A's Braden exchanges words with A-Rod
Slugger accused of crossing pitcher's mound after foul ball
OAKLAND -- A's starter Dallas Braden figures he's probably not even "a speck" on Alex Rodriguez's radar.
However, the Oakland lefty is willing to bet at least his mound is now.
The two opponents exchanged words during the sixth inning Thursday in an eventual 4-2 A's win after Rodriguez rounded third on a Robinson Cano foul ball before disobeying what Braden maintains is one of baseball's unwritten rules by jogging across the pitcher's mound -- Braden's mound.
Cano grounded into a double play to end the inning one pitch later, after which Braden decided to lend Rodriguez some advice.
"After the double play, he was looking at me and [cupped] his ear like, 'What did you say?'" Braden explained. "I made sure he understood me.
"He should probably take a note from his captain over there and realize you don't cross the pitcher's mound in between an inning or during the game. I was just dumbfounded that he would let that slip his mind -- being someone of such status."
The confrontation shared postgame attention with the club's triple play in the bottom half of the inning. The Yankees' third baseman, though, seemed slightly amused as he downplayed his chat with Braden.
"He just told me to get off his mound," Rodriguez said. "That was a little surprising. I'd never quite heard that, especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career.
"I didn't even know he was talking to me. I've never heard of that in my career. I still don't know. I thought it was pretty funny, actually."
Braden, already battling an illness through his six innings of work, found nothing comical about it. Having just received an IV shot, he stood firm in his beliefs following the game about the incident -- one that he says never ended in an apology.
"The guy was tasting himself too long to apologize," Braden quipped. "It's a shame. I have a lot of respect for the guy and everything he's done for the game. I admire the kind of talent like that -- it's just disappointing when you see the other side of things.
According to the A's southpaw, Rodriguez didn't have much of a response. Long story short, Braden said, it didn't include a "Yes, sir, have a good day."
"It's pretty much baseball etiquette," Braden continued. "It's an extremely classy organization, the best in the business. I was trying to convey to him that I'm still out there, the ball is in my hand, and it's my pitcher's mound. If he wants to run across the pitcher's mound, tell him to go do laps in the bullpen."
Through it all, Braden said he hopes Rodriguez and the defending World Series champions -- despite owning a 14-4 mark against Oakland over the past three years -- realize "we're not the doormat anymore."
"I don't go over there and run laps at third base," he said. "I don't spit over there. I stay away. He ran across the pitcher's mound, foot on my rubber. No. Not flying."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.