A controversy out of nothing


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 It’s that outdated.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.

Categories : Musings


  1. I had never even heard about that story of him saving the kid’s life. I’m sure the NYY and BOS beat writing crew found a way to make him look like a jackass for doing it, though.

  2. Spaceman.Spiff says:

    I mean the only argument Braden really has over this being an issue is that a lot of pitchers are both superstitious and very OCD about the mound. Pitchers often spend the early part of games and the beginning of innings getting the mound to feel they want it to and try to dig out some dirt where their foot lands or where it leans against the rubber to get a nice groove. It would’ve been nice for A-Rod to just go around the mound if at all possible.

    But with all that said, Braden was being an awful baby about it. This isn’t bush league or some unwritten rule, it’s just how some pitchers prefer to regard the mound and to yell at A-Rod and then cry about it for 7 minutes in the post-game interviews is much ado about mostly nothing.

    • all ball players are OCD. watch a base runner after they slide into a base: they immediately start grooming the dirt. they can’t help it. i can’t believe Braden made such a big deal about it. you lost the series… at home. focus on that. its the important thing that happened to the As, not ARod touching the precious mound.
      and seriously, ARod saved that kids life! what does he have to do earn some cache with the media? go all superman IV on us and end the threat of Nuclear War on earth? that Joel Sherman piece is shameful. But then, so is the NY Post; their homepage is RIDICULOUS every day, i had to give up on them

      • Joe West's Sense of Self-Importance says:

        If A-ROD ends the threat of Nuclear war on earth, clearly, it will be strictly for the selfish purpose of compiling his hero stats. And it certainly won’t be clutch.

      • Pete says:

        It’s clear that some writers abuse their power & influence. I just don’t get how a beat writer trashing a guy that they have to cover every day.

        If I’m A-Rod, I’m not talking to Sherman anyore…

  3. Nick says:

    Don’t forget, if a yankee pitcher did this, the media would be crucifying that pitcher because he is a Yankee and everything is handed to them..blah blah. Joel Sherman is a tool, and so it Dallas Braden. If he can keep this success up for a full year, then maybe, just maybe he can talk.

  4. Apollo22237 says:

    Good job with the aside. This whole situation is completely nonsense, just like you said. I really hope something stupid doesn’t come out of this the next time the teams meet such as a suspension or injury.

  5. JGS says:

    I think the A’s just have a big inferiority complex regarding the Yankees. We saw it with Duchscherer getting snippy, and we saw it again with Braden.

  6. Zack says:

    Where can I get this list of unwritten rules? I need to look up where it says baseball games must be finished in 2.5 hours, inning limits are pointless and bulldog mentalities belong in the bullpen too.

  7. bexarama says:

    At first I was annoyed. Then I was amused. It’s just… what? I know baseball players and pitchers in particular are really superstitious. But I’ve honestly never heard this “rule,” written or unwritten. It’s just hysterical that Braden was freaking out and A-Rod was like “Who is Karim Garcia Dallas Braden?”

    • Tank the Frank says:

      Nice Pedro reference!

      It’s basically what Mike says it is; a cry for attention. The A’s got off to a nice little start so they puff their chests out when the Yankees come to town. They want to make a statement that they’re not going to be “doormats” anymore and there’s no better team than the Yankees, and no better player than A-Rod to try to make that statement against.

      • Ansky says:

        I know what you mean. However, how can Braden make the statement about not being doormats when the team just dropped 2 out of 3 and was nearly no-hit in one them? This makes him look even dumber.

        • Tank the Frank says:

          Heh. He’s a baseball player, not a Rhodes Scholar. He went to Texas Tech, where I graduated, I should know.

  8. After A-Rod responded to Braden’s comments in the locker room, Braden added this…

    Responded Braden: “I don’t even have a handful of wins. I only have three. Do the math, A-Rod.”

    Worst. Comeback. Ever

    • Spaceman.Spiff says:

      He actually has 3 for this year, 17 in his career I think. So if he was saying, bite me A-Rod, I have more wins than most pitchers in 2010 then it’s not the woooorst comeback ever. just a lame one.

    • mko says:

      He was talking about 3 handfuls (17 wins).

      • Chris says:

        Handful =/= 5

        If I have a handful of M&Ms, I have way more than 5. Since wins are smaller than M&Ms, I can only assume that Braden has a handful of wins (or less).

  9. Tank the Frank says:

    Wanna tear into A-Rod or the Yankees? ESPN and Baseball Tonight will give you all the air-time you need.

    Honest to God. I cannot BELIEVE they interviewed him on Baseball Tonight about this. Holy shit.

    • keithr says:

      To be fair, they seemed kind of incredulous about the whole situation. They said how they talked to several people, including Sutcliffe, and no one else had ever heard of such a rule.

