Big League Stew - MLB

The legend of Dallas Braden(notes) grows, even as his actual pitching career has hit a snag.

The Oakland Athletics sent a Tweet Tuesday announcing that the club will be selling T-shirts that say "Get off my mound," the greeting Braden shouted to Alex Rodriguez(notes) during their ballyhooed confrontation in April.

Fashion Ump ruling: Dress to the nines in the 209. 

Unfortunately for Braden, the A's also scratched him from his scheduled start against the Baltimore Orioles because of persistent elbow stiffness.

A's manager Bob Geren hopes Braden can return Saturday, instead.

"He's had, the last couple of weeks, a little stiffness off and on," Geren said. "We just think a little more rest might help it quite a bit. It's been six, seven days. He'll get a few more, so it could be about a 10-day window. That might do a lot of good."

It won't do much for T-shirt sales, skip. And it's too bad because Braden, already among baseball immortals because he pitched a perfect game May 9, is having his catchphrase (his "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis" moment) forever emblazoned in the team's green and gold colors.

It's a strong shirt, though it lacks a reference to "Bradenia," the fictional (or perhaps real) and autonomous region within the country of Oakland Athletica — all of which was coined by FlipFlopFlyin's Craig Robinson in the wake of the A-Rod spat.

If Braden does pitch Saturday, he probably would miss the Yankees when they return to Oakland from July 5-7. A reunion with A-Rod (right) and America's Grandma, Peggy Lindsey — squashed!

Gah! More missed marketing opportunities!

Also, is it too much to ask the foreigners who produce our T-shirts to make one with "Get off my mound," a map displaying Bradenia and a reference to Grandma Lindsey telling A-Rod to "stick it"?

Braden has done OK since pitching perfect, but he has been limited because of various ailments. Personally, he has gone winless in his past eight starts, tying Mark Buehrle(notes) for a major league record for the longest such streak following a perfect game.

(All of this data should be put on the back of the T-shirt, not unlike a concert tour schedule.)

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