Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shocker: A-Rod gets into yet another controversy - with some nobody named Dallas Braden

It had been a while since some no-name MLB player took offense at something Alex Rodriguez did. Until today, when Dallas Braden, the pitcher starting for the Oakland Athletics, decided that he was going to police the game - and the game's highest-paid player. The 26-year-old pulled the old man "get off my lawn" card with Alex, griping when A-Rod apparently walked on "his" mound after running from 1st to third on a foul ball.

Apparently, A-Rod violated some unwritten rule there. Well, so did Braden. Namely, that no-name pitchers shouldn't be calling out superstars. In the immortal words of Billy Wagner, know your place, rook.

Yeah, I know Braden technically isn't a rookie, but he's still a nobody. Plus, this Texas Longhorn notes that Braden went to Texas Tech. It figures, although I would have guessed he was an Aggie, given his behavior! (This isn't just a gratuitous Texas football slam - Texas A&M students physically attacked Longhorn students for celebrating on their field a few years ago after a big win against the Aggies. Yes, I'm still bitter.)

Braden, who I wouldn't have been able to pick out of a police lineup until today (now I would - just look for the clown puffing himself up like a blowfish trying to look all fierce, like he is in the pic above), has become  the self-appointed arbiter of unwritten rules nobody even heard of until today.
"It wasn't exactly, 'Yes, sir, have a good day,'' an animated Braden said in the post-game clubhouse. "The guy ran across my mound. He had his foot on my pitching rubber. "Any kind of disrespect like that has got to be handled and that's what I did. If my grandmother did what he did, I'd tell her the same thing.''
Good grief. Might want to try decaf instead of Red Bull, dude. Poor Grandma Braden!

He continued:
"It's not about me starting anything (with the Yankees),'' Braden said. "It starts and ends with today. Nobody's ever done that to me when I pitched in the big leagues. I had to get my point across in terms of the unwritten rules, the little intricacies of the game, how the game's supposed to be played, how we expect it to be played, how we play it over here, and I did that.''

Dude's played in a grand total of 65 MLB games, and all of a sudden, he's the enforcer of all the unwritten rules of baseball? Please.

I liked the way A-Rod dismissively waved at him when he was throwing that temper tantrum. I also liked Alex's bemused response to reporters after the game:
"He just told me to get off his mound,'' Rodriguez said. "I thought it was pretty funny, actually. I'd never quite heard that before, especially from a guy with a handful of wins in his career.''
I thought A-Rod's response was funny - especially the way he delivered it. (Is there anybody more animated than Alex talking to the media? The expressions he makes while talking are hilarious. The grimacing, the tight smile, the over-the-topness. It's a hoot!)

But Braden missed the point of the burn:
"He's right. I don't even have a handful of wins. I have three. Do the math A-Rod."
For some strange reason, media people like Wally Matthews (shocker!) think that Braden did some sort of burn with his line. Oh no, he didn't. For one thing, saying the number three does not equal a handful doesn't even make any sense. Is three that different from a handful? I don't think so.

What's even dumber is that Braden has 17 career wins, with three of them this year. That would have been more of the math burn against A-Rod, about him having more than a handful of career wins. So maybe Braden ought to get out a calculator before telling others to do the math. And all the A-Rod hating mediots high-fiving Braden for his "burn" ought to look at and Braden's career numbers.

Oh, and a half-inning after Braden's hissy fit, A-Rod started the first Yankee triple play in over 40 years against Oakland. Yeah, Braden really showed Alex who's boss, alright!

Braden also thought he'd burn A-Rod by suggesting that he act more like Derek Jeter.Well, I think Dallas Braden ought to act like Steve Carlton and shut the bleep up!

What do you think?  Tell us about it!


MONDOAS said...

Yo Yo that Eminem's little cousin? Fo shizzle!!What an idiot! I would be embarrassed, if I was him, to open my mouth at all because my credentials don't even come close to Cano's and I'm talking smack to A-Rod!! Learn your place little boy!!!

MONDOAS said...

You know, if you look at his picture, one would ask "when did they start allowing crooks to wear hats in their pics when they get arrested"!

