Tag: Dallas Braden

Dallas Braden Catches Fly Ball While Riding a Flamingo in Pool at Chase Field

By all reports, Dallas Braden truly made the most of the amenities at Chase Field during Monday night’s game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals.

More specifically, the former MLB pitcher turned ESPN analyst was all about that pool past the Diamondbacks’ outfield wall.

As Cut4’s Matt Monagan notes, Braden took part in a cannonball contest against D. Baxter the Bobcat prior to the game.

Left with some time to kill before the competition, Braden posted up in the pool aboard an inflatable flamingo—an excellent vessel for both relaxation and fielding fly balls:

A great catch to match an equally solid pool toy, to be sure.

This is just further evidence of the great universal truth that you haven’t really stunted until you’ve stunted on inflatable water fowl.

The only question left is, “You mad?”

Oh, they mad.


Dan is on Twitter. Pool toys are life’s simplest luxury.

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Justin Verlander No-Hitter: Recapping the 8 No-Hitters Since 2010

Is perfection contagious? Maybe, maybe not. But since 2010, there have been more no-hitters and perfect games thrown in Major League Baseball than from 2007-2009 combined. And on Saturday, Tigers‘ ace Justin Verlander added to that number.

If perfection is not contagious, then this is all a coincidence. But when you take a close look at the time-line of the no-nos thrown in the last 12 months or so, there seems to be a common link between all of them.

Verlander’s second no-hitter of his career comes five days after Francisco Liriano no-hit the Orioles. It’s also almost exactly one year to the day of Dallas Braden’s perfect game, last Mother’s Day—which was about three weeks after Ubaldo Jimenez’s no-hitter.

Exactly 20 days after Branden’s perfecto, Roy Halladay joined the parade, tossing a perfect game of his own. Edwin Jackson and Matt Garza each pitched a no-hitter, almost exactly a month after each other.

Here is an in-depth recap of the eight no-hitters thrown since last season.

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MLB: 10 Things the Oakland Athletics Should Focus on in 2011

In 2010, the Oakland Athletics took strides in the right direction, posting an 81-81 record to snap a streak of three consecutive losing seasons.  Though Oakland’s pitching kept them competitive, lack of offensive production counteracted a solid rotation and kept the A’s out of the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.

Though the A’s have potential to continue their progression, the American League West is a competitive division, highlighted by the recent resurgence of the Texas Rangers.  But with perennial powerhouses crowding the AL East, the A’s only route to the postseason may be a division crown.  If Oakland can focus on these 10 things, there may be a World Series parade in Northern California for the second consecutive year, only this time for the A’s.

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Oakland Athletics Commercials: "Hustle Meets Humor"

Not a whole lot of insight to this posting, just thought it would be fun to post some of the A’s funnier commercials from past seasons.

The A’s put together several commercials each year. These are the ones I was able to find on YouTube. Starting with 1981 and Billy Ball, then skipping all the way to 2005 and finishing up with the full play-list of 2010 commercials.

The A’s filmed their 2011 commercials in the very beginning of spring training, and they promise to be of their usual comedic quality.

If you have links to any commercials that I did not include, please attach a link in a comment for me to add them in.

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Oakland Athletics’ Dallas Braden: "Get Off My Mound" Wins Out for 2010

All in all 2010 was a great season—historic you could say! 

Pitchers were once again in control.  The average runs per game for each team in 2010 was nearly a run lower than in 2000 (5.39 compared to 4.44), and an enhanced drug policy enforcing a more regulated testing system has shown the fans that the game can be played clean.  

The playoff chases were in full bloom with the return of the Atlanta Braves taking it down to the wire against the San Diego Padres and the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants. 

I couldn’t possibly leave Roy Halladay off the list.  He has proven again that he is arguably the best pitcher in this era.  A perfect game in the regular season and a no-hitter in the playoffs are truly remarkable.  Can you just imagine the damage he would have caused if he played in the National League his whole career instead of battling the American League East for the past 13 years?   

Armando Galarraga’s perfect game that wasn’t will live in infamy forever, but the way both parties handled situation should be equally commended. 

After 22 seasons “the Kid” went gently into retirement.  Known for the smile and the backwards cap, Ken Griffey Jr. played with reckless abandon and never met a wall he didn’t like.  A natural in the field, and a poet at the plate, Jr. will go down as one of the best the game has ever seen. 

Sports are part of our everyday life.  Social media is in full force and without a doubt discussing baseball leads to more arguments than not. 

Even if both parties are right, neither side will admit it, as is the case between Dallas Braden and his misunderstanding (lol) with Alex Rodriguez

Considering all of the above, I have to select the “Get off my mound” episode as my highlight of 2010. 

