By now we’ve all heard about it, A’s starter Dallas Braden threw a fit yesterday after Alex Rodriguez walked across the mound while going back to first base after a juuust foul ball. Braden went on an all-time rant, basically ripping Alex to pieces for jogging across what the Oakland lefty called “the center of the universe when I’m on it” on Baseball Tonight later in the evening. He also declared the issue over, saying that he hopes he left an impression with the Yanks’ third baseman.
But of course, this is New York, and it’ll never be a dead issue. There’s been more attention paid to this than there was when Alex saved that kid’s life a few years ago. In addition to the usual pieces declaring A-Rod in the wrong this morning, Joel Sherman went a little off the deep end when he dropped this gem on us…
Look, at this point, I want to see Alex Rodriguez combine his greatest hits and really show us something. Next time he is on base and there is a pop up around the mound, why doesn’t A-Rod cut across the field, step on the rubber, scream at the opponent trying to catch the popup and – if that doesn’t work – slap at the glove. No wait, don’t scream, belt out a Madonna tune.
What the hell is that about? I mean … sheesh. He walked across the mound. The nerve!
To be quite frank, this whole mound issue is just a bit of nonsense. You’re talking about an old school, unwritten rule that was enforced with a pitch to the ribs a lifetime ago. If it were a FOX broadcast, Tim McCarver would be talking about the great Bob Gibson who never stood for such a thing and didn’t need pitch counts and was so manly that the U.S. had 48 states when he started his career and 50 when it ended. It’s that outdated.
Dallas Braden is a pretty good pitcher and he’s off to a very nice start this season, but more than anything, this sounds a little like a cry for attention. Was A-Rod in the wrong for walking around the mound? Meh, maybe. The bottom line is that A-Rod is an easy target. He’s kept himself in the clear for the last year, but there are a lot of people with animosity towards him that were just waiting for him to trip up so they could unload on him. I guess walking across the mound was it.
Aside: When a pitcher covers behind the plate on a run-scoring hit, is he allowed to walk through the batter’s box to the mound?
Update (11:54am): Told ya.