Dallas Braden, ex-A's pitcher, calls Blue Jays 'beer league softball team'
ESPN analyst says comments intended as complimentary
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.
Back tracking would imply I'm sorry. I believe it goes something like this... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SORRYIMNOTSORRY?src=hash">#SORRYIMNOTSORRY</a> did I do it right? <a href="https://t.co/00lqBkailK">https://t.co/00lqBkailK</a>—@DALLASBRADEN209
<a href="https://twitter.com/DALLASBRADEN209">@DALLASBRADEN209</a>'s pathetic explanation of beer league remark was worse than original offence. Show some balls and stand behind what you say—@ankleskater
On Tuesday, Toronto newcomer David Price, winner of 97 games in six-plus major league seasons, responded to Braden's comments.
Did <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ESPN?src=hash">#ESPN</a> really call us a "beer league softball team?!" I'm guessing cause we hit homers?? That's all we do well right?! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hihaters?src=hash">#hihaters</a>—@DAVIDprice14
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.
<a href="https://twitter.com/JoeyBats19">@JoeyBats19</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/DALLASBRADEN209">@DALLASBRADEN209</a> Jays getting ready for tonight's game <a href="http://t.co/mWl1pGMArE">pic.twitter.com/mWl1pGMArE</a>—@DevoEllis
Some Toronto supporters took Monday's comments as a compliment …
<a href="https://twitter.com/SNJeffBlair">@SNJeffBlair</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/DALLASBRADEN209">@DALLASBRADEN209</a> It was a compliment! The <a href="https://twitter.com/BlueJays">@BlueJays</a> score a lot of runs,primarily by hitting the ball hard. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/relax?src=hash">#relax</a>—@JKuhling
<a href="https://twitter.com/DALLASBRADEN209">@DALLASBRADEN209</a> Every organization has stupid fans but I guess that's the last time you pay Toronto a compliment eh..... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlueJays?src=hash">#BlueJays</a>—@danhallzy14
<a href="https://twitter.com/DALLASBRADEN209">@DALLASBRADEN209</a> as a jays fan I'm embarrassed that our fan base took your comment the way they did, sorry for that. We're not all idiots—@adamblenckstone
Others clearly were bothered by Braden's remarks …
<a href="https://twitter.com/DALLASBRADEN209">@DALLASBRADEN209</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/glamourgirlca">@glamourgirlca</a> how does someone "misinterpret" softball beer league team? Typical American broadcasting.—@G_Christo
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 …"