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A-Rod, Dallas Braden and baseball etiquette

Apr 23, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

Alex Rodriguez mound incident.jpgWe talked about this one a bit already, but let’s go deeper.  Here’s Dallas Braden after l’affaire A-Rod-walky-over-the-moundy:

“The long and short of it is it’s pretty much baseball etiquette. He
should probably take a note from his captain over there, because you don’t run across
the pitcher’s mound in between an inning or during the game. I was just
dumbfounded that he would let that slip his mind.”

And here was A-Rod’s response (see full video of his comments here):

“He just told me to get off his mound. I was a little
surprised. I’ve never quite heard that, especially from a guy that has a
handful of wins in his career. I’ve never even heard of that in my
career and I still don’t know. I thought it was pretty funny, actually.”

I wrote this morning that I had never heard of that particular unwritten rule. Since then, however, I’ve done a bit of Googling and read some stuff some other people have written and I think it’s safe to say that it’s at least a minor unwritten rule. It’s not up there with “don’t steal second when you have a 10-run lead” or “don’t go one-flap-down on your home run trot unless you’re Jeffrey Leonard,” but it exists. It may be a dumb rule — as so many of the unwritten rules are — but it’s a rule and ballplayers seem to care about such things.

Which causes A-Rod’s comments to ring hollow. That guy has been around baseball his whole life, so I’m assuming he’s heard of it.  He may or may not have walked across the mound with the intention of getting under Dallas Braden’s skin — maybe it was just a brain lock — but his response was truly intended to.

The “handful of wins” line was particularly egregious. As a person who occasionally gets ripped because he doesn’t have the background and experience many others do in this business, it hits a little close to home. I hate it when guys make irrelevant appeals to authority like that. I’m guessing everyone on the Athletics team, all of whom are younger than Rodriguez, hate it too.  It’s probably going to get A-Rod a ball in the back the next time these teams face each other. Which will set off a whole other set of unwritten rule compliance and analysis, but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.

As for Braden, I like his pluck.  The “get off my mound” is a bit too Gunnery Sgt. Hartman for me, but good for him for not backing down from what he perceived to be a challenge to his authority and dignity and all of that stuff. Get off my obstacle, Pvt. Rodriguez.

Of course if he gets lit up for seven runs in three innings the next time he faces the Yankees, he will have lost this match in the third set. Fair? I dunno, but that’s just how it works when you starting playing these macho, territorial games.

UPDATE: Speaking of territorial games, Flip Flop Fly Ballin’ has mapped out this whole issue in terms that I think all of us can understand.

123 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. YankeesfanLen - Apr 23, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    Just to make it to 100 posts, I love this Jeter quote. And I still can’t figure out if they like each other or not, but they sure help make a great team.

  2. Big Harold - Apr 23, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    “I guarantee that A-Rod knew exactly what he was doing in this instance …”
    Based on exactly what, .. your predisposed dislike of A-Rod? Well if that isn’t just logic and reason personified?
    “So did you go running across the pitcher’s mound whenever it was convenient?”
    Yes. There is no such rule written or otherwise. Perhaps Braden shouldn’t act like he’s still a junior in high school?
    If the “culprit” was anybody other than A-Rod nobody would pay this any attention. You, like a lot of other posters clearly just don’t like A-Rod and you are letting it affect you judgment. Perhaps Braden should consider acting like a grownup?

  3. Albuquerque Bill - Apr 23, 2010 at 11:27 PM

    I agree just play the game! Hey with Umpire West complaining about the Yankees and Red Sox taking too much time in playing the game A-Rod was just trying to speed up the game by taking the shortest route to first base which was a straight line through the pitchers mound!! You know Dallas Braden can be real brave talking and shouting on his way back to his dugout but like all American League pitchers with big mouths he does not have to stand in the batters box and see stitches heading at his head. Lets see pitchers own the mound, the batters box (because they knock down batters that get to close to their plate) and home run territory because they knock down batters if they hit home runs, yet they never have to face the opposing pitcher….

  4. stickygansters - Apr 23, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    obviously people do care because they are commenting, and any pitcher knows that you cant have guys trotting across your mound. pitchers have all the divits and bumps placed exactly how they like it for them to pitch. the dirt on the mound is essential to a pitchers sucess and arod knows not to intentionally go scuffing up the oposing pitchers mound

  5. Marie Andretti - Apr 24, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    I totally agree!! Everyone likes to address Yankee behavior, in particular when it may not seem appropriate but … when A-Rod is involved it is blown way out of space. He’s an exceptional player having fun with the game. Does it require a “ball-in=the-back? Never you silly children

  6. J - Apr 24, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Ryan, give me your family’s address, so I can murder them.

  7. MA in PA - Apr 24, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    Craig, you seem to have a personal thing for A-rod. This looks really silly to make such a big deal over. I think the A’s pitcher looks unstable for getting so bent out of shape about it.

  8. JD - Apr 24, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    Look, Arod has done some unbelievably stupid things in his life, and as a Yankee fan, I actually wish they had not traded for him, and not resigned him. Having said that, how many other pitchers would have reacted like Braden did. I’m hoping opposing players remember his little hissy-fit (and that’s all it was), and manage to get under his skin at every opportunity. Made a non-issue into something everyone talks about. If he had not overreacted, who would have even noticed it?