It’s not too often when a non-steroidal episode can make late night television.  Sometimes we really do take the game too seriously and need an incident like this to take the edge off.   

A-Rod violates an unwritten rule, and regardless of what was said, walking over the pitcher’s mound is a no-no.  A-Rod knowing that has done many questionable acts in his day.  The “hey” or “I got it” debacle in Toronto was one, and swiping the ball from Bronson Arroyo’s glove was another. 

And whether it’s good or bad, he drums up publicity for the game.  Any publicity is good publicity right? 

Rodriguez can get under anyone’s skin, and he knows it.  Except this time he picked on the wrong guy.   

Regardless if Braden has peaked with his no-hitter is one thing, the underdog shoving it in the face of Goliath is the underdog story we all love. 

Braden tosses a perfect game on Mother’s Day with his grandmother in the stands, who gives possibly the quote of the year with “Stick it, A-Rod,” and the next thing you know, Braden is reading a top 10 list on David Letterman. 

You cannot write a script that good. 

In all likelihood Braden will drift away into obscurity, and A-Rod will take his place as the game’s home run king, yet for one day Braden v. Rodriguez was the biggest thing going. 

Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective

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The Philadelphia Phillies and The Top 5 Starting Rotations In Baseball

With a large part of the 2011 offseason over, teams’ rosters are becoming more and more clear.

Which starting rotations are the best in baseball for the 2011 season?

In this article, I will list the top 10 starting rotations in Major League Baseball.

Let me know if you agree/disagree with any of my picks in the comments section.

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American League Pitching: Athletics Are Tops

Prior to making the offseason moves for Rich Harden and Brandon McCarthy, the Oakland Athletics already had the best pitching staff in the American League.  Their 3.56 team ERA ranked first in the AL last year and fourth in the big leagues behind San Francisco, San Diego and Atlanta.  The starting rotation stands to get better with another year of experience for young twenty-somethings Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez.

With Dallas Braden sliding into the fourth slot, the fifth becomes an arms race between McCarthy, Harden, September call-up Bobby Cramer and the stirrup-clad Josh Outman, presumably sending the rest to an already solid bullpen.  McCarthy and Harden seem to be the front-runners to pitch every fifth day.  However, Josh Outman is an intriguing option as he pitched well in the first half of the 2009 season before Tommy John surgery shut him down prematurely.

The front-end of the rotation is set with Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill each returning with sub-three ERAs from 2010 and in Cahill’s case, all-star recognition.  Gio Gonzalez comes into the 2010 season not far behind them with his own 3.23 ERA and led the team with 171 strikeouts.  Beyond the stats, Gonzalez seemed to mature from an unquestioned talent to a quality starter in 2010.

Lest we forget, their likely least talented pitcher threw a perfect game last year.

Behind the great rotation is a bullpen not likely to give up too many leads, anchored by two-time all-star Andrew Bailey (25 saves and a 1.47 ERA in 2010) and solid setup men Michael Wuertz and Brad Zeigler.  It only gets stronger with the return of Joey Devine (0.59 ERA in 42 games in 2008) and whomever doesn’t make the opening day starting rotation.  Southpaws Craig Breslow and Jerry Blevins seem set to be the left-handed options out of the bullpen for Manager Bob Geren.  The two come into the 2011 season boasting mid-three ERAs each.

Questions certainly abound on the injury front.  Will Devine and Outman be fully recovered from serious surgeries?  Will Brett Anderson complete a full season?  How much does the pitcher-friendly ballpark in Oakland deflate the team’s ERA?  Is there any other AL pitching staff within sniffing distance of the A’s for these questions to matter?

There are quality staffs around the American League, but none that challenge Oakland.  The Tampa Bay Rays have an ace in David Price and two flame-throwers (Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano) in the bullpen but won’t dazzle you otherwise.

Have you heard that Cliff Lee no longer pitches for the Rangers?  C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis are solid but Texas still needs to fill out the rest of their rotation.

The front-end of the Red Sox rotation looks scary with Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester coming off great years.   John Lackey is a pitcher that everyone wants in their rotation and loves to pitch in big games.  Beyond those three, they have three potential starters with good track records but who struggled in 2010. Tim Wakefield, Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka all had sub-standard years for the Sox.

The pitching staff for the A’s, combined with an upgraded lineup should have fans optimistic about the 2011 season.  They can now challenge the scary lineups in New York, Boston, Texas, Minnesota, etc.  After all, pitching wins championships.  The Giants just proved it.

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Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Five 2011 MLB Surprise Teams

Now that the least interesting World Series in years is finally over, all 30 MLB teams can again have hopes and dreams for the upcoming season. Most of the 2010 playoff teams are again favorites heading into the off-season, but there is always yearly change in who makes the playoffs. 

