Yesterday, A’s starter Dallas Braden unleashed a childish tirade at Alex Rodriquez for having the unmitigated nerve to step on the pitcher’s mound when returning from third to first after a foul ball. Seriously. According to Braden, this is yet another part of baseball’s unwritten code that often leaves so many of us amused. Even if this is some kind of “code”, and I’ve never heard of any such thing in over 20 years of following baseball, does it justify Braden’s reactions both on and off the field?
After the game, Braden made no less than a threat to Alex Rodriquez. Of course, if he was so outraged, one wonders why Braden waited until he was walking off the field to confront Arod? Could it be that his bravery grew along with his distance from Rodriguez? Regardless, MLB needs to address Braden’s conduct. Making direct threats is not something that should be tolerated. At least a fine is in order…and a suspension wouldn’t be unwarranted.
Someone else who needs to address Braden’s comments is Derek Jeter. Time and again, Arod’s critics invoke the Captain when trying to put him down. Of course, that’s just a ploy meant to attack Arod where he is most vulnerable. As the captain, Jeter needs to step up and let Braden know that calling out a teammate in his name is not acceptable. Arod doesn’t need Jeter to be his defense lawyer (Arod handled the situation deftly on his own), but in this case, Braden specifically referenced Jeter. As the team captain, Jeter should go out of his way to say something like, “Arod doesn’t have to be like me. If Dallas has a problem with Arod, he should probably discuss it with him directly”. Short, sweet, classy…and being a good teammate.
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. – Dallas Braden (via LoHud Yankees Blog)
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. – Alex Rodriguez (via LoHud Yankees Blog)