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Dallas Braden and A-Rod: what a difference a week makes

May 9, 2010, 7:21 PM EDT

Braden celebrates.jpgIt was just over two weeks ago when Alex Rodriguez walked over Dallas Braden’s mound — maybe on purpose, maybe not — kicking off a petty little feud in which no one has come off looking particularly classy.

Braden barked about it being “his mound” like he was unhinged. A-Rod looked like a pompous ass making reference to Braden’s “handful of wins” after the game. Braden looked like a low-rent wannabe something or other with his “we don’t do much talking in the 209” rebop last week.  A-Rod continued the pattern of classlessness just this weekend by claiming he didn’t want to comment any further because he didn’t want to extend Braden’s “15 minutes of fame,” clearly implying that Braden wouldn’t have any basis for fame separate and apart from that which A-Rod gave him.

That’s certainly not the case anymore. Braden is part of one of baseball’s most exclusive fraternities, becoming one of the nineteen men in history to throw a perfect game.

A-Rod seems to sense that the narrative has shifted.  Reached by reporters at Fenway Park immediately after the perfect game, Rodriguez said: “Good for him.
He threw a perfect game, and even better, he beat the Rays.”
That’s about the best answer one can give in the situation. He acknowledged the feat and kept it to baseball. The matter, at least from Rodriguez’s perspective, seems to be closed.

For his part, Braden didn’t say anything provocative after the game, holding true to the alleged rep of his home area code and tacitly agreeing with A-Rod to bury the hatchet. That is, unless Rodriguez is going to respond to Braden’s grandmother.  She was at the game and, according to Susan Slusser of San Francisco Chronicle, had this to say the moment someone shoved a microphone into her face: “stick it, A-Rod!”

That’s funny, but ultimately inconsequential, because I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that A-Rod isn’t about to go after Braden’s grandmother.  It’s Mother’s Day. Let her have the last word.

And let us close the book on the Braden-Rodriguez feud. Each got their shots in, each had their bad moments, but it ended with a perfect game on a sparkling Sunday afternoon, and that means baseball wins.

But then again, baseball always wins, doesn’t it?

  1. Joey B - May 10, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    “I don’t think your advice is worth taking,”
    But it is. And the best part? I know you already know that, but are unwilling to admit it. Admitting it would make you one of the great unwashed masses.
    But don’t sweat it. The cognitive dissonance you are experiencing will take a while to resolve itself. But someday soon, despite your best efforts, you’ll find yourself being nice to one of the little people. Don’t worry; it’ll grow on you.
    Sincerely, I wish you a very nice day.

  2. Old Gator - May 10, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    The depths of your solipsism are a wonder to behold. Anyway, I seem to have had rather less difficulty admitting what I felt wrong about than you do – but of course, you clearly don’t find yourself capable of being wrong. That’s a shame. But that doesn’t make you a little person – it makes you a small person. As in the distinction I made between “hate” and “contempt,” there is a difference.

  3. StickitAroid - May 10, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    It’s funny how this went from being about Braden to talking about A-Rod to insulting Braden’s dead mother. When are you ignorant Yankee fans going to realize that not everything is about you guys. Dallas Braden just pitched the 19th perfect game in the 100+ years in baseball history and you’re here bashing his lifestyle and personality because he stepped up and challenged your golden boy for being ignorant and not knowing the unwritten rules of baseball that you learn in little league? Before speaking out of your a$$, get your facts straight about Braden and his family. Oh and for your information, Braden is always representing the 209 and Stockton because it’s one of the worst cities in all of the United States when it comes to poverty and crime. He always helps out his community because he was one of the few that made it from Stockton and he never forgets his roots. In fact, yesterday on mother’s day, the A’s had a promotion for the people of Stockton that if you bought tickets in section 209 of the stadium, you got your tickets for only half price. And we A’s fans know that Braden had everything to do with that. So to you idiots that praise A-Rod for having “class” for letting Jeter play SS, then what do you consider Braden for doing all the good things he does for his whole community? So before you dumb Yankee fans bash Braden for his beef with A-Rod, just consider this. Braden just pitched the 19th perfect game in baseball history. And his career will continue to get better. His only knock is durability, but if you look at his stats from last year before he got hurt, you’d see that he is not just some nobody with his “15 minutes of fame” like A-Rod likes to call it. And one last thing, nothing, and I mean NOTHING that A-Rod does for the rest of his career will ever live up to what Braden did on Sunday. The day A-Rod breaks the HR record, it’ll be recognized, but with an asterisk next to it.

