Sunday, June 14, 2009
K-Rod, Bruney separated by teammates
NEW YORK -- Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez definitely knows who Brian Bruney is now.
Rodriguez shouted at the New York Yankees reliever during batting practice Sunday and the two were separated by teammates one day after they exchanged pointed jabs through the media.
Bruney called Rodriguez's exuberant celebrations on the mound a "tired act," and K-Rod said he didn't know who the injured right-hander was before advising him to "keep his mouth shut."
"To me, it's incredible that this is a big story," Bruney said after the Yankees' 15-0 victory over the Mets. "They're a great team and he's a great player. I'm sure he's not concerned about what I think. He just had some things to say."
K-Rod first refused to say anything when approached after Sunday's game, then relented.
"It's over. Turn the page. That's it." he said.
In video footage on the YES Network, an angry Rodriguez could be seen pointing at Bruney from a few feet away before Yankees reliever Jose Veras stepped between them in left field.
Bruney held his ground and appeared to say little, if anything. Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey got in front of Rodriguez and escorted him away.
"I was probably 10 feet away and I just saw K-Rod pointing and raising his voice," Pelfrey said, "and I just came over and grabbed him and I said 'C'mon, lets go in.' He was upset I guess."
Mets infielder Alex Cora said at least Rodriguez went to Bruney directly, then poked fun at the situation when asked if it was over.
"I don't know. Is Bruney going to hit against Frankie, or Frankie's going to hit? I mean they're two relievers. What are they going to do?" he said with a chuckle.
Bruney has pitched only once for New York since April 21 because of a strained elbow. He tossed a perfect inning Saturday in a rehab appearance for Double-A Trenton.
Afterward, he was asked about the Yankees' wild win over the Mets on Friday night, when second baseman Luis Castillo dropped Alex Rodriguez's two-out popup in the ninth inning. The error allowed two runs to score, giving the Yankees a 9-8 victory and handing K-Rod his first blown save in 17 chances this season.
"Unbelievable. I've never seen anything like that. I have, but in high school," Bruney said. "It couldn't happen to a better guy on the mound, either. He's got a tired act."
After converting a save, Francisco Rodriguez often pounds his chest and points to the sky while letting out a roar.
"I just don't like watching the guy pitch," Bruney said. "I think it's embarrassing."
Bruney's teammate, Joba Chamberlain, also has irritated opponents with his loud screams and animated fist pumps after inning-ending strikeouts. Baltimore slugger Aubrey Huff even mocked Chamberlain this season with a pair of emphatic fist pumps after hitting a home run off the right-hander.
Francisco Rodriguez, who set a major league record with 62 saves last year for the Los Angeles Angels, didn't take kindly to Bruney's comments.
"He better keep his mouth shut and do his job and not worry about somebody else," he said after closing out the Mets' 6-2 win Saturday. "If it came out from somebody big, I might pay attention to it. But somebody like that, it doesn't bother me."
Bruney is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 appearances this season. He has 13 strikeouts and two walks in nine innings.
"You know what? More importantly for me, I'm coming off the DL on Tuesday," Bruney said Sunday. "I probably shouldn't have said what I said. I made that mistake and I've learned from it."