This Dallas Braden-Alex Rodriguez altercation has taken on a life of its own. And Braden is still pretty ticked about yesterday’s incident, where Rodriguez trotted directly over the mound while returning to first base on a foul ball hit by Yankees teammate Robinson Cano. Braden took serious offense to the move. He addressed reporters today in front of his locker, where a teammate posted a photocopy of a 2009 New York Post headline that read “A-Hole,” published during Rodriguez’s steroid controversy.
Here’s some of Braden’s thoughts:
**Is he surprised the altercation has caused a stir in the national media?
“I guess I shouldn’t say I’m surprised, just because of who he is. But I don’t think it would have been blown up to this magnitude if it (involved) me and — in A-Rod’s opinion — some other guy just like me, which according to him is pretty much a worthless individual.”
**What does he think of Rodriguez claiming he didn’t know about a rule of etiquette that base runners shouldn’t set foot on the mound?
“That’s what you’re supposed to do when you know you’ve made an error in judgement and you really don’t want to own up to it immediately. He’s an intelligent individual. He knows what happened.”
**Braden said he received 150 texts yesterday from people talking about the incident, and he said all reaction he’s gotten has been in his favor.
“I’m of the understanding that the opinion formed is in the majority that he kind of crossed the line.”
**Braden also referred to past instances where Rodriguez has, in his opinion, crossed the line of etiquette. The only specific example he gave, however, was from Tuesday, when he said Rodriguez was leaping off first base while taking his lead, going overboard in trying to distract A’s pitcher Gio Gonzalez.
**He stressed he wasn’t trying to carry the flag for other teams in taking Rodriguez to task.
“It’s a matter of respect to me and it’s a matter of getting that opinion across to him. In no way, shape or form was it meant to call anybody out or shed light on anybody’s attitude. It’s just all about one incident — one huge isolated incident — between himself and our squad.”
Even as Braden claims the incident is history, he’s sort of fanning the flames himself by continuing to be outspoken about it. He’s sick today, and the A’s sent him home so his teammates wouldn’t catch whatever bug he has. But Braden joked that the A’s simply don’t want him yapping to reporters anymore about A-Rod …