  4. Old Gator - May 10, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    That’s not the reason for the hostility. But then, I wouldn’t want to get into pop psychologizing, would I? I will say that it always amuses me when I’m accused of resorting to a thesaurus for using words I learned by the fifth grade or so. Must feel funny to be accused of having time on your hands by someone who seems to have time on his, though.
    Me, I have time on my hands. I’m retired. More or less.

  5. Moses Green - May 10, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Anyone who accuses you of using a thesaurus obviously is unaware of just how many column inches you’re pumping out on a daily basis. You would need an assistant just to stand behind a lectern with the Roget’s while you called out words to look up. In fact, I’m picturing her right now, and she’s one of the Namaste Girls. In fact, in my mind’s eye, between synonym and antonym calls she is doing quite suggestive yoga poses behind the lectern.
    Really good article here on Dallas Braden for anyone who’s interested in facts instead of piling on the Gator here. Explains the significance of “the 209” in more detail.

  6. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - May 10, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    Allowing Ripken to play there was not his idea, you can bet on that. It was strictly PR.

    Here’s an article from the NYDN about it, and while the article makes it seem like it wasn’t a spur of the moment idea, there’s no mention of the PR side:

    Jeter may be inferior, (I don’t agree)but A-Rod agreed only because of the backlash he would have suffered at the hands of the Yankee faithful for deposing their “favorite son”.

    Yeah, no. It’s not even up for question. UZR/150:
    Arod – 11.9 (’02), 9.4 (’03); even put up an 11.2 at 3rd in ’04
    Jeter – 0.1 (’02), -3.5 (’03); -0.6 (’04)
    Add their individual prowess with the bat, and Arod laps Jeter multiple times over (25.4 WAR vs 14.5)

    If he works with Cano and the other young players on the Yanks, let’s hope he leaves the class lessons to anyone else. This guy doesn’t do anything positive unless it “pumps up his image”. I wonder how much help he would give someone if he thought they were a threat to his position. Time will tell you the answer to that one.

    Ok it’s obvious you don’t like him, so I’ll leave you with this. If you honestly think he never does anything positive, explain this:

    ”It was more like a brush with God,” said the Edgartown man, whose son, Patrick, was pulled from the path of a utility truck on Newbury Street on Wednesday afternoon.
    His savior?
    None other than Alex Rodriguez, also known as A-Rod, also known as one of the most reviled Yankees in Red Sox Nation.

  7. Joey B - May 10, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    “As in the distinction I made between “hate” and “contempt,” there is a difference.”
    That’s exactly what I’m talking about, so we are in agreement. I see very little difference in hating the ‘little people’, and being contemptuous of them.
    Perhaps since you were taught these words in the 5th grade, you’ve forgotten the meaning. Contempt means, according to Webster, the act of despising. Look it up. Explain to me how despising someone is morally superior to hating someone.
    Again, I just don’t get it. These are the people, for the most part, that are without. You can be happy that you have yours without insulting those that don’t. You know, there but for the grace of God???

  8. Moses Green - May 10, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    It’s fairly well settled that Cal didn’t want to play SS since he was worried about looking bad. He didn’t even have the right glove with him. I think A-Rod was trying to do the right thing and it didn’t really go over very well.
    A-Rod was a better SS than Jeter, but his body was changing and he wanted to bulk up and go for HR records. 3rd base was just better suited to his personal individual goals, and had a side-benefit of appearing to appease the Future Captain.
    It’s really weird how much Sox fans hate A-Rod, given that he tried to give away $12 million to go to Boston from Texas but the MLBPA wouldn’t allow it. Johnny Damon went from Boston to New York for $12 million, and he’s still less hated than A-Rod. Then again, my Sox Nation brethren rarely make sense or pause for deep analysis, by and large. And don’t even get me started on the pink hats.

