For the most part I side with K-Rod, But he should have just said nothing and walked away from Bruney today.
Bruney was a total idiot for saying anything in the 1st place.

Chris said...

Even though he is one on my favorite Mets, I don't agree with the way Francisco handled it. Very un-professional for Bruney to bad mouth him to the media like that though. Jealousy maybe? I never saw Francisco's fist pumps as 'sticking it to the loser'. I always kinda saw it more as excitement & adrenaline from an emotional guy who has the right to be proud of himself.

Metstradamus said...

Frankie probably overreacted today, but I thought what he said was correct. Bruney really shouldn't throw stones from rehab, especially after he was a terrible closer for Arizona.

Ironic that it was Mike Pelfrey who played peacemaker?

Anonymous said...

I've made my allegiance clear in a previous post, but Krod did overdo it a bit today. I admire the fight in him though, just like with Johan and the youklis thing. In the past these players talk about "saying it to my face", well today, right or wrong, Krod backed it up. It is too bad his team didn't show the same fight today! what an a$$ whooping!! ouch! although it still doesn't hurt as much as fridays loss.

Uncle Mike said...

My team bias aside, K-Rod should have had the moral high ground, since A, he's a proven great reliever, and B, he has something very few Met fans of the last 20 years have had, something Bruney doesn't have yet: A World Series ring. (2002 Angels)

Before he went berserk about it, he had the right reaction: "Who's he?"

Many years ago -- hard to believe I'm using THAT phrase in connection with the New Jersey Devils -- John MacLean (now an assistant coach with them) made the All-Star team, and an opponent (I forget who) asked whose tush he'd kissed to get on said team. Johnny Mac, a borderline Hall-of-Famer, asked the other guy whose HE kissed just to get into the league. Same deal when somebody was whining against Patrick Roy: "I can't hear you, I've got my Stanley Cup rings in my ears."

But no, K-Rod had to go and act like exactly what Bruney said he is. He had the moral high ground as if it was an easy popup from A-Rod in the 9th inning -- and, unlike Luis Castillo, instead of dropping it, he threw it away.

Bleat the Mets.

She-Fan said...

This whole thing boils down to....Should pitchers celebrate on the mound after a win or a big strikeout? We're really talking about Joba here. Or Papelbon. Or any of the guys who do it now. Personally, I've always found K-Rod's act annoying, but I can't very well complain about it with our own pitcher performing his own theatrics.

Anonymous said...

Moral high ground? come on grandpa, we're talking about baseball players here, not clergy men. (insert remark here)

Uncle Mike said...

KM, have you heard that Mariano Rivera -- a better pitcher than the Mets have ever had, and that includes the "terrific" Fresno wine guy who now seems to outweigh Rusty Staub -- has often talked about entering the ministry after he's done pitching (which he's not)? So maybe we ARE talking about clergymen here.

But then, when would you ever know about the moral high ground?

Cesar said...

We could all sit here and say K-Rod was wrong (and I totally agree), but put yourself in his shoes: if someone talks smack about you without saying it directly to you and you see him a day or two later, of course you're going to confront him face to face with a chip on your shoulder. It wasn't right, but I don't blame K-Rod for stepping up to Bruney.

Personally, what K-Rod, Joba, Papelbon, and Zambrano do on the mound with their emotions doesn't bother me. If a batter who get's a hold of one can strike a pose a la Ken Griffey, Jr., then a pitcher should be able to show some emotion when they get a big out, get a save, etc.

And finally, whether you're a fan or a player, if you don't like an opposing pitcher who shows over the top emotion but you have a pitcher on your team who does the same thing, either you criticize them both or say nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

Point is, I don't expect any player to take the moral high ground, don't care if it is Monsignor Rivera or Friar Krod.
I don't think morality is high on any of the players lists. Particularly considering the fleecing they do during contract negotiations.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Cesar, criticize both of them or say nothing at all. How can you call out an opposing pitcher for their antics when you have one on your own team that does the same thing? Actually, what Joba does is even worse because when he does it, the game usually isn't even over yet. So he celebrates a strikeout, but the game hasn't concluded (which the other day, that one didn't work out too well either). While I think there was nothing wrong with Frankie approaching Bruney, it could have been handled better. You've got an MLB record with your name attached to it, not to mention a World Series Championship as well, so act accordingly.

Michael in California

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