Dallas Braden: Still an Idiot 16

Dallas Braden is still talking about his incident with Alex Rodriguez from a few weeks ago (via the guys at Fack Youk).  Apparently, he isn’t A-Rod’s biggest fan:

I’m not a fan of his antics, obviously what he displayed wasn’t the first display of his lack of respect for the game or those playing it, so that never sat well with me.  He’s just an individualistic player.  That’s his approach to the game, he plays for the name on the back, and I don’t know if he’s noticed, but he doesn’t have a name on the back over there.  He should play for the name on the front a little more.

Here is the thing I find myself coming back to: what antics is he talking about exactly?  I had a conversation with some other A-Rod haters right after this incident happened and they said essentially the same thing and I quite simply don’t get it.  By all accounts, A-Rod respects the game so much it’s almost to his detriment.  Other people describe him as an awkward baseball dork.  He studies every element of the game.  He works amazingly hard, to the point where in recent years he’s had to be told to take it easy.  He loves the history of the game.

But A-Rod is a bit more of an introvert than the Derek Jeter‘s of the world.  Again, he’s a little awkward.  He’s a baseball junkie who happens to also be one of the greatest baseball talents ever.  He doesn’t give smooth interviews.  He has trouble coming up with the right things to say.  Does any of this mean that he somehow respects the game less?  I’m doubtful.

So again, let’s get back to the original question: what antics?  Okay, the steroid thing.  I’ll concede that and I won’t even get into all the issues I have with the steroid witch-hunt and the way A-Rod was treated versus other players (but fair warning: there’s a post on that coming).

The funny thing is though, when people talk about A-Rod’s disrespect for the game, they often don’t even mention the steroid thing.  It’s the slap play or the time he yelled when a player was catching a pop-up.  Those kinds of things.  But I can’t help but feel if Jeter had done those same things, they’d be described as crafty and smart.  The slap play in particular: if someone puts the their glove and the ball in the baseline, it is fair game.  The person applying the tag needs to control the ball.  But because it’s A-Rod, he obviously was being dirty.

The second part of Braden’s accusations about A-Rod are even more absurd.  He needs to play for the team more rather than for himself?  How, I wonder, does one go about doing that?  When A-Rod hits a homerun, when is it for him and when is it for the team?  Wasn’t A-Rod the Yankees’ most important offensive player in their World Series run?  What else does he have to do exactly?  I just went to his baseball-reference page and I couldn’t find how many hits he had for himself versus those he had for the team.  If I didn’t know better, it would seem they are exactly the same.

So it appears that not only do fans and media members buy into these ridiculous fabricated narratives, but other players do too.  And in Braden’s case, he insinuates he’s going to end it with violence.  Luckily for A-Rod, Braden’s a pitcher and won’t have a catcher’s mask to hide behind.

16 thoughts on “Dallas Braden: Still an Idiot

  • B_Mac

    "By all accounts, A-Rod respects the game so much it’s almost to his detriment."

    Really? He respects the game so much?! When did he show that, was it when he slapped the ball out of the 1st basemen's glove against the Sox, or was it when he yelled out to distract the ss from catching the pop-up, or wait was it when he CHEATED and took PED's? Which one was it?

    Just another example of how A-Rod does not respect the game. Braden said it best himself, he should take some lessons from his captain. A-rod is the exact opposite of someone who respects the game.

    I'm all for defending your team, but this is ridiculous

  • TedK

    Let me start off by saying I don't like A-Rod that much, and from what little I know of his personality if I met him in casual circles, I don't think I would be friends with him. But, the anti-A-Rod stuff I see really cracks me up sometimes. Yelling when someone is trying to catch a pop-up, yup I can see how that would get you a fastball in the ribs. Trying to knock the ball out? Nah, people do that all the time (mostly on plays at the plate). He got caught and was ruled out by the umps, so punishment done.

    Pitchers going for the head instead of just the body, that's a problem. Someone like Manny standing and watching a homerun, that's disrespectful. Not listening to veterans on your team, not good. Having problems with umpires or your manager, uh huh. Showing up late to meetings, don't go there. Heck, not running out grounders ticks me off.

    If you don't like A-Rod as a person, that's fine. Like I said, you can kinda count me in that camp. But what does that have to do with whether or not he respects the game? I won't defend the guy as a person, but I don't see him doing stuff on the list I mentioned.

  • Stephen Crociata

    My Biggest problem with A-Rod is when he was commenting on how Braden was pretty much a nobody. Granted Braden has had no career but to me the the order of how guys should be respected goes 1) Stars 2) Veterans 3) Rookies/Young guys 4) Guys who have been proven to take PEDs. A-Rod is on the bottom of that totem poll and I can never justify anything he does, he thinks he is a god and is all about image. He only wanted to win to validate his career. I am a Yankee fan so I never root against him during games, but I enjoy the wins when he does nothing MUCH more.

  • theboogiedown

    I would suggest that, like many people, he has a skewed sense of what is right and wrong. I think he respects the game but can be overwhelmed by his poor judgement at times as noted by B_Mac. The guy plays a little bit dittier (not necessarily bad) than your Derek Jeter types. Pair that with the fact that I think most people suspect he is pretty much a jerk as a person and viola!: you get a Dallas Braden thinking HE knows what he's talking about.

  • Peter Menking

    People just hate A-rod. Whether its because of the steroids or jealousy or some ridiculous view of his lack of respect towards the game that is predicated on mainly three incidents throughout his entire career, they hate Arod. I think that is a key point. People talk about three things that he does, besides the steroids which is another issue entirely, and act like that is how he has played his whole career. He hustles, has an insane work ethic, and plays the game to win every time. What more do you want?

  • Jimmy

    Hi this is off topic but i was just looking at the writers about us section why are so many of you from The Pinstriper?

  • Dan Reiner

    Just to get my say in this, I completely agree with everything Brian has said thus far. I find all of the "I hate A-Rod because he's so amazingly good but cocky about it" attitudes stupid because if you're the second best player in all of baseball, you are allowed to be cocky. Cockiness is really the only thing that the public has SEEN. Everything else is based off of the image the media has given him.

    And besides Steve, I think if he REALLY wanted to look good with women, he could do better than Madonna and Cameron Diaz..

  • John

    I have several friends in the sports media business who have met a lot of athletes and you'd be surprised which ones are the biggest jerks — #1 was Johnny Bench, who was unpleasant, surly, and condescending, on all occasions working with them. These friends tell me that A-Rod is very cool, friendly, upbeat, remembers peoples names, and loves to talk baseball but doesn't talk down to these non-athletes (some athletes have an "I play, you don't" attitude).

    Also, the year after the Virginia Tech shootings, the Yanks followed through on their promise to play the Va Tech baseball team and I've read many articles on that, and to a man, the Va Tech players praised Alex who went out of his way to spend lots of time with those kids.

    I'm a huge fan of A-Rod and will continue to be.

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