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Thoughts on A-Rod/Braden Incident

By Frank Russo ~ April 23rd, 2010. Filed under: Digest Contributors.

In case you missed it, there was an incident in the Yankees / A’s game yesterday afternoon during the top of the 6th inning that has caused a bit of a stir throughout the blogosphere and sports talk radio. The incident in question happened in the sixth inning when ARod took the ”short route” by jogging over the mound while on the way back to first base following a foul ball by Robbie Cano. Athletics starting pitcher Dallas Braden took exception to it and began shouting at the Yankees superstar, feeling that he disrespected him by crossing over the mound. To make a long story short, the two players continued the exchange after the inning was over, with Braden continuing his yapping in the dugout as A-Rod sarcastically shooed the A’s pitcher off.

After the game, Braden, still obviously perturbed, told reporters the following, “I don’t care if I’m Cy Young or the 25th man on the roster, if I’ve got the ball in my hand and I’m on that mound, that’s my mound”…..”There will be repercussions if that happens again.”

A-Rod responded by saying ”I thought it was pretty funny, actually,” telling reporters that he had never heard of any unwritten rule about players crossing a mound.

My take on all of this is that it’s all much to do about nothing. I’ve been researching baseball since 1968, 42 years, and have never heard of any such an “unwritten” rule. Could there be one? Who knows, but I’ve never heard of anything like it. In fact, I distinctly remember seeing Rico Carty of the Braves do the same thing after making an out in a game against the Cardinals when Nelson Briles was on the mound. Briles, who was known to have a bit of a temper, didn’t go crazy or threaten retaliation. He looked at Carty and nodded. The game went on without incident.

I wonder what Braden would have thought of Pete Rose’s habit of crossing over the mound and slamming the ball after the last out was made so that it would bound away, forcing the opposing pitcher to walk a few extra steps to retrieve it when he came back to the mound. If Braden had pitched during Rose’s time, would he have gone after “Charlie Hustle” the same way he did A-Rod and threatened retaliation?  Who knows, but I’m pretty sure Rose would have looked at Braden the same way as A-Rod did yesterday, as nothing more than ”busher.”

Interestingly, this incident has given “Yankee Haters” the perfect opportunity to voice their hate filled spew on both the internet and on Sports Talk Radio, pointing to what they believe to be another example of so-called classless behavior by the Yankee third baseman.

Where was their indignation a few weeks ago when Pat Burrell tried to take out Mark Teixeira’s legs as he tried to get back to first base on a double play? Would the same people who are complaining now have said anything if Tex had been injured by Burrell’s cheap shot? My guess is, no. What would these same complainers be saying if Joba Chamberlain had mentioned some sort of ”retaliation” as Braden did? My guess would be that the majority of ”Yankee Haters” would be calling for a congressional investigation while demanding Joba to be suspended immediately.

Does the A-Rod / Dallas Braden dust-up have any lasting consequences? Probably not, unless Braden or one of the other Athletic pitchers decides to take matters into their own hands and “nail” Rodriguez the next time the two teams meet. On that note, Braden and his teammates better be prepared for retaliation from the Yankees. Under the leadership of “General Joe” Girardi, Yankee pitchers have been more than willing to stand up for their teammates. Am I advocating a bean ball war here? Absolutely not. I’m just stating the obvious. This is not the Joe Torre Yankees where, for the most part, position players like Derek Jeter were used as human piñatas by opposing pitchers. A-Rod’s teammates have his back, He knows it and the rest of the league knows it. I personally just can’t see this thing escalating any further, but I could be wrong. It will be interesting to see how things will play out the next time the two teams meet.

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Frank is a resident of East Brunswick, NJ and former radio announcer. He is a 4th generation Republican and Yankees Fan. He also enjoys listening to talk radio. His favorite announcer is Shawn Hannity of “Hannity” on FOX and enjoys reading about military history. In addition to rooting for the Yankees, he also has a passion for the New York Islanders. You can enjoy Frank’s work at The Dead Ball Era and his book “Bury My Heart at Cooperstown”. Check out his “Rants and Raves” on New York Baseball Digest.

9 Responses to Thoughts on A-Rod/Braden Incident

  1. M.R. Fromm

    As usual, the prima donnas do whatever they feel like doing. ARod is a prima donna…but I feel that he breached the proper etiquette by crossing the pitcher’s mound. Why don’t these fat, lazy prima donna show any respect? Over paid, over pampered…and now, under-mannered.

  2. Thetruthhurts

    Dallas Braden? Seriously? This is the most coverage he’s going to get all year. He looked like a fit throwing little leaguer. He has ZERO credibility. He hasn’t earned any respect in the league among his peers yet. He is entitled to nothing, including the benefit of the doubt when it comes to something like this. It has nothing to do with Rodriguez for me. The guy may very well be the home run king when its over and done. They have nothing to to do with one another. Dont make this about Rodriguez, because it wasn’t. It was a egomaniacal little tantrum, by a guy whose bruised ego turned him into a 9 year old. Next time why don’t you urinate on the mound that way he knows it yours. Grow up.

  3. Clay

    I totally agree. If anything this shows a lack of class on the A’s part rather than the Yankees. I think A-Rod’s classification of the incident as funny is far superior to getting bent out of shape for some supposed infraction of Braden’s personal space.

    Oh, btw, it’s ‘Much ado about nothing’ if you’re trying to quote Shakespeare…

  4. Pinstripes7

    Really Fromm, what etiquette, exactly, did Arod breach? There is no unwritten rule about crossing over the mound. He took the direct route from 3rd base to first, never looked up or made a comment or gesture of any kind to provoke anything. As a matter of fact, with the kids little insincere speech about how classy the Yanks are except for Arod, I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that if Jeter crossed over the mound, the kid wouldn’t have said a word. If there’s anyone who plays the game right, it’s Arod. He’s the first guy there in the morning to practice and the last to leave, and I’ve never seen him not hustle in a game. If Arod ticks off his opponents because they think of him a a prima donna, then good, it’ll make them look as childish and classless as the kid did yesterday.

  5. Kevin C

    I am in A-rod’s corner on this one. A nobody needs to earn respect. If no-one knows about an unwritten rule does it really exist? If this really was an unwritten rule, A-rod should have been brushed back next time they face. The A’s pitcher is a whiner.

  6. aroid

    arod is a cheater and a jerk. simple facts.

    you dont see a problem with what he did? BS. if it were the other way around you would have issues.

    if it’s no big deal, how come it isnt done more often? because it IS a big deal.

  7. Viper

    ARoid is pretty original.

    Name one major league pitcher, current or former, who has come out and agreed with Braden and acknowledging that this is some unwritten rule.

    There is no such unwritten rule. If it exists, nobody else has ever heard of it for the exception of Braden and his supposed college coach.

    A-Rod is an easy target. It’s as simple as that. It wouldn’t be a story if someone else had done it.

  8. Fredo

    Not a Yankee hater, but I do think ARod is a bit of a punk who has a history of doing crap like this. Anybody remember when he ran behind Howie Clark and yelled “Mine!” so that Clark backed off a pop-up that was a sure out? Or how about the infamous slap of Bronson Arroyo’s glove in the 2004 playoffs?
    Both times everyone called him out on his actions and both times ARod trotted out the same old “Nobody ever told little old me that was wrong” crap. What a jerk.
    Glad to see that a non-star like Braden had the guts to call out ARod for what he is.

  9. Rico

    You can go back to kissing Arod’s poster now.

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