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Monday, April 26, 2010

Bronson Arroyo (!) thinks what A-Rod did is no big deal

Even though you might expect Bronson Arroyo to take offense at Alex Rodriguez's supposed breach of unwritten rules against Dallas Braden, the Cincinnati Reds pitcher thought it was no big thing.

The victim of A-Rod's infamous 2004 slap play told MLB.com his opinion on the issue:
Arroyo, discussing Thursday's incident in Oakland when the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez ran over the pitchers' mound after a foul ball prompting a stern reaction from A's pitcher Dallas Braden, said it was really no big deal.

"Honestly, the thing about running across the mound, I vaguely know that the rule is there," Arroyo said. "I've never been on a team where it happened and somebody got fired up about it. I wouldn't think twice about A-Rod running across the top of my mound."

Not surprisingly, this quote hasn't gotten any coverage. I found it buried in a roundup-type piece on MLB.com. Of course, if it had been a negative quote, it would have been front-page news. And people wonder why I complain about the sports media's bias!

That's not all. Two big-name Atlanta Braves players thought Braden was completely in the wrong. Check out these quotes, buried in the middle of a Mets notes piece:

Both Tim Hudson and Chipper Jones thought A's pitcher Dallas Braden went overboard with his verbal salvo against A-Rod after the Yankee star crossed the pitcher's mound while returning to first base.

"To be honest with you, I think it's a little much," said Hudson. "That's not an unwritten rule. Obviously Braden wanted to make a point. ... It looks a little bit silly. I think (Braden) might have took two or three cups of coffee too deep that day."

Added Jones: "I didn't realize that pitchers got that upset. I think it was blown out of proportion. Seemed pretty childish to me. There are better ways to handle it, I think. ... I'll go out of my way to avoid the mound now."
So yeah, most baseball fans aren't aware of those quotes, or even of the way that Derek Jeter and other Yankee teammates have had their third baseman's back.

On the other hand, David Wells' criticism of A-Rod was treated by the media like he was the Oracle of Baseball or something. Given the way that he helped cost the Yankees the 2003 World Series by his inability to take care of himself - or to tell Yankee management his back was hurting - I wouldn't give his words any credibility whatsoever. But the New York Post's George King does, giving them more play than anybody else in an article on the issue.
"A-Rod is full of [bleep], that he never heard of that," Wells told The Post from San Diego yesterday. "He has been around the game long enough to know that."....

"I hated it when runners did that. I yelled at plenty of them," Wells said. "It's one thing to cross in the front of the mound before it goes up, but on top of it, that's wrong. The cleats [mess] up the mound. Pitchers don't go in front of fielders and put their spikes in the dirt.

"I totally agree [with Braden] 'Get off my mound.' I would have done the same thing with A-Rod, or anybody else. [Bleep] it."
I have two questions for Wells:

* If it's such an unwritten rule that everybody knows, then why did so many runners in your day do this to you?

* And if it happened so often that you "yelled at plenty of them," can you please name one of the players who did this? Thanks!

Something tells me that if any reporter probed Wells further, he'd have nothing to back up his claims. Kind of like the way he had to backtrack on his own autobiography!

What do you think? Tell us about it!

2 comments:

Uncle Mike said...

Arroyo's not with the Red Sox anymore. He's with the Cincinnati Reds now. That's probably why his comments have been kept quiet: When was the last time anybody listened to a Cincinnati Red? Probably when our guy Lou Piniella left them for Seattle.

It's too bad, because, as he has matured, the former Captain Cornrows has won 15 games in each of the last two seasons for a Reds team that wasn't especially good. I guess getting out of Boston cleared his head -- in more ways than one!

As for Wells, well, let's just say that The Boss paid him big bucks for his arm, not for his mind. The irony is, Wells and A-Rod have now played on the same number of World Series winners as Yankees: One. (Wells has another ring with Toronto, but who remembers him as a Blue Jay?)

Subway Squawkers said...

I actually kind of like Arroyo - I called him the Most Honest Man in Baseball in a Faster Times piece last year. He's a real straight shooter, even when it can get him into trouble.

http://thefastertimes.com/mlb/2009/08/13/bronson-arroyo-the-most-honest-man-in-baseball/