Who exactly are you, Dallas Braden, to be yelling and screaming at Alex Rodriguez about a dubious at-best infraction of baseball's unwritten rules during the Yankees' 4-2 loss to the A's Thursday in Oakland, Calif.?
It all happened in the sixth inning when A-Rod went first to third on Robinson Cano's foul ball. On the way back, he cut across the diamond and the back of the pitcher's mound to first.
Apparently that's a baseball no-no at least in Braden's universe.
“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,” Braden told the Journal News. “He ran across the pitcher’s mound foot on my rubber. No, not happening. We’re not the door mat anymore.”
In an interview with Karl Ravech on ESPN, Braden said that he learned about this alleged unwritten baseball rule at Texas Tech. Braden said in that interview he was taught there is a reason the pitcher's mound is in the middle of the baseball diamond and that when he has the ball on that mound, he is the center of the universe.
The center of the universe? Really? And here we though A-Rod had an overinflated ego. Wow! I'm not sure Braden and his ego could fit into the Empire State Building. The Golden State Bridge might collapse under the weight of Braden's ego. My goodness!
Here's one problem: It appears Braden is the only person to be aware of this unwritten rule.
A-Rod certainly didn't know about it.
“He just told me to get off his mound,” Rodriguez said. “I was a little surprised. I’d never quite heard that. Especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career.”
And ESPN, in its stable of former players, had trouble finding anyone who had heard about that unwritten rule. Rick Sutcliffe said he was unaware of it -- and he's a guy who pitched in the majors for 18 years.
But here's the big problem: who the heck are you, Dallas Braden? I mean, really. This is a guy in his fourth year in majors with career record of 17-21 with a 4.52 ERA and a fastball that can barely crack a pane of glass (85 mph).
And he's spouting off to Alex Rodriguez, a player in his 17th year with 585 career homers. C'mon!
Look, A-Rod is no saint. He's made plenty of mistakes in his career both on and off the field. He's an enormous talent who's beyond difficult to like, much less embrace and love.
He's done plenty wrong in his career.
But this in not one of those things. He did nothing wrong.
Dallas Braden needs to shut up and calm down. He pitched a great game against the Yankees Thursday, but on this issues, he's the one who is way out of line. My soon-to-be 4-year-old son doesn't have temper tantrums as bad as the fit Braden threw.
And who are you, Dallas Braden? You won't even be a footnote in A-Rod's career.
Today at Angels, 10:05 p.m., YES
A.J. Burnett (2-0, 2.37 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (1-2, 4.35)