Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Clumsy attempt to extend ARod-Braden feud

Mr. Perfect Dallas Braden isn't mad at Alex Rodriguez anymore, but he's really pissed off at his team's marketing people.

Braden and ARod have been linked since that infamous April day when the pitcher told the New York Yankees third baseman to get off his mound (not those exact words, but I’m cleanly paraphrasing his comments). ARod responded by belittling Braden’s big-league career, just a few weeks before the pitcher threw the 19th perfect game in Major League history against the Tampa Bay Rays. Now Braden is angry that team officials started selling T-Shirts reading “Get off My Mound” in honor of the confrontation.

It was a clumsy, but kind of funny attempt to gain traction out of the Braden-ARod feud and use it to sell seats and merchandise. But it's disturbing to me that the A's went ahead with the T-shirt sales without Braden's approval. Why would they risk upsetting their own player, who created a small moment of pure joy in an otherwise pedestrian season for the A’s? The answer: money, honey.

Braden has shown he is an emotional guy and is clearly not happy with the marketing ploy. Since he's not afraid to take on one of the biggest names in baseball, it doesn't surprise me that he would publicly challenge his own team's staffers. It was a silly ploy, but Braden completely overreacted, just like he overreacted to ARod crossing his mound. I don't buy Braden’s baseball solidarity argument, but I do believe that he would now much rather be known for pitching a perfect game than having ARod as a sworn enemy.

Thanks to James Venes via Wikipedia for the photo.

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