But now that the A's have manufactured a T-shirt celebrating Braden's rebel cry against the Evil Empire, Braden has a message for his team's marketing department:
Get rid of that darned T-shirt.
Via AOL Fanhouse:
"I think we all understand where they are coming from, but it's just a serious, gross, lack of tact," Braden said Monday. "At the end of the day, I hope I do not become associated with that kind of approach."
Yeah, but back in the day, it was Braden who came up with a crude way to say that A-Rod wasn't concerned with proper baseball etiquette. And it was Braden who fiercely stood up for himself after the predictable East Coast pushback.
[Photos: See Dallas Braden in action]
Further, Braden's grandmother told A-Rod to "stick it" and the pitcher himself apologized for nothing when doing David Letterman's Top Ten List in the wake of his perfect game.
But that Dallas Braden apparently has developed a shyness — along with some elbow problems, which prevent him from facing the Yanks this week.
Braden is backed by teammates — from ol' lily liver Jack Cust(notes), who worries about stirring up a hornet's nest by making A-Rod mad, to union representative Brad Ziegler(notes), who claims every player in the A's clubhouse opposes the T-shirt.
So, what does A-Rod — who had mocked Braden and his "15 minutes" of ticking fame — think of the shirt? Well, it amuses him.
"I hope I get a cut [of the profits]," Rodriguez joked. Or half-joked anyway.
And at least one of A-Rod's Yankees teammates was wearing the T-shirt on Monday.
So, yeah, the Yankees are so offended.
Incidentally, the MLBPA has tried twice to prevent the A's from selling the shirt, which features a silhouette of a left-handed pitcher, throwing from a mound, along with the key phrase.
It doesn't sound like A's marketing is backing down from the union toughs, however.
Jim Leahey, the team’s director of marketing, said in a statement:
"We regret that Dallas has expressed concern in regards to the 'Get Off My Mound' T-shirts that are being sold throughout the stadium. The organization created these shirts in response to numerous fan requests and made them to generate interest in this series. The shirts represent the competitive nature of the team, which Dallas epitomizes, and were intended as a fun way to engage the fans. We will speak privately with Dallas about this to clarify our position and make sure we have a clear line of communication going forward."
That's French for, "We will be selling these T-shirts as long as people want to buy them."
And they should. The A's don't draw all that well (despite the underlying support of the 209 area code) and any little thing that can drum up business — as long as it's not too distasteful — is a good thing.
Dr. Bradenstein created this monster. And now he's distancing himself from it. It's hard to understand why.
Unless it hasn't been Braden's mound all along.
Big BLS H/N: SB Nation
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