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Monday, May 10, 2010

Dallas Braden's Perfect Game Is Perfect Story: Sweetness and Schadenfreude

Posted By on Mon, May 10, 2010 at 7:59 AM

click to enlarge dallas_braden.jpg
Yesterday, Oakland Athletics starter Dallas Braden tossed a perfect game -- retiring every opposing batter and allowing nary a one to reach first base. For the non-sports fans out there this, to borrow Vice President Joe Biden's lexicon, is a big fu**ing deal.

In many ways, Braden's perfect game is the perfect story. It has three things going for it: spectacle, sweetness, and schadenfreude. The spectacle is simple enough: This is just the 19th perfect game in the league's century-plus history. To put things in perspective, more than 5,000 games were played this year alone. Remember what Joe Biden said.

Then there's the sweetness: Braden pitched his gem on Mother's Day. The grandmother who raised him after his mother's premature death was in the stands to watch

And, finally, the schadenfreude. Until the last out Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays, Braden was best known as the obscure pitcher who went berserk after baseball's least likable superstar violated an even more obscure unwritten rule.

Last month, Braden exploded on the field after New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez lazily jogged up and over the pitcher's mound while heading back to first base after a foul ball. Well, apparently, you just don't do that.

Braden's fervor in decrying this unwritten baseball rule was a bit on the maniacal side. But Rodriguez' smug dismissal of this peon who dared to chide him fit in all too well with every element of his entitled, phony persona that rubs fans the wrong way. In essence, he claimed that Braden, "a guy that has a handful of wins in his career," wasn't fit to criticize the behavior of the Mighty Alex Rodriguez.

That statement just about says everything. And, when you think about it, so does Braden's Mother's Day rejoinder. But, if anyone needed it spelled out for them, Braden's grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, was there to do it for us following the pitcher's perfect game: "Stick it, A-Rod."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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