Left on the mound


#1

This from Big League Stew…This has often intrigued me…The trade off…all the “save the arm” rhetoric out there…it never ever seems to out weigh this…shredded shoulder?..no regrets…now what do you say to a kid? It’s why I say that desire is the “one thing”…Billy Wagner…loves the game breaks his right arm and teaches himself how to throw 100 with the other…injury be damned…he HAD to play…had to compete, be on the bump, to the point of crippling himself in later life.

[i]Pour one more out for the 209 area code. Left-hander Dallas Braden, who pitched the 19th perfect game in major league history with his grandmother in attendance — and also famously told Alex Rodriguez to get off his mound — is retiring at age 30 with a bum shoulder.

Braden hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011 but said in November that he wanted to give it another shot in 2014. He just can’t get healthy enough to be effective after enduring multiple surgeries. He broke the news to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“There is nothing left in there, it’s just a shredded mess,” Braden said by phone. “I left my arm on the mound at the Coliseum, and I’m OK with that.”
The apex of Braden’s career came during the 2010 season, when he pitched a perfect game for the Oakland Athletics against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 9 — Mother’s Day. His spunky grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, was at the Oakland Coliseum that day and got to celebrate with Braden on the field. Lindsey had raised Braden since he lost his mother, Jodie Atwood, to cancer, as a teenager.

About 2 1/2 weeks earlier, Braden got into the news by standing up to A-Rod in a confrontation that might have been unnecessary, but sure was fun:

After a double play ended the inning, the 26-year-old pitcher immediately started yelling at A-Rod, who claimed he didn’t know he had done anything wrong. He also claimed he didn’t know Braden was talking to him at first.
Said Rodriguez:
"He just told me to get off his mound. I was a little surprised. I’d never quite heard that. Especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career … I thought it was pretty funny actually."
Said Braden:
“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.”
"I don’t care if I’m Cy Young or the 25th man on the roster, if I’ve got the ball in my hand and I’m on that mound, that’s my mound … He ran across the pitcher’s mound foot on my rubber. No, not happening. We’re not the door mat anymore."
Braden was raised in Stockton, Calif., a satellite of Oakland and part of the coveted 209 area code. Fans routinely would sit in section 209 of the Coliseum and root for Braden, who sure seemed to love his hometown — to the point of bringing a bat to an anti-violence rally this one time. Obviously he got some of that Peggy Lindsey spunk passed down.

Braden’s career lasted parts of five seasons but made as many as 30 starts only once — in 2010. His final record: 26-36 with a 4.16 ERA in 79 starts. All five of his complete games and both of his shutouts (including the perfecto) came in '10. Great results for a 24th-round pick.

From here, Braden tells Slusser that he’d like to pursue coaching or broadcasting. He auditioned for Fox Sports earlier this week.

Braden has been a lot of fun for The Stew to watch. He’s going to be missed. Here’s to a happy retirement from pitching.[/i]


#2

Here’s a note from the late great Early Wynn: “The mound is my office and I don’t want anyone messing with it.” And there’s a very good reason for that statement: suppose the batter is running across the mound and the pitcher is in the way?


#3

I love to hear guys leave with no regrets. If they left their arm on the mound shredded or not, they went out giving their all.

All of their dedication, hard work, pain, blood, sweat and tears, is a true testament to their character.

More kids need this kind of dedication to our game, our art. Too much emphasis is directed at injury prevention, and is preventing some guys from reaching their full potential. No one wants to be injured and there is a place for prevention, but at what sacrifice.


#4

Nice stuff JD


#5

This is absolutely wrong, Bradens full potential was cut short because of a mechanic (scapular loading) that shredded his shoulder capsule that is easily fixable and the fix allows you to go with even more maximal effort.

There is no sacrifice!!! High level fast twitch pitchers are all given a chance to perform. Some align their Humerus with their shoulder line from start through finish and some do not.


#6

:ughh:

Couldn’t disagree more. Saying that Braden’s full potential was cut short is like saying going to the moon was a disappointment; that had we just done this or that we could have gone to Mars!

Celebrate this kid’s achievement. Don’t look for fault in everything or surely you’ll find fault…in everything.

Pitching is evolutionary. It is magical and no matter who does it, it is ephemeral. Humans are the only creatures with the capacity to wonder and imagine. It is the reason we care about our own personal achievements instead of just the instinctual survival of the species. It is why we have funerals and no other creature on earth does.