  9. DallasBradenisadick - Apr 24, 2010 at 5:41 PM

    How dare, this sniveling little piece of fecal matter address the 27 time World Series Champion, first ballad Hall of Famer and Legendary New York Yankee, Sir Alex “FutureHomeRunKing” Rodriguez. That dweeb shouldn’t speak toA-Rod, especially in the tone that he did, cause he’s not good enough to suck A-Rod’s sack. I can hardly wait until the next time the 27 time World Series Champions, The Legendary New York Yankees face the lowly A’s, firt thing on the agenda, the Yankees hitters go out of they’re way, and hit screamers up the middle at Braden until he gets’ popped in the head, perfervidly in his big mouth. The A’s have to be taught a lesson just who are the Legends in all of Professional Sports and who are the “little people” as in Big Mouth Braden and his pitiful A’s. Suggestion to the A’s, “Let you all eat cake!” And, secondly, the next time they face each other, Joe Giardi should sit A-Rod out for the series, especially if the 27 time World Series Champions have a huge lead and don’t need the games. Checkmate Braden, you piece of fecal matter!

  10. twitfie - Apr 25, 2010 at 5:01 AM

    Why doesn’t anyone comment on the threats Braden made, like i’m not going to hurl a ball towards his back, but he’ll know I’m here’?

  11. Homer - Apr 25, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Nothing new here. For all his career Alex has shown himself to be Nim-Rod.

  12. Big Harold - Apr 25, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    Nom-Rod? Mighty Hunter?

  13. Jeff Underwood - Apr 25, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    I am amazed that people can actually say they have never heard of this taboo. It goes back decades and decades. It is no different than skating up and sliding the puck into the net after the whistle or an offside. The NFL has a new name for the rule. It is now called taunting. A-Rod is nothing short of a prima donna bully. His rationale for walking across the mound shows it. He refers to Braden’s win/loss record as his O.K. It is no different than if a pitcher pointed and laughed at A-Rod after a strikeout. What would be your guess to A-Rod’s reaction to that. It is called respect for the game and fellow participants. A-Rod has neither. Even with his ridiculous contract, he would still steal your lunch money…because he could.

  14. pisano - Apr 26, 2010 at 12:24 AM

    It would be nice if you had the mentality of a monkey . After reading your post I would say your mentality is more on the line of a jackass.

  15. Joey B - Apr 26, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    “Have we really wasted almost ninety posts on what some juvenile idiot prima donna of a pitcher with balls bigger than his brain by several magnitudes expectorated in the direction of a guy who’s going to be glaring frozenly down at his grandchildren from a plaque in Cooperstown years after they’ve forgotten where grandpa’s grave is?”
    I’m getting the impression that you think that those that are better off don’t have to abide by the same rules as the little people.

  16. Julie - Apr 26, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Just my thoughts on a subject that has been blown ridiculously out of proportion.
    ~From my understanding, although I haven’t taken the time to look up the video, Arod did NOT walk *across* the mound, but along the side – not coming anywhere near the rubber or Braden’s landing spots.
    ~If Sabathia didn’t mess up Braden’s mound, then the 100 lbs lighter Arod certainly isn’t going to, even if he *did* walk across the top of it.
    ~If this was any other player besides Arod, it would be a complete non-issue, long ago left to die in peace.
    ~It really doesn’t matter whether or not it’s an unwritten rule of baseball or whether anyone else has ever heard of it. Either way, Braden handled the situation poorly, acting like a spoiled, immature, whiny brat.
    ~Having said that, I have to admit that I can’t help feeling just a tiny bit of admiration for Braden for having the balls to cut loose on Arod like that. Right or wrong, at least he’s got a passion that’s refreshing to see in baseball.

  17. August - Apr 27, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    This kind of stuff happens all the time in every sport! The Chicago Bulls used to shout “Rogaine” to Karl Malone when he was shooting his free throws to try and get him distracted and has anyone blasted them abuot it? instead they’re reveared. Soccer, Hockey, Football are all subjected to this, it’s part of the game and if you’re a player who gets affected buy this stuff then maybe you’re not capapble of playing at that level. If I were Dallas I would’ve said nothing and then beened him in the leg with a fastball each time I saw him. And if it’s an unwritten rule, was it really broken in the first place?

  18. winthorp - May 1, 2010 at 12:56 AM

    “Handful of wins” was meant to imply Braden was a credible, experienced player and, therefore, someone who was responsible for his OWN ballistic spasms masquerading as appropriate MLB behavior. Almost all experienced picchers have a handful of wins. Braden went ballistic for no discernable reason at the time and apparently no actual reasons was matters came into the clear.
    The rule if exists, hardly qualifies as anything more than a temporary lapse. sinnce Arod doesn’t make a habit of it.
    Just what was Arod suppose to say to account for Braden’s temper tantrum?

  19. Tim - May 6, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    A-Rod’s an ass. Everything he says is polished. Broken unwritten rule or not. Put down the script and be human.

  20. UNWRITTEN SHIT - May 11, 2010 at 6:53 PM


  21. Mr.CHI-TOWN - May 18, 2010 at 3:02 PM


  22. riscifiguy - May 19, 2010 at 7:20 AM

    If it was Joba, he’d have just beaned the next batter and told him “Stop bleeding on my field! LOL

  23. Bridgett27KNOX - May 28, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    The home loans suppose to be essential for people, which want to organize their organization. By the way, this is not really hard to receive a financial loan.

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