Oakland Athletics' Dallas Braden: "Get Off My Mound" Wins Out for 2010

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Oakland Athletics' Dallas Braden:
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

All in all 2010 was a great season—historic you could say! 

Pitchers were once again in control.  The average runs per game for each team in 2010 was nearly a run lower than in 2000 (5.39 compared to 4.44), and an enhanced drug policy enforcing a more regulated testing system has shown the fans that the game can be played clean.  

The playoff chases were in full bloom with the return of the Atlanta Braves taking it down to the wire against the San Diego Padres and the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants. 

I couldn’t possibly leave Roy Halladay off the list.  He has proven again that he is arguably the best pitcher in this era.  A perfect game in the regular season and a no-hitter in the playoffs are truly remarkable.  Can you just imagine the damage he would have caused if he played in the National League his whole career instead of battling the American League East for the past 13 years?   

Armando Galarraga’s perfect game that wasn’t will live in infamy forever, but the way both parties handled situation should be equally commended. 

After 22 seasons “the Kid” went gently into retirement.  Known for the smile and the backwards cap, Ken Griffey Jr. played with reckless abandon and never met a wall he didn’t like.  A natural in the field, and a poet at the plate, Jr. will go down as one of the best the game has ever seen. 

Sports are part of our everyday life.  Social media is in full force and without a doubt discussing baseball leads to more arguments than not. 

Even if both parties are right, neither side will admit it, as is the case between Dallas Braden and his misunderstanding (lol) with Alex Rodriguez

Considering all of the above, I have to select the “Get off my mound” episode as my highlight of 2010. 

It’s not too often when a non-steroidal episode can make late night television.  Sometimes we really do take the game too seriously and need an incident like this to take the edge off.   

A-Rod violates an unwritten rule, and regardless of what was said, walking over the pitcher’s mound is a no-no.  A-Rod knowing that has done many questionable acts in his day.  The “hey” or “I got it” debacle in Toronto was one, and swiping the ball from Bronson Arroyo’s glove was another. 

And whether it’s good or bad, he drums up publicity for the game.  Any publicity is good publicity right? 

Rodriguez can get under anyone’s skin, and he knows it.  Except this time he picked on the wrong guy.   

Regardless if Braden has peaked with his no-hitter is one thing, the underdog shoving it in the face of Goliath is the underdog story we all love. 

Braden tosses a perfect game on Mother’s Day with his grandmother in the stands, who gives possibly the quote of the year with “Stick it, A-Rod,” and the next thing you know, Braden is reading a top 10 list on David Letterman. 

You cannot write a script that good. 

In all likelihood Braden will drift away into obscurity, and A-Rod will take his place as the game’s home run king, yet for one day Braden v. Rodriguez was the biggest thing going. 

Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective

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