Throw It Like a Ballplayer

providing baseball commentary and ponderings since April 2010

Brian Burres, the bum

Posted by dannmckeegan on May 13, 2010

Brian Burres
Look at him. I told you he was a bum. Unshaven face, unruly hair, the glazed-over happy eyes of a wino, and a Pirates cap. All the tell-tale signs. Bum. (official player page photo)

Four down, a dozen or so to go. Eleven NL teams remain, and the American League visitors will prove tough finds.

I made it to the Cubs-Florida game on Wednesday, my fourth game of the year.  I’ve seen Randy Wells beat Milwaukee, Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly drop back-to-back games against Washington and Arizona, and now Carlos Silva take down the Marlins.  So the team is 2-2 in my appearances.  It seems only appropriate that I make sure the rubber match is a Tom Gorzelanny start.  Solid logic, right?

My first opportunity to see the hard-luck lefty take the hill is Friday, when he will face journeyman Pirates lefty Brian Burres.  With a paper trail extending back to his drafting by the Giants in the 31st round of the 2000 draft, Burres has supposedly played for the Baltimore Orioles and, briefly, the Toronto Blue Jays.  Burres spent parts of three seasons in the deceptively-named International League, which doesn’t feature a single “international” team!  The Ottawa club relocated to Allentown, PA, a couple years ago.  Lies!

Back to Burres, he was selected a mere 6 slots after Preston Underdown and one round after the Rockies took a flier on outfielder Michael Vick, who chose not to sign and returned to school to complete his degree in canine personal fitness training.  Vick would earn Latin honors before embarking on a turbulent NFL career.

Speaking of Vick, it wouldn’t be surprising if there was blood in the air Friday.  Burres, apparently, has been afflicted with nosebleeds his entire life.  He actually suffered one while in a major league game in his rookie season.  Burres is a graduate of Gresham, Oregon’s Sam Barlow High School.  According to the school’s website, it was founded in 1968 to serve such communities as Damascus and Boring.

That’s pretty much all I can find of interest on Brian Burres, which makes his pedestrian baseball skills stand out all the less (and his shutout against the Cubs all the more painful).  Even as Pittsburgh threatens to encroach upon the lowermost threshold of mediocrity for the first time since 1999, they remain tied to the stink of tiresome, lackluster, and painfully bland player trivia.

They are still facing great criticism for trading Nyjer Morgan for Lastings Milledge.

Lastings Milledge was a first round pick of the Mets with a reported history of sexual misconduct while in high school. In his rookie season, he once found a “Know your place, rook” sign on his locker for his on-field behavior, while later his off-field behavior included appearing in a music video for a rap song with controversial lyrics.

Morgan is a native Californian who left home at 16 to play juniors in Canada.  He’s a two-sport athlete whose age-26 MLB debut was a result of his pursuit of a hockey career.  He reached Major Junior level, which I believe is Canadian for “pretty good, but not good enough.”  He has skated with the Pittsburgh Penguins, actually named his car Charlene, and best of all refers to himself as Tony Plush, which is his “Gentleman’s Name.”

How can you possibly trade one of those guys for the other?  Isn’t it mandatory to assemble as many of those guys as possible?  Back story!  If Pittsburgh’s going to lose 90 games – and everyone knows that they are – then please, give the visiting radio and TV guys something to talk about whilst they beat the Pirates’ brains in.

Or get swept by boring bums like Brian Burres.


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