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Brian Bruney is one intense dude

Not often does live batting practice on a back field in March reveal much about a new player's character. But today, throwing his second such session of the spring, Brian Bruney showed something about the kind of pitcher the Nationals are getting in their new set-up man.

Bruney was zipping through his throwing, grunting with each pitch. He seemed to be commanding his pitches, in control of his mechanics and generally having the kind of practice that satisfies a pitcher on March 1. And then he sailed just one fastball high off the catcher's mitt and to the backstop.

Bruney stomped back to the rubber and let out a torrent of words and phrases that you can't come even close to printing. He smacked his glove and kicked some dirt. It was not the kind of brief emotional turmoil expected three days before the first split-squad game, and it spoke to the manner in which Bruney approaches his job.

"I'll tell you what, man," Bruney said. "I try to do everything that I do with a lot of intensity. I want to do so good out there. Sometimes I do probably wear my emotions on my sleeve. But at least you know I care."

Bruney explained why that one pitch in particular set him off. He can live with balls and missed locations; that happens. On that pitch that sailed high, he caught himself losing concentration, which he found unacceptable.

"I kind of approach things differently now," Bruney said. "I'm so focused. My level of focus is ridiculous. I can't even tell you. That's how locked in I am. I'm not worried any hitter, coach, or anybody that's around. I'm throwing my pitches. I'm locked into what I'm doing. When I get mad at myself, I let myself know. I think sometimes, for myself, I tend to get kind of cocky. I'll let myself wander. When I'm good, I'm thinking about the pitch, execution, where I want the ball to be. When I throw a few of those in a row and I'm doing good, I get cocky. I tend to lose my focus a little bit. It's not so much the pitch location, where it's at. I was mad at myself for losing focus. That's when I get mad. When I lose focus, I get mad. I just feel like I need to take advantage of every time I step on the mound."

Bruney is mild-mannered and easy to talk to, but he comes off as an intense guy. Most of his upper body is covered in tattoos. He has one that covers the space from his right elbow to the right side of his neck that took 22 hours to complete.

"I don't like to lose at anything," Bruney said. "If you tell me I can't do something, I'll try it until I probably prove you wrong. It's just the way I am. When I come to the field, man, all I want to do is pitch. That's it. On the days that I don't pitch, I'm not having very much fun. That's where I have my fun, is out there on the mound. I love to compete."

Quick note: Individual game tickets for 2010 go on sale tomorrow. You can find more information on tickets here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 1, 2010; 5:17 PM ET
 
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Next: One year later, Mike Rizzo reflects

Comments

Question for the day: Who do y'all think is wound tighter, Brian Bruney or periculum?

Posted by: TBCTBC | March 1, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

TBC's mom. But I got her real loose the other night.

Posted by: Nataholic | March 1, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"Question for the day: Who do y'all think is wound tighter, Brian Bruney or periculum?"

I think Brian could be a #1 starter on the Wound Tight Team and periculum would be a solid #3 or #4 :)

Posted by: NatsFly | March 1, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I know I shouldn't do this but I can't help myself, I'm getting into the #1/#2/#3 starter debate.

I'm still not sure what was the point of the question, "Would the Giants trade Matt Cain for John Lannan, straight up?" They probably wouldn't trade him straight up for Roy Halladay either.

And as far as "stuff" determining your ranking in the rotation, ask yourself this: who was the winningest pitcher on the 2008 Phillies team that won the World Series?

Posted by: baltova1 | March 1, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse


Hey Nataholic, knock it off.

That kind of personal garbage is out of bounds.

Posted by: Drew8 | March 1, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Remember last spring when Steven Shell and Mike Hinckley were the set up men for Joel Hanrahan? I cant remember which one of those guys got cut because Rizzo was tired of looking at him. Bruney is a big leaguer and another reason why I have hope that this will be the best Nats team ever.

I'm not asking for the playoffs but 82 wins would be pretty sweet.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | March 1, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Bruney sure does seem a little full of himself. First, his comments surrounding the arbitration hearing and now "I am so focused. My level of focus is ridiculous." Quit patting yourself on the back and show some humility by keeping your mouth shut.

Posted by: kfisher32 | March 1, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

So is the stupid question posed at the beginning Drew8. Heaven forbid periculum wants to talk baseball on a baseball blog! Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Posted by: Nataholic | March 1, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Beside the point. No one here wants to have to deal with that. If you can't grow up, then fake it for the few minute you're here.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 1, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I hope he doesn't lose it like that during games. I don't mind intensity, but I'm not crazy about the idea of doing a Carlos Zambrano on the mound.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 1, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

And somehow, the irony of this after the "intense" post just went right past.

Can Willie Harris throw a ball so hard even he can't hit it?
************
Beside the point. No one here wants to have to deal with that. If you can't grow up, then fake it for the few minute you're here.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 1, 2010 6:32 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 1, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Question for the day: Who do y'all think is wound tighter, Brian Bruney or periculum?
Posted by: TBCTBC | March 1, 2010 5:29 PM
-----------------
Neither of the above - The answer would be either JayBeee or Brue.

Posted by: BinM | March 1, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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