(KPIX) — Oakland A’s broadcaster Dallas Braden hasn’t been able to call games in 2020, but his other job as a podcaster has kept his head in the game.
It’s been over a decade since Braden became just the 17th pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game. A’s fans won’t forget the emotional embrace he had with his grandmother Peggy Lindsey after recording the 27th out at the Coliseum.
The Stockton native never pitched another full season after 2010, but he now has a pipeline to some of the game’s biggest names via the Starting 9 podcast. Phillies superstar Bryce Harper and baseