Making a much anticipated start, Dallas Braden will take the hill today against Oakland, making his Yankee Stadium debut in front of the ravenous Yankee Stadium crowd.
Braden, LHP from the Oakland Athletics is having a subpar season individually, going 9-9 with a 3.28 ERA. His stuff isn’t overwhelming, with his fastball topping out at about 90 mph, while also possessing a solid changeup, a slider and curveball. He also threw the 19th perfect game in MLB history earlier this season against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 9th.
He is unfortunately not known for that perfect game, or his mediocre stuff and season. He is most known for his run in with Alex Rodriguez.
Just in case some do not know, Dallas Braden and Alex Rodriguez have a history, all stemming from April 22, when Alex ran across “Braden’s mound” to get back to first base. He broke an unwritten rule, as Braden describes. Braden took shots at Alex after the game, calling him a prima donna, like that has never been done before. Alex responded to it as if it were comical, “coming from a guy with a handful of wins.”
After a few days, the story seemed like old news, until Braden once again brought it up. This time, he went a little bit further with his shots towards Alex, by saying that there will be repercussions for his action.
Via ESPNNewYork: “There are things that are going to have to happen,” Braden told CSN Bay Area on Wednesday. “Out of respect to my teammates, out of respect to the game. I think he’s probably garnered a new respect for the unwritten rules and the people who hold them close to their game. But I think you’re right, we don’t do much talking in the 209.”
The Yankees had had enough of Braden. CC Sabathia, today’s starting pitcher went on to say this about Braden back in May in defense of his teammate:
Via NorthJersey.com: “He’s a clown,” Sabathia said of Braden. “Guy says he’s from the 209, what the [bleep] is that? That’s where I’m from and I don’t know what he’s talking about. Two-oh-nine. He needs to just calm down – put that in the paper. That’s just tired.”
The matchup that we have all been waiting for has been dodged twice, the first time back in July because Braden was on the disabled list, and today because Alex is on the disabled list. So these “things that are going to have to happen” may never happen. I say “may” because one cannot rule out Braden going after another Yankee player other than Alex Rodriguez.
This afternoons game may be one of the most anticipated games of the 2010 season. Sabathia vs Braden. Braden will be stepping onto Yankee Stadiums mound. One can only hope that the Yankees will force him off their mound as fast as humanly possible.