It is why scouts routinely rank hard throwers above proven out getters.

Recently I was sitting in my insurance agent’s office. He was a member of the 1979 New York Yankees. His locker was next to HoF Thurman Munson’s. My friend was drafted in 1972 from a D3 college. It took him seven years to get to the show and he played 18 games with 47 at bats. Before he got called up his AAA paycheck was about 300 dollars a week. Now he could look at his baseball experience and wonder or imagine how it could have been better. But instead he celebrates the determination that it took to get there and the sacrifices he made.

If you are looking for a shortcut or a magic pill or any one single solution to anything for that matter, you are selling yourself short. There are literally thousands of pitchers out there from high school on up that can chuck a ball 90 plus miles per hour but precious few of them can pitch well enough to make a major league roster. And if you are Braden, that’s a fact worth celebrating. And if you are like most of the rest of us…it’s a fact that most likely will have you looking for a second career.

The kid done good.


#7

Dino is on to the premise I tried to bring here…

I go back to the movie the “Untouchables”…the great scene with Sean Connery…“what are you willing to give”…remember…at all times, only 300 or so, at any given time, on earth do this…for millions of dollars…desire is the thing…you may have perfect mechs and the “body”…but if you can’t rise above, the pain, the tribulations, the length of the road…you’ll have fond memories of the journey but it will fall short.

I know guys who were a gnats a$$ from it and it just eats them alive…can’t get over it…just one more alum game…or chance scout at a MABL game…
I know guys who made it…and had to leave due to injury…I know a kid who made the bigs last year and had to be sent back down because of “numbers”…ain’t no gimmicks, no “special sauce”…just desire…

A cool story about the kid who made the bigs…he was down in triple A and Brian Wilson came down on his rehab…befriended this really decent kid…when Wilson left…the kid found a brand new suit in his locker which Wilson left him as a gift…when Jake got called up…you can bet, even though Wilson was already traded, Jake wore that suit…he told his former HS coach that he was now looking for someone to buy a suit for… :wink:


#8

Yardbird,
At some point you should look to the accomplishments of guys like Braden and let go of the rhetoric.

Can you guarantee that mechanically “fixing” Braden would have lengthened his big league career? No you can’t. No one can. As a matter of fact “fixing” Braden, may have stunted his development and maybe he doesn’t get to the big leagues to throw his perfecto.

Here is a guy who left everything on the mound and walked away satisfied. There are plenty of guys who would sacrifice everything, yes including the health of their arm, to get that shot at pitching on a major league mound.


#9

Dino,

That’s fine , you think like most else. Nobody here will agree with me on this, I was commenting on Turn’s spin. Not Bradens condition or realization that shoulder issues are career killers.

This has nothing to do with cute comparisons that are meaningless!

If you had realized what Braden was doing the last year, you would have recognized he was trying very hard to get back to his potential that was cut short like most because of intransigent traditional thinking that keeps most of these elite pitchers on a downward spiral to oblivion instead of health and fitness that all can attain if they had the right information instead of poor physiological recommendations that make it actually worse. I can guarantee you he made no changes in the mechanics and training that put him in his condition and only after it failed him again did he say he was satisfied.

Turn22,

I do look at them and do appreciate their accomplishments and understand all of the ramifications.
My comment was directed squarely on your own particular brand of rhetoric only, that is wrong, not insightful and keeps showing up.

Absolutely!!! More so than your negative spin on it that predicted he would have done worse had he performed correct non-injurious mechanics.

[quote]
“No you can’t. No one can”[/quote]

Then why do you make these ridiculous comments about something you know little about but comment like you do? If it’s good for the Goose!

[quote]
“As a matter of fact “fixing” Braden, may have stunted his development and maybe he doesn’t get to the big leagues to throw his perfecto”[/quote]

Part of the fix is fitness, part is mechanics that all produce improvements, I have never seen someone go south applying the fixes ever. So how is it you keep up this mantra?

He would have done the same thing with healthy mechanical application and still be pitching and even more satisfied.

This goes unsaid, of course there is but given a choice I’m sure they would prefer to pitch with a clean bill of health way into their 40’s, given the info and chance, they do not get the info in the first place because partly by statement of your kind.