      Where did Braden learn it? Legion ball.

  10. dkidd says:

    espn’s next “30 on 30″: yankees undertip cab drivers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. anon says:

    Amazing. So this is what logical analysis looks like.

  12. yankees=warriors says:

    I’m not a big fan of A-Rod, but Braden is really the biggest cry baby ever. This whole thing is simply ridiculous.

  13. DSFC says:

    I’ve watched baseball as long as I can remember. I was raised on it. I played organized baseball through high school (not college, sadly, cause I’m not that, you know, talented).

    I have never, ever heard of this “unwritten rule”.

  14. A.D. says:

    Its one of those things, if Braden doesn’t like it, say something to A-Rod, then let it go, don’t throw a shit-fit/temper tantrum then have multiple interviews about it.

  15. Cam says:

    Dude, that’s hilarious that you called the McCarver thing. It feels like an April fools joke. I know he’s incredibly predictable but man, that’s awesome. Good shit.

  16. Zack says:

    +13 for nailing the McCarver/Gibson prediction

    • Zack says:

      “You don’t see any starting pitchers in the batter’s box, do you? You don’t see pitchers go in the batter’s box, dig in, anything like that.”

      Because now ARod stood on the mound and took some warm up throws. What are the chances McCarver didnt even see the play?

      • Dirty Pena says:

        Next time a pitcher backs up home plate, I want to see him walk around the batter’s box on his way back to the mound.

        What are the chances McCarver didnt even see the play?


      • Chris says:

        What are the chances McCarver didnt even see the play?

        I haven’t even seen the play, and I’ve been looking for a clip of it. I can find the aftermath where Braden blows up, but not any video of A-Rod running across the mound.

  17. Steve H says:

    If this were Derek Jeter, Braden would probably have said he’s blessed to have Jeter touch “his” mound.

    And you don’t think saving that kids life was planted? I bet A-Rod paid the kid 1st(but no tip of course), or pushed him out just to then “save” him afterwards. (/sarcasm’d)

  18. The absolute freakout Braden had was amusing and I wonder if his stupid behavior in the dugout is why he got yanked at 80 pitches when he was cruising.

    The best part was A-Rod shooing him away though. I have purposely not read any of the media reactions to it, I think I’m going to keep it that way.

  19. Tank Foster says:

    There must be contributors to this blog who have done alot of pitching. Is this issue really part of “the code?”

    Whether it is or it isn’t….I hate players who whine about stuff like this. The way you deal with this is that you throw a 91 mph fastball into the offending party’s back, or thigh.

    If ARod knew what he was doing – and maybe he did – I still don’t have a problem with it. It’s called gamesmanship. In golf, it happens all the time. You hear about people like Tiger Woods and other great players doing things like standing very close to another player on the tee box. Or maybe shifting their weight a little as someone prepares to swing. It’s subtle. But the idea is you put a little pressure on someone, without really blatantly breaking any rules.

    It’s part of sports, it’s part of life. Good for Alex; it shows he wants to win. I hope other players give it back to him. You don’t complain about it. You deal with it. You don’t go on a rambling diatribe to the press.

    • Steve H says:

      The way you deal with this is that you throw a 91 mph fastball into the offending party’s back, or thigh.

      This is why Braden is really pissed, he doesn’t have a 91 mph fastball.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      It’s called gamesmanship. In golf, it happens all the time.


      Baseball is such a fickle sport. I literally just now watched last night’s basketball highlights and saw some guy dunk over another and then stand over him, pound his chest, and scream like an idiot. You don’t see stuff like that in baseball (except when Papelbon saves a game). A-Rod stepped on a mound…most likely by accident.

      The point is that baseball is very “old gaurd” with the unwritten rules and such. It’s frowned upon to even show emotion in a game. But it’s all about gamesmanship. A-Rod did NOTHING to disrespect Braden…or the game. What’s embarrassing to me was Braden’s Carlos Zambrano impression he did after it happened.

      Grow up.

  20. Chris says:

    “Pete Rose tried that once with Gibson in the mid-60s and Gibson threw at him the next time up. Pete spat at him. And the next one was a lot closer. Pete didn’t spit the second time.”

    I don’t get it. Why not try to cajole the pitcher into hitting you so you can get on base? Spit enough times and piss him off enough and a hitter can get into a pitchers head. And get on base.

  21. Jamal G. says:

    I wouldn’t have cared about this story from either point if Dallas Braden had not reacted like a little child in the dugout. Why is he throwing stuff in the dugout? What a bitch.

  22. Russell210 says:

    I want to see ARod yell “get off my batters box”… oh shoot that would be too funny.

  23. Russell210 says:

    A man in Braden’s shoes would have said something to ARod and let events transpire between the two.

