It's not just SportsCenter that's been gushing over the 19th perfect game in major league history. The women on the Today Show gave some "aww"s over the story of Dallas Braden and his grandmother.
And it's a wonderful story, don't get me wrong in the slightest. Going forward, however, there's exactly ONE thing Dallas Braden needs to do: keep the name Alex Rodriguez out of his mouth.
After the Yankees/A's game April 22, Braden had a lot of people on his side when he bitched at A-Rod to avoid taking a shortcut across HIS pitching mound. It's not like most of us need many reasons to snicker at A-Rod, after all.
Dallas's problem was that he just wouldn't shut up about it. Two weeks later, he did a dugout interview and sounded ready to throw some bones over the Major Mound Matter.
Granted, A-Rod was a dick with the "handful of wins" comment. Of course, we kind of expect that by now. At that point, Braden was the plucky upstart and Rodriguez the arrogant, elitist veteran. Advantage, Dallas.
After this video was shot, though, Dallas was coming off as a punk who wanted to start some shit to...what? Make his rep? Get endorsement deals for Everlast boxing gloves? REALLY make sure people get familiar with the "unwritten rules" of baseball?
Whatever the reason, he wasn't doing his team any favors. The A's were already unlikely to get many calls against the Big Pinstriped Machine next time they play. Now, the slightest miss inside is going to get somebody run, or at least warned, because the umpires are expecting people to be fighting some quixotic battle for Braden and the honor of baseball. Or something.
Five days later, Dallas is making the rounds for interviews about his perfect game, most with his "Stick it, A-Rod"-spitting grandma in tow. (Okay, I can't front, that part's hilarious.)
It's awesome for him, as he joins a list with some distinguished (and some other) names on it. A perfect game is huge, and it needs to be celebrated.
The best thing Dallas Braden can do is go celebrate it until his next start and then move on. Hopefully, he does that better than he's moved on from Alex Rodriguez.