Well, it had to be something. No way the Oakland A’s could go on this year with one of the most anonymous decent teams in the history of baseball, in a stadium where only 20% of the concession stands operate during games and the only crowd noise comes from electronic noisemakers coming from some ambiguous spot in the left field bleachers.
Lew Wolff and Billy Beane have to thank Dallas Braden. Thank him for continuing to obsess over Alex Rodriguez, and thank him for giving us the quote of the year. The quote that shows that all the stereotypes you hear about Stockton being a rough place are absolutely true. Let’s check this out in its entirety, courtesy of Mychael Urban and CSN Bay Area. (Yeah, I know I’m late on this, but I haven’t had internet in my apartment for two full days and I’m typing this in a coffee shop. God, I’m a San Francisco cliche, blogging in a coffee shop where a huge cloud of weed smoke just blew in through the window. But I digress.)
Mychael Urban: What people do want to see is what’s in your head regarding Alex Rodriguez. I was on the air the day it happened, and I said, “I just fell in love with Dallas all over again.” I pitched in college; if somebody did that to me I would have done the exact same thing. After the game, when you said, “If he does it again, there’s going to be repercussions…” I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I said, “Where Dallas comes from, the 209, they don’t settle things with message pitches, they settle them with knuckles.” Is that what you were talking about?
Dallas Braden: Well, I mean that’s pretty much the long and the short of it. You know, on a serious note, obviously there’s things that are going to have to happen — just out of respect for my teammates, out of respect for the game. I think he’s probably garnered a new respect for the unwritten rules, and people who hold them close to their game. But yeah I think you’re right — we don’t do much talking in the 209.
Stockton’s in the heezey!!! God, I love everything about this story. Check out how Braden wears his hat. He doesn’t spend his offseason golfing and getting happy-ending massages like most big leaguers. He puts out rap mixtapes and plots how to launch his new “D. Braden” clothing line. And he’s serious about both endeavors.
The A’s need to embrace all the Oakland-ness of this team. Just check out the sfgate comments section sometime (or, better yet, don’t). You’d think Oakland was more dangerous than Fallujah, teaming with terrorists wearing crisp New Era caps over their ears. San Francisco’s got the skyline, the ballpark and all the touristy acclaim. Oakland’s high points are that they have an In ‘N Out Burger close to their stadium complex, and Lake Merritt is pleasant enough.
So I’d like to see Beane make the A’s a team of O.G.s. Everyone wear their caps low, tilted to the side just a touch (for you Giants fans, I’m talking about what’s known as the “Alex Hinshaw”). Pick fights with A-Rod, Big Papi, Jeter, Kendry Morales, Joe Mauer, whoever. Instead of these pathetic “Keep the A’s Out of San Jose” signs in the outfield, bring the Black Hole guys in and set them up in the bleachers. Let’s get opposing outfielders fearing for their lives.
Family friendly? Forget it. The A’s have tried that route, but after Oscar Grant families aren’t exactly rushing to BART their kids to the Coliseum, and driving through town to get there (when 880 is a parking lot) can be a little unsettling to the Danville/Blackhawk crowd.
Forget cheap jersey giveaways. Give away green and yellow bandanas. Brass knuckles. D. Braden mixtapes.
Let Oakland luminaries such as Too $hort, Mistah Fab and Yukmouth spit the National Anthem.
To those who think Braden should let this whole A-Rod running across the mound thing go, that it’s starting to look a little obsessive, that it’s been over two weeks since the purple-lipped slugger dared step on Braden’s turf, forget it. A-Rod needs to be put in his place after saying he didn’t care about the now infamous unwritten rule, “especially from a guy with a handful of wins in his career.”
Braden’s like a guy moving up from wrestling’s minor leagues to the WWE. He has to make a name for himself, stir things up for this team so perhaps they can draw more than 6,000 fans on a weeknight. You know who has free time on weeknights? Young players in Oakland, who have time to kill before hitting the club and pulling a shorty. Thanks to a hurler from the 209, perhaps the A’s will soon belong to the players.