    A woman in Braden’s shoes would have thrown a bit*h fit and then cried about it to all her media friends afterward.

    Which one is Braden?

    • Spaceman.Spiff says:

      He did say something to A-Rod. But he also did throw a “8itch fit”.

      So Braden = hermaphrodite????

    • bennyprofane says:

      To be fair it seems like the media sought Braden out to flesh out the issue, mostly because A-Rod was involved. It’s not like he had to go and seek the attention.

      Regardless, these things used to get settled on the field one way or the other. braden wants to stomp his feet, fine. Next time A-Rod gets one under the chin fine. Because after that the balls gonna end up in the San Francisco Bay and A-Rod can tap dance all the way around the bases.

      Instead this gets played out in the media. A gaggle of mediots vying for the definitive perspective of who’s right and who’s wrong here. Attemtpting to validate what they believe is their exclusive understanding of the “code” of baseball, despite having never played it. A-Rod just makes it fashionable, and able to fill pages for at least 2 days. I just wish we all had the ability to turn away. Remember when all the advertisements came to life in Springfield? Homer entranced by the giant pink frosted donut? The city under siege and on the verge of extermination? All they had to do was look away.

  24. Steve H says:

    It’s like A-Rod’s glove slap play. Everyone’s favorite little person did the same exact thing, but was he vilified for it? Of course not.

  25. TopChuckie says:

    Can anyone point me to a link to ARod’s postgame response? I saw it on ESPN this morning and would like to see it again, but can’t find it anywhere. He’s usually pretty awkward with the press, but I thought he handled this perfectly.

  26. Thomas says:

    I think my favorite part of the McCarver piece is how he make Rose look like a hero for stepping on the rubber. He did to intimidate pitcher, he was so tough, gitty, and brave, etc. However, for A-Rod to do it, it was a mortal sin.

  27. Joe G. says:


  28. YankeesPacificNW says:

    Uh Oh! Major problem here. Mets 20 inning game. They call in a guy from outfield to pitch. He cannot stand on the mound because this is sacred ground and non-pitchers may not touch, stand on, enter. And, wasn’t a pitcher sent to cover third? I may be wrong about that. But, these unspoken rules really get into my head and confuse me about the Spirit of Baseball.

    But, it’s always fun to watch temper tantrums. Don’t want to be in the lane in front of Braden when he lets that “rage” turn into road rage.

  29. Joe G. says:



  30. CS Yankee says:

    Good call on the McCarver call.

    I call BS on the gibson thing though…he hit players for timing his fastball while on deck according to the legend. Now he is only going inside on Rose?…Rose spit…and still no HBP? All of this and Mccarver remembers this 40-50 years later?

    Arod ran across on purpose to get in his head…so what? Going over the bump or directly behind it (Spinkler box, shoe scrapper, etc) is just not common.

    Seems like a few teams get fired up when facing the Yankees. When Tampa plowed over frankie in ST, it was a message…this message was to just get in his head, not put him on the DL to start the season.

  31. pat says:

    To be fair Braden was just practicing his best Harrison Ford impression- GET OFF MY MOUND

  32. Cnight_UP says:

    So Ty Cobb sharpened spikes, used them as weapons, but he played hard, Arod runs across mound while pitcher not on it…WORST GUY EVER!!!!

  33. Jammy Jammers says:

    If it was Cano, they’d just say he’s lazy.

  34. nathan says:

    Wait… was Joel trying to be funny, he should hv said… alert attempted humor… i think NYPost has it for Arod.. i am sure he refused a Steve Serby interview or something, Sherman has alwys been venomous with ARod

    when the opt-out drama was going on, he pestured ARod every interview.. and NYpost was the one that carried his Central Park stroll…

    sometimes i wonder why athletest bother playing for NY teams… the media is just pathetic

    • alightiningrodfan says:

      I don’t read the Post sports page at all. Can’t take their horrible coverage. Good to know I made the right decision not to read them.

  35. vin says:

    “You don’t see any starting pitchers in the batter’s box, do you? You don’t see pitchers go in the batter’s box, dig in, anything like that.”

    Umm… National League? Sure some pitchers just stand in the box and take 3 strikes, but I’ve seen plenty of pitchers dig in and take their AB’s seriously.

    Is it an “unwritten rule”? Yeah, probably. Was it gamesmanship by Alex? Yeah, probably.

    I mentioned yesterday in the open thread that the A’s came across as being very unprofessional this series. Complaining on called strikes, yukking it up after a HR while still trailing by 3, etc. It just seems like a team that needs some veteran leadership.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      I agree with your assessment. They’re a very young team that has no identifiable leader (a quality most losing teams share). When Chavez is your veteran stalwart, you’re in trouble.

