As I promised earlier, here’s a transcript of the interview a couple of us did with Dallas before tonight’s game.
Has the incident with A-Rod been bothering you since that day?
“Not at all. I guess every time something pops up in your guys’ head and you come over, that’s when it becomes an issue. I stated the day that it happened that it was a done deal for me five minutes after the fact. I said what I said to him, he said what he said to me. He answered questions that were asked of him, I answered questions that were asked of me and I think if you ask both of us — as far as that’s concerned — that’s where it ended.
“It’s a non-factor in the preparation that we continue to exercise every day over here. I’m sure he forgot about it five minutes after it happened over there. Overall, the guy’s a professional, we’re professionals over here. It’s been a dead topic. It gets all the play and the banter, if you will, I guess later down the road just because we’re over here on the West Coast. If we were under the microscope that is the New Yorks, that is the Bostons, then things might have been a little different.”
But you understand that there’s an insinuation out there that things might get physical with you guys.
“That was something that was taken completely out of context. Think about it, you guys are grown adults, active members of society, I think for anybody to threaten any type of physical violence or altercation towards another athlete in the realm of their sporting venue would be right next to ludicrous. I had to laugh myself when I heard about that. That’s not what I’m about, that’s not how I play the game. I handle the game just the way I handled that day, with the respect that I have for it. For me to ever be looked upon as someone who would call another guy out physically just out of anger, that’s absurd.”
Did that come from the interviewee or the interviewer?
“I couldn’t really tell you.” (Braden is handed a printed-out copy of the ESPN story on the subject).
“Here I was asked something to the effect, if things are usually handled with knuckles where you’re from, in the 209. And my immediate response to that was, ‘We don’t do much talking in the 209.’ In no way was I saying I’m going to physically fight anybody on a baseball field. Come on. One thing I learned early, you let a sleeping dog lie. A-Rod has turned a blind eye to the subject, commendably so. I have as well. He’s gone on and prepared himself day in and day out for his competition and I’ve done the same.
“For the record, there’s no way I would call another athlete out in our venue, in the sports world. You just don’t do that. There’s a multitude of ways to handle conflicts when they arise. What kind of message do you send to the public and to kids playing the game that you need to get physical when things don’t go well or things are blown up? That’s not the case at all.”
He said he wants to move on as well, but he also said, “I don’t want to extend his 15 minutes of fame.”
“That’s fine. Every breathing entity in this world has a right to their opinion. And if that’s his opinion, so be it. That’s fine. I maintain my outlook on things. It’s a done deal for me. Professionalism is the high road that we both want to take.”