Unknown said...

Lisa you could not be more off base about this. Dallas Braden has the respect of every guy who has played baseball there is "a code" in baseball of do's and don't but I wouldn't expect Alex Rodriguez or Yankee fans to understand this

JeanneB said...

Things were too quiet for Alex. He wasn't on the back page or Pg.6 so he is the one who acts out like a little leaguer (although I don't think a little leaguer would run across the mound.)
I have to side with the A's on this one. Alex sometimes pulls really bush league stunts.

guinness said...

Lisa, I have to disagree with you as well. It is disrespectful to run across the mound. Each pitcher digs his spot into the mound with his cleats to get it perfect for them each time they get out there. Only a complete jerk would run across the mound. It's the same as walking on someone's line on the green in golf. You just don't do it, it's just rude. A-Rod has always had this problem though, with the karate chop to Arroyo, the "I got it!" while running the bases on a pop up, to this. It's ridiculous. He's the highest paid player is baseball and he should act like a professional out there.

Uncle Mike said...

Dallas Braden. I'll say the same thing I said last year when Chad Durbin came into relieve Pedro the Punk in last year's World Series clincher: Sounds like the name of a soap opera character.

Stephen: Braden has the respect of every guy who has played baseball? Clearly, he doesn't. Respect is earned. He hasn't. It's one thing to reach the majors, thus earning some measure of respect from all of us who never had a chance; it's another thing to earn respect from a man with 585 homers and a World Series ring, when you have never done much in the majors and play for a team that will NEVER win a Pennant as long as the insanely overrated Billy Beane is their general manager. In other words, Lisa is absolutley right.

Though I wish, Lisa, that you hadn't quoted Billy Wagner. How many teams has he ruined Pennant chances for? Three: Houston, Philly, the Mets.

And you claim to be a Texas Longhorns fan, so you should know the difference between Texas A&M (the Aggies) and Texas Tech (the Red Raiders, with their Zorro-ripoff mascot). I know the difference: A&M is the one whose cheerleaders (excuse me, "Yell Leaders") are all guys with crewcuts and say, "Yes, Ma'am" to the mascot, a collie; and Tech is the one in the middle of nowhere who decided to hire Bobby Knight and all his baggage after he stopped winning.

But, to get back on topic, the Yankees took 2 of 3 in Oakland. There were times when I would have begged for such a result. Now I'm shrugging off the 1 loss. It's good to be a Yankee Fan these days. Bring on the Whatever They're Calling Themselves This Season Angels of Anaheim!

BrooklynGirl said...


I've heard that even the guys (including past players) on and "ESPN Baseball Tonight"
had ever heard of this "unwritten rule". Alex was trying to take the most direct route back to first so he passes the BACK of the pitchers mound and Braden wasn't even standing there. So should a batter flip out when a pitcher touches home plate or crosses the batters box to cover a play? So what? Braden:when you win a couple of Cy Youngs give us a call....till then lay off the Red Bull and breathe deeply. Engage the brain before you speak.

Lisa Swan said...

Thanks, everyone, for your responses. Uncle Mike, I know the difference between Texas Tech and Texas A&M (Aggies are more territorial, while Tech coaches lock kids with concussions in sheds!)

As for A-Rod, I think he was just being thoughtless in loping across the mound, but if it were gamesmanship, it sure worked on unnerving Braden, didn't it?

And I'm seeing people in the media criticizing A-Rod for not taking the high road in his "handful of wins" remark. Funny, if he had, he would have been called a phony.

Was his remark arrogant? Sure. But it was nothing fellow divas like Reggie Jackson and Pedro Martinez wouldn't have done!

Unknown said...

What you sound like is a biased Yankees fan. You're saying just because Dallas Braden is Dallas Braden he can't say something like that to A-Rod?!? I'm not saying I agree with Braden here, but if I feel like someone has disrespected me, superstar or not, I'm saying something. I don't care who it is.

Lisa Swan said...

Cole, I felt the same way about Brian Bruney (who was a Yankee then) when he criticized Frankie Rodriguez's baseball etiquette. Scrubs shouldn't be lecturing superstars on the rules of the game.

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