MLB

Dallas Braden, ex-A's pitcher, calls Blue Jays 'beer league softball team'

During ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball broadcast from Kansas City, analyst Dallas Braden riled up Blue Jays fans on Twitter while describing the Royals offence in the bottom of the first inning, calling Toronto a beer league softball team and later tried to backtrack on his comments.

ESPN analyst says comments intended as complimentary

Former Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden fired up Blue Jays fans on Twitter when he said during ESPN's Monday Night Baseball broadcast that Toronto is a beer league softball team. While the former major leaguer said he meant it as a compliment to the potent Blue Jays offence, like he did with similar comments in 2010, some Blue Jays supporters found Braden's comments to be insulting. (Twitter)

It appears former Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden has added some fuel to this week's three-game series between his old team and the hometown Toronto Blue Jays.

During ESPN's Monday Night Baseball broadcast from Kansas City, the analyst riled up Blue Jays fans on Twitter while describing the Royals offence in the bottom of the first inning.

"We [the Royals] got an offence but we can go about it in a multitude of ways. We can do it on the base path … moving guys around … we can also hit the long-ball," Braden explained. "So [the Royals] are not that beer league softball team up north that they have in Canada, but [the Royals] can swing the bat just as well as anybody in the game."

Braden, who posted a 26-36 record and 4.16 earned-run average from 2007-11 with the A's, attempted to backtrack on his comments later in the game, but it was too late for some Blue Jays fans.

On Tuesday, Toronto newcomer David Price, winner of 97 games in six-plus major league seasons, responded to Braden's comments.

Blue Jays fans are particularly emotional these days with their team riding an eight-game win streak, highlighted by a three-game sweep of the New York Yankees that allowed Toronto to close to within 1½ games of the American League East leaders.

Some Toronto supporters took Monday's comments as a compliment …

Others clearly were bothered by Braden's remarks …

Some fans probably forget that Braden referred to the Jays as a beer league team after pitching three-hit ball for seven innings against them in a 6-2 Oakland victory in August 2010.

"I tried to utilize their aggressiveness against them," Braden, who pitched a perfect game against Tampa Bay on May 9, 2010, told reporters at the time. "It's almost like staring down the barrel of a beer league team because they can hit home runs almost at will …"

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.