  9. Joey B - May 10, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Thanks, it was a nice story. Always nice to see when a kid can turn it around.

  10. Joey B - May 10, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    “A-Rod was a better SS than Jeter, but his body was changing and he wanted to bulk up and go for HR records. 3rd base was just better suited to his personal individual goals, and had a side-benefit of appearing to appease the Future Captain.”
    I agree. Jeter was going to play SS no matter what happened, but ARod is really twice the size Jeter is. To be honest, I think ARod forced Jeter to become a better SS. His range was starting to become an issue, and I think he is a better SS now than he was the year before ARod arrived.

  11. John - May 10, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Where have I been? I’ve been hiding in Honduras, being the desperate man I am, waiting for you to send me lawyers, guns and money before the $hit really hits the fan! Hopefully now that I have made contact here you’ll do just that.
    Actually I’ve been around, checking various “blogs” from time to time just to see what’s happening although right now, this early on, things aren’t really “juicy” enough to keep me coming back.
    I have not heard about the remake(s) but like you I won’t expect much as how can one take something perfect and make it “perfect-er.” Kind of like the new “Karate Kid,” perfection ruined as the new version is set in China with Jackie Chan as Mr. Miyagi… it don’t make no muafuggin’ sense! I for one will not shell out my hard earned dollars, nor any of the easy earned dollars, to watch it. MARK MY WORDS!!!

  12. Old Gator - May 10, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    Funny you should mention the Namaste girls. I had the “seated twist” sequence on about two hours ago to warm up for my thrice-weekly weight training session. All of their poses seem suggestive to me, but then again, that might just be the way I interpret them. Or, it might be that they’re all ridiculously beautiful, fit and supple, and only one of those descriptions applies to me. Lily will always be my favorite because in addition to her unique beauty, you can tell from her sly smile that she’s an arch-ironist and refuses to take the whole thing too seriously. In any case I want them all out from behind the lectern where I can see them. Those provocative mudras do me no good if they’re being performed out of sight while I’m all tangled in myself like a ballpark pretzel. By the time my trainer gets here and I start the lifting regimen – which, by the way, is why I don’t really mind being piled on; I just treat it as part of my workout – I’m ready to go, albeit in seven different directions at once. Today was the day in my normal sequence when I added five pounds to my presses and curls, so pardon me if I take an afternoon off from tilting at windmills and smarmy sophists to guzzle a protein smoothie and go soak in a hot tub full of mineral salts. I ain’t as young as I’m going to be.
    reCaptcha: pugilist off. That’s the little green light that goes on when I turn the switch to the ‘down’ position.

  13. Doctor - May 10, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    Your are right Oldtimer, but I would like to see A-Rod do it one more time and Braden cold-cocking him in the nose. He truly is arrogant.

  14. Oldtimer - May 10, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    It is hilarious to listen to the A-Rod supporters start slamming Boston every time something ever comes to light about their shortcomings. There are a lot of us who would like to see Braden trip the ego-twit as he goes by. My only complaint is that he didn’t save the Perfect Game for the next time he played NY. I’m not a fan of baseball anymore because of the travesty the current situation creates. Competitive balance! LOL. Braden is young and can be forgiven the error of his actions in a confrontation with the biggest name (and neurotic) in the game. A-hole can’t.

  15. IdahoMariner - May 11, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    and your immediate apology is why I was speechless, Gator — just didn’t expect that from you. Kudos for your immediate recognition of the misstep.

  16. dp - May 14, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    No baseball fan is more deserving of being called classless than a boston fan. (note lower case for boston ) Your fans are total scumbags,and give baseball fans in general a bad name .

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