By Bob Hurst
Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden gave New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez and earful in April after Rodriguez ran across the mound while returning to first base.
On Monday, Braden was ripping into the A’s marketing department for a t-shirt that’s been on sale in the A’s gift shop, in advance of this week’s series with the Yankees.
The phrase printed on the shirt is “Get Off My Mound,” the words Braden shouted at Rodriguez in a game at Oakland on April 22. It also has a silhouette of a left-handed pitcher, but not Braden’s name.
“I think we all understand where they are coming from, but it’s just a serious, gross, lack of tact,” Braden said on Monday. “At the end of the day, I hope I do not become associated with that kind of approach.
“They didn’t ask anybody that would potentially be involved in it.”
Braden said his teammates did not want the shirts sold, or the incident revived, and that the player’s union voiced its objections.
Although Braden didn’t find any humor in the shirts, the Yankees did.
Robinson Cano had one of the shirts in the visitor’s locker room before Monday night’s game, causing laughter from his teammates.
“I hope I get a cut (of the sales),” Rodriguez told reporters.
Reds explode in seventh: There’s nothing that can ruin the traditional celebrity singing of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game,” at Wrigley Field in Chicago, unless it’s a big seventh inning by the visiting team.
That happened twice in games in the past week between Cincinnati and the Cubs.
The Reds scored nine runs in the top of the seventh on July 2 en route to a 12-0 win, and eight runs on Sunday in a 14-3 rout.
In last Friday’s game, seven Reds runs were scored in the inning after two outs. There were 58 pitches by three Cubs hurlers; six walks (all scored); an error and a passed ball. Cincinnati sent 13 batters to the plate. There was only one earned run, thanks to the error and passed ball.
“That shows how fast an inning can get away,” Cubs starter Ryan Dempster said. “I throw four pitches in a row to the pitcher that don’t hit the strike zone and the doors fall off.”
On Sunday, it was the long ball that did the Cubs in. The Reds slugged four home runs in the seventh inning, accounting for seven of the eight runs. Cincinnati had seven homers on a day that featured 20 mph wind gusts blowing out of the park.
Brandon Phillips, Jonny Gomes, Corky Miller and Drew Stubbs hit blasts in the seventh. Stubbs had three home runs for the game, and Paul Janish added a late homer for the Reds. Tyler Colvin accounted for all of the Cubs runs with two home runs of his own.
“You could tell in BP it was going to be a good day for hitters,” Stubbs said. “The wind blowing out the way it was, all you’re looking to do is get pitches up and try to be on the ball.”
Strasburg left off All-Star team: There was a lot of speculation that Washington Nationals’ rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg would make the NL All-Star team, despite just beginning his career.
But Philadelphia Phillies and NL manager Charlie Manuel chose not to select the 21-year-old Strasburg, who is 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA in six starts with 53 strikeouts and eight walks in 36 2/3 innings.
The bet here is that Strasburg will make plenty of All-Star teams in the future.
Final vote for All-Stars: Fans have until Thursday, July 8, at 1 p.m. Pacific to vote in the last two players for next week’s All-Star Game in Anaheim.
The White Sox’s Paul Konerko, Yankees’ Nick Swisher, Red Sox’s Kevin Youkilis, Twins’ Delmon Young and the Rangers’ Michael Young are on the AL ballot on mlb.com. The vote for the NL is between Heath Bell of the Padres, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies, Joey Votto of the Reds, Billy Wagner of the Braves and Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals.
Home run derby: Next Monday’s Home Run Derby in Anaheim will feature Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, David Ortiz and Vernon Wells of the AL, and Corey Hart and Matt Holliday of the NL. More participants are to be announced.
Wells was fifth in the AL on Tuesday with 19 homers while Ortiz was tied for seventh. Hart ranked third in the NL with 19 home runs.
StatsWatch: Only four teams since 2008 have hit seven home runs in a game, and they’re all from Cincinnati.
2010, Reds, 7 HR vs. Cubs
2008, Reds, 7 HR vs. Brewers
2008, Reds, 7 HR vs. Cubs
2008, Reds, 7 HR vs. Cubs
Copyright © 2010 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.