    • CS Yankee says:

      Everyone is saying poor A’s, big bad Arod

      The fact that Arod did this to likely get in his head…it did, but he didn’t melt on the field (only in clubhouse & with media) and now we know a little bit more about a light handed lefty from Oakland who is off to a great start.

      Arod will do anything to win and i like his comment about a handful of wins. It was disrespectful, will stick with the player and maybe, just maybe Arod is not being a Afraud, but his true self (unlike Tiger Woods image redo). We don’t have to like him, but just play him.

      The cashier didn’t ring up his candy bar and he’s gonna eat it in front of you in the parking lot smiling instead of taking the time and doing it right.

  36. Rose says:

    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.

    Bingo. A cocky kid realizes he’s playing well and not getting enough attention like others who may haven’t shown as much…what’s a better way to get himself some more press and notariety than yell at one of the best players in the game and lightning rod of problems who plays for the team of controversy, Alex Rodriguez?

    I feel it’s something Papelbon would do had he not played for the Red Sox.

    Entirely unnecessary and pretty ridiculous if you ask me. A young unproven rookie kid scolding a Hall of Fame veteran about disrespecting the game?

    Is this the twilight zone?

  37. Opus says:

    It is a big deal because, as we all know, wherever A-Rod steps his foot, there is a possibility of a portal leading to the depths of Hell opening up beneath it.

  38. JoeyH says:

    What are they like reptiles? Territorial. I hope Alex hits a line drive right between this moron’s eyebrows next time.

  39. Klemy says:

    Baffling to me the amount of media coverage this got. If it were anyone else who did it, it would’ve come off differently. Arod just isn’t ever going to win in the media.

  40. Bill R says:

    Is it just me or do opposing players step on the mound several times a game? When the pitching coach comes out to talk to the pitcher and the team huddles around the pitcher, They step all over it!! What’s the difference if it was after a play? I can’t wait till Braden comes to New York!

  41. Big Juan says:

    I mean, in all my years playing baseball, as on offensive player I would never step on the mound. Like Braden said, to me it just seems off limits.

    However, another unwritten rule of baseball is to not act like a 12-year-old girl and throw temper tantrums. If he had a problem with what A-Rod did, hit him in the back the next time up and have that be the end of it. But don’t whine and moan and put on a show. We get it, you’re pissed. Shut up and throw the baseball. No one cares what message you’re trying to send. Deal with it like a ballplayer.

  42. JobaTheHeat62 says:

    Tim McCarver….LMAO

  43. Jeremy says:

    Dallas Braden better not step on the Burnette/Hughes/Vasquez/Pettitte/Sabathias pitching mound when he pitches next at Yankee stadium. He better never a step on Texeira’s first base, Cano’s second base, ARod’ thirdbase, and he also better never touch Posada’s home plate.

    On MLB.com many Red Sox fans are bashing ARod, I guess when you are in the cellar you need a distraction from how much your team sucks.

  44. Cecala says:

    “That’s his space. You don’t see any starting pitchers in the batter’s box, do you? You don’t see pitchers go in the batter’s box, dig in, anything like that. So why should hitters be allowed on the mound?” – McCarver

    I actually see that daily, it is called the National League.

  45. bexarama says:

    in case you didn’t see it:
    ROFL. I love him so very much.

  46. I think whenever Tim McCarver says something dumb Mike Marshall should stuff him in a garbage can. Eventually he just wouldn’t come out.

  47. lily=bk says:

    “I am not a speck on his radar and that is fine, but I know I was out there and he will know not to do that again because there will be repercussions if it happens again.”

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports.....z0lxXr9OYX

    lol is he trying to scare a-rod?? hes got to get over it

  48. Tommy S says:

    If anyone would like to read a great article on this subject go to espn ny and read what Wallace Mathews has to say about it. (I’m being sarcastic of course)

    • bexarama says:

      After all, how could he know that guy with the camera would happen to snap a picture just as he was tasting himself in a mirror?

      I think that wording gave me the biggest douche chills ever. AND A REALLY BAD MENTAL IMAGE, ACTUALLY.

      He helped turn a triple play on Thursday, but that apparently wasn’t enough attention for A-Rod.
      Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t he turn the triple play after the incident? Yes I’m sure the only reason A-Rod tried to turn that triple play was because he wanted more attention for himself.

      And if A-Rod is really as big an attention whore as Matthews says, well then wouldn’t he have been doing this cut-across-the-mound-to-bother-the-pitcher-and-get-attention-for-himself thing for years? And someone before Dallas freaking Braden would have said something about it.

      • alightiningrodfan says:

        Unbelievable all this attention to this. Man, there are a lot of angry people out there, and they are all directing their anger at A-Rod. And all over a mount!!!!

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