Big League Stew - MLB

Hey, now that's a cutter.

No, Oakland Athletics left-hander Dallas Braden(notes) hasn't added another pitch to his repertoire since throwing a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 9.

To honor one of its clients for tossing the 19th perfecto in major league history, Mizuno gifted Braden an actual nihontō, the blade of Japanese warriors of yore. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster, the samurai sword is an elegant weapon ... for a more civilized age.

Thankfully, teammate Brad Ziegler(notes) played reporter for the rest of the world, took a couple of pics of the sword and uploaded them to his Twitter account. Braden unfortunately wasn't wielding it at the time, but beggars can't be choosers.

"A legit (and razor sharp) samurai sword," Ziegler calls it.

He might have thought differently before — even with Braden's grandma watching from the 209 section — but A-Rod sure isn't going anywhere near the pitcher's mound at the Oakland Coliseum now.

Mizuno also gave one of these swords (which could cut A-Rod, for example, in half) to Zack Greinke(notes) after he won the AL Cy Young Award. But we didn't see any pics of that one.

Braden started Wednesday night, his second appearance since being perfect; he took the loss to Justin Verlander(notes) and the Detroit Tigers after pitching well (and under the weather).

"I don't feel too hot," Braden said. "I feel beat up ... beat down, dragged down. I already lost seven pounds, and I don't have much to give away."

To recap, all of this has happened to Dallas Braden so far:

• The establishment of Bradenia thanks to a feud with A-Rod over unwritten rules.

• A perfect game.

• Reading David Letterman's Top Ten List.

• A new sword.

It's the Year of Dallas Braden, the rest of us are just living in it.

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