The following list is mostly compiled of teams who were not competitive at all late into the year. The teams are in order of how much change their 2011 season will be from their respective 2010 seasons. A major motif for these teams is how their youth will take it to the next level.

Here are the teams that were considered afterthoughts in 2010, but who are going to surprise everyone in the 2011 season. 

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Top 10 Pitching Performances From the 2010 Baseball Season

In the ‘Year of the Pitcher,’ the batters never stood a chance.

There were five no-hitters thrown (but really six), including two perfect games. There were also nine one-hitters, and a major-league debut that featured 14 strikeouts by a certain Stephen Strasburg.

Several pitchers, among them Felix Hernandez, Roy Halladay, and Ubaldo Jiminez, have had so many jaw-dropping performances this year that they could populate this top 10 list all by themselves.

But 2010 was no ordinary year. It was the pitcher’s year.

So let’s separate the great from the truly sensational and rank the best pitching performances from this historic season. As always, share your thoughts below.

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Fantasy Baseball Three Hot, Three Not For 9/12 (Lincecum, Lee & More)

Let’s take a look at who had a big day and who didn’t yesterday:

Three Hot:

  1. Mike Stanton – Florida Marlins
    He had a big day, going 3-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. He’s now on a seven game hitting streak, going 13-29 with 5 HR, 8 RBI and 6 R.  He’s proven to be an extremely streaky player but when he’s on, he has as much power as anyone. The average isn’t great (.251), but if you are in need of some power, you just need to leave him in there through thick and thin so you don’t miss out on days like this.
  2. Tim Lincecum – San Francisco Giants
    We all know that he has not been the same pitcher that he’s been in previous years, but he has turned back the clock over his last three starts. He beat the Padres yesterday, giving up one run on seven hits and one walk, striking out nine, over seven innings. In these last three starts he is 3-0, allowing five earned runs over 21.2 innings, striking out 29 in the process. He’s been frustrating, but a strong finish will go a long way towards once again solidifying his status among the elite pitchers in the game.
  3. Cliff Lee – Texas Rangers
    Between the back issues and his struggles on the mound, there were huge concerns surrounding Lee. A lot of those concerns are eased when you toe the rubber and stymie a Yankees offense that is among the elite in the league. Lee went eight innings, allowing one run on two hits and three walks, striking out five. It’s the first time since August 6 that he has allowed less then four earned runs in a start (a span of five starts). His next start comes against the Mariners, so hopefully he can continue to roll and get back into form.

Three Not: by Will Overton

  1. Carlos Quentin – Chicago White Sox
    The Chicago White Sox Outfielder found himself on the bench for the second game in a row and with no reported injury, one has to believe this is performance-related, as Manny Ramirez has made the White Sox outfield a bit crowded. Currently, Quentin is hitless in his last four games going a combined 0 for 13 and bringing his overall average in September to .227, coming off an August where he hit .239. I’m sure the average would have been more tolerable were Quentin doing his part in hitting homeruns, but he hasn’t hit one of those since August 11th. A decrease in playing time for Quentin means a likely increase for Mark Teahan, Mark Kotsay, and Andruw Jones, but none of that bunch is overly enticing for fantasy purposes. Chances are Quentin remains the everyday right fielder, but his value doesn’t justify his current owner percentage of 95% on ESPN. If you need the space, I wouldn’t be afraid to drop him.
  2. Francisco Cordero – Cincinnati Reds
    Cordero notched his second blown save in this three game series, and the worst part is that this series has been against the Pirates. After two solid years in Cincinnati, including a 2.16 ERA last year, it looked like Cordero may have been becoming one of the more reliable closers in the game, but this was his 8th blown save and it sent his ERA up over 4 on the year. His job is probably not in jeopardy, at least not for the remainder of this season. But if you own him, you have to be questioning how much you can count on him as you head down the stretch. You ultimately have to take your chances and ride it out hoping for the best.
  3. Dallas Braden – Oakland Athletics
    He has had an overall good year. We all know about the controversy with A-Rod and the perfect game that put him on the map. But much more quietly, he had a very dominant couple of months in July and August posting a 2.37 ERA in those two months combined. However he has fallen off the tracks a bit here in September. Yesterday’s performance wasn’t awful at a glance (4 runs in 5.2 IP) it was far from where he was or should be. He managed only 10 first pitch strikes to 25 batters and that led to 4 walks and only 2 K’s, as this was his season high for walks. He has topped his high for innings pitched and these struggles could be a sign of wearing down. I don’t think this is a warning sign for next year, but I wouldn’t count on to much more productivity from him going forward this year as all signs point to him being a bit to stretched.

What are your thoughts on these players?

Make sure to check out our Fantasy Baseball Minor League Player of the Year Awards:


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