Sunday, May 9, 2010


If you’re a sports fan you have probably heard the story. If you’re a baseball fan you definitely have. The story of Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Dallas Braden and his outrage that New York Yankees superstar slugger Alex Rodriguez would have the audacity to jog over-top the pitcher’s mound on his way back to the dugout back on April 22nd. Braden decried the move as breaking one of baseball’s “unwritten rules” and took the act as a personal slap in the face. Rodriguez didn’t ease the tensions much when he sniped at Braden through the press saying he did not want to “extend his 15 minutes of fame” by discussing the matter further. If none of this is ringing a bell, just hit up the old Google with a quick search and you can fill yourself in on all the sordid details.

I am about as old school as it gets and I agree with the Oakland pitcher in this situation. But…full disclosure…I have never been a fan of A-Rod’s. I see him as a player that is driven only by money and personal glory that has major league talent, but bush league character between the lines (not to mention the character he has displayed when NOT between the lines). From his efforts to swat the ball out of the fielder’s glove on his way to first base or shouting at an infielder as he runs past on a pop-up to his steroid use, when it comes to playing the game the right way Rodriguez leaves much to be desired. So, you can see how I could come to my conclusion.

Today, Mother’s Day 2010, Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball against the Tampa Bay Rays. He did this against a team swinging pink bats and wearing pink wristbands in honor of Mother’s Day, but also to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer. Braden, a man that lost his mother to cancer when he was in high school, did this with his grandmother looking on from the stands. With old school street cred on his side and a heart warming story behind him, Braden was perfect.

You can read the details of Braden’s efforts HERE in the game recap, an SI opinion HERE or another opinion HERE in a piece submitted by my former co-worker Steve Berthiaume.

There is nothing more that I can say here that hasn’t already been written or that won’t be penned in the coming news cycle, but I can make the one proclamation that this forum has to offer and that is that Dallas Braden is A DAMN BEAST and I am thrilled to be able to say it is so.

Cary Edmondson/US Presswire

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