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Dallas Braden Answers A-Rod, Proving To Baseball What Kind of Stuff He Has

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IMay 9, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 09:  Dallas Braden #51 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during an MLB game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 9, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Last month, Dallas Braden was the subject of headlines after calling out Alex Rodriguez for taking a shortcut, and that path led right through the pitching mound. Apparently, the feud is still going. 

On the May 8 episode of "Pardon the Interruption," Braden continued to bait A-Rod, because he felt slighted after the New York Yankees slugger tried to play down comments he made about the Oakland A's starter having not done much as a major leaguer yet. 

Braden then went on to say, "There's two ways that I can comment on that, and I'll give you both of them. One, I was always told if you give a fool enough rope, he'll hang himself, and with those comments, he had all the rope he needed. No. 2, I didn't know there was a criteria in order to compete against A-Rod."

True, Braden isn't going to blow any team away with his fastball, which is in the high 80s, but it can get up to 90 mph at times. Braden also has an outstanding changeup, and will throw a curveball on occasion. 

But on the mound, Braden doesn't back down from hitters he goes after them. The 26-year-old lefty is a young, confident pitcher, and if he remains healthy, he could pitch for many years.

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But, what makes A's fans love Braden is that he just doesn't back down, and claims that, "Rodriguez also is a selfish player. He plays for the name on the back of the jersey, not the front. I don't know if he's noticed, but he doesn't have a name on the back over there so he should play for the name on the front."

There are many people who despise Rodriguez, and Braden worded it perfectly of A-Rod's demeanor.

But on Sunday, Braden proved to MLB, specifically A-Rod, on just how good he can be by tossing the game's first perfect game in 42 years, a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Oakland.

Braden became the 19th hurler in MLB history to complete pitching's ultimate feat, effectively dismissing and discrediting A-Rod's assertion that Braden hasn't done much. 

Against the best team in baseball, Braden had everything going for him —h is changeup was outstanding, his fastball was located perfectly, and his curveball was spot-on. 

His pitching line: nine innings, six strikeouts, 109 pitches, and most importantly, 27 up, 27 down.

There was some nervousness for A's fans in the ninth inning, though.

After getting the first out of the inning on a soft liner to Daric Barton, the Rays' Dioner Navarro hit a hard line drive, but it was right at Eric Patterson, who made the catch. 

The last batter of the game, Gabe Kapler, came to the plate and worked a 3-1 count on Braden. But Kapler swung at the next pitch before grounding out to Cliff Pennington at shortstop to end the game.

Take that, A-Rod!

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