It’s fun to have something exiting to write about! Late this afternoon, Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden threw the 19th perfect game in Major League Baseball history against the Tampa Bay Rays. Not too shabby, eh?
Braden’s name might sound familiar to you. He’s the pitcher who gave Alex Rodriguez the business earlier in the season when ARod used the pitcher’s mound as a shortcut. ARod responded to Braden’s criticisms of his breaking an unwritten rule by saying:
“He just told me to get off his mound. I was a little surprised. I’d never quite heard that. Especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career … I thought it was pretty funny actually.”
Then when Braden held on to it like a bulldog with a bone and kept saying things about how maybe now the Yankees and ARod would respect the A’s more now (fat chance) ARod came back with this:
“I think Major League Baseball reads the same articles as we do,” Rodriguez said. “Now, look, I really don’t want to extend his extra 15 minutes of fame.”
I think Dallas just earned himself another 15 minutes without any help from ARod.
Now, in all fairness, Braden said some pretty pointed things about ARod (none that seemed to be untrue but definitely things you don’t often hear fellow major leaguers say about each other) – but that really just makes me like him more. My dislike of Rodriguez is well documented and I think it’s about time players stop caring about how they look and tell the truth when situations like this come up. So Dallas already won a spot in my heart.
How’s this for warming the cockles? Dallas’ mom died from skin cancer when he was in high school and his grandmother raised him after that. He credits her and baseball with keeping him off the streets, out of gangs and out of trouble. He grew up in Stockton, California (area code 209) and today he bought the tickets in section 209 and brought all his friends out for the game – and his grandmother was there too. It’s almost like everything aligned perfectly for Dallas to make this a historic game for him.
Word has it (I haven’t seen or heard this myself, just getting second hand info from A’s beat writer Susan Slusser) that Dallas’ grandma added “”Stick it, A-Rod” while answering questions after the game. My own grandmother passed away seven years ago this month and I promise you if Dallas were her grandson, she wouldn’t have been so polite to use the phrase ‘stick it”. So Dallas’ grandma gets points for being delicate. :)
The Oakland A’s broadcaster’s call:
“He did it! He did it! Dallas Braden has thrown a perfect game! Holy cow!”
Congratulations to Dallas Braden. So nice to have something in baseball that we can genuinely celebrate today!