Monday, May 10, 2010

Dallas Braden: Delivers Perfectly to Revive Baseball of Fragile Debacles

It’s a shameless sport that seems to wilt rather than expose positive innovations, such as legit sluggers or aggressive base runners.

Instead it consists of shams, boldly juicing their bodies without producing in a pure and artistic fashion. It was just over a year ago, when frequent drug busts revealed con artists from a disturbing list.

All of us felt betrayed and deceived for glancing at overpaid shams, oblivious pitchers and outfielders paralyze America’s Pastime, a competitive game our great grandfathers and grandpas endeared before corruption elicited collateral damage.

In a game with many misconceptions, baseball is still in a state of uncertainty and needs an antidote to distant from the agonizing, destructive facets that overridden the way the masses recognize the game.

For years now, a league of performance-enhancing users and cheaters with no morals damaged pride, anonymity which tarnished marvel. In a league focused on propaganda rather than entertaining the principles of rectitude, suddenly it observes a pleasant landscape. Now, we can finally embrace a remarkable moment in baseball and reverse from all the negatives.

Notice, we are gossiping about the Oakland Athletics ace Dallas Braden, a pitcher who is famously identified for his verbal feud with Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, capped a noteworthy milestone in a Sunday matinee in the Bay Area.

A month ago, he was the most villainous man when he nitpicked at A-Rod. It’s an advantage anytime a player wears pinstripes, in which Rodriguez is portrayed as an innocent third baseman, while Braden was the bully creating mischief and drama. But there’s already enough drama in baseball, involving the draining drug scandals.

Momentarily, all the public hears about is a change-up specialist retiring 27 Tampa Bay batters in order to complete a miraculous perfect game, the 19th in major league history.

Remember, he carried on endlessly by expressing bitter words against A-Rod. He talked about him persistently and threatened him when he said there would be “repercussions.”

I’m certain he was angry at Rodriguez for running across the mound while returning to first base after a foul ball.

Even if he believed that he had violated baseball’s unwritten rule, he revealed a fiery and tough-minded attitude. He’s now the coolest pitcher, and the one pitcher baseball fans should pamper and admire for taking our minds away from the ruination of a sport scorned of immoralities.

Of course, some judge Braden as a whiny hypocrite, dwelling still on a confrontation that was blown out of proportion. Whether he’s a nuisance or a mischief-maker, he’ll go down as one of the greatest pitchers in major league history to throw a perfect game. He was remarkably flawless, emerging as an iconic star in the Bay Area, akin to the rising star on the other side of the bay, Tim Lincecum.

Best of all, Braden is a rare magnet in a sport that most pitchers fail to last six innings without collapsing. In this age, it’s very seldom that a pitcher survives nine innings and throws 77 of his pitches for strikes, holding opponents hitless in a spectacular outing on the mound.

That seemed surreal, but it happened. On a day much love is given to all the mothers, he set an incredible record, coming on an emotional afternoon in front of the 12,228 in attendance.

When he was a senior in high school, Braden’s mother, Jodie Atwood, died of cancer. In honor of her death, he wore his mother’s wedding ring on a chain around his neck and delivered his throws with heavy emotions. His grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, has been a strong supporter and was in attendance.

To end the feud between him and A-Rod, she defended on grandson by conveying a message through reporters. She said: “Stick it, A-Rod.”

As it happens, he has the last laugh on a day he entered the game solaced, but deeply saddened of his mother’s death and reflected back on the past. All of which, he was an inspiration to all the dreamers.

More than ever, he was a savior in a sport that needed inspiration and invigoration. If anyone should be bliss, commissioner Bud Selig should be smiling and clapping with much delight when a tyrannical league needs a spark to amend credibility and conviction.

As it seems, the demise of baseball needed an extraordinary finisher and a savior to resuscitate a battered sport. And just like that it has shied away from the horrid news of any illegal substances used in the game regularly.

For a guy who bounced around tremendously in the minor leagues, he threw a perfect game as if he was a well-experienced Cy Young award winner. If he has flawless numbers, he’ll eventually win a Cy Young, especially by throwing with perfection.

Baseball ratings in local markets have declined this season, dropping 16 percent from last year’s ratings in television coverage.

And the reason why it remains is simply because of all the fraudulent revelations smearing accountability. But really, Braden reminded us that the sport is still observant, even though it has presented disappointing surprises.

These days, millions are burnt out of all the revelations of dirty con artists. Meanwhile, Braden may have brought back aspiration with his historic landmark, an indelible plateau now standing in the company of Mark Buehrle’s most recent perfect game in the Southside of Chicago.

One of those teams also happens to be Oakland, when the legendary flame-thrower Catfish Hunter finished perfect against Minnesota on May 8, 1968.

That’s why it initiated a celebration at the end. And when Gabe Kapler grounded to Oakland’s shortstop Cliff Pennington for the final out, he pumped his fist and ran across the mound with a great impersonation of A-Rod. Near the dugout, he hugged his grandmother emotionally on a memorable day.

“[Mother’s Day] hasn’t been a joyous day for me in a while,” Braden said. “With my Grandma in the stands it makes it a lot better.”

It makes baseball a lot better, too.

A-Rod certainly thinks so, too. When he was asked for his reactions in Boston before Sunday night’s showdown against the Red Sox, he had nothing but friendly comments.

“Good for him,” said Rodriguez. “Even better that he beat the Rays.”

It’s even better that he was thrilling to baseball.