Oakland Athletics

Dallas Braden's Perfect Game: Longoria's Code Violation

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 11:  Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts after his strikeout against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Angels Stadium on May 11, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Jay BrennanCorrespondent IMay 12, 2010

 

 

Dallas Braden has been all over the media by pitching only the 19th perfect game in the history of major league baseball on May 9th, 2010.

 

The accomplishment rightfully overshadowed a possible code violation, but it should be pointed out.

 

Braden was in the middle of a perfect game when yet another player disrespected him. In the fifth inning, Oakland was beating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0. Evan Longoria might have committed a violation of one of baseball's unwritten rules by attempting to bunt his way onto first thus ending Braden’s perfect game.

 

Longoria’s accused bush league antic sent him to the dugout. His bunt went foul and forced him to go down swinging. There were plenty of fans who were aware of his attempted breach and let Longoria hear it as he left the plate.

 

 

Joe Maddon made the following statement on MLB.com:

"We're trying to score runs there," Maddon said. "We're not just trying to permit him to go into the record books. Our intent is to win the game. And actually if he gets it down, who knows what could have happened. That's one of those other unwritten rules that I'm not a subscriber to."

Just because someone doesn’t believe in an unwritten rule doesn’t mean they have the right to violate them.

 

In Alex Rodriguez’s head Braden wasn’t A-list enough to call him out when he ran across the mound. That doesn’t negate the fact that he knew he was violating the code.

 

The situation might have been overlooked had it been Ichiro Suzuki with the attempted bunt merely because it’s a common strategy used by the Japanese star. But Longoria is an elite power hitter that never bunts for hits. The fact is the Rays did not want to be the victim of a perfect game.

 

 

Longoria stated to the Tampa Tribune:

 

“I figured I’d try to take the opportunity there, maybe it stays fair and we get a runner on. At that point, you’re really not thinking about the guy’s perfect game or no-hitter; you’re just trying to get back into the game. It was a manageable game. Get somebody on and try and score.”

 

Critics often question the unwritten rules of baseball often missing the point. Baseball is played with grace and some acts are considered classless. The majority of players adhere to this code of conduct.

 

The violation would be more clear if it was in the eight or ninth inning. Dallas Braden doesn’t seem to be bothered by it but that might be only due to the fact it did not break up his perfect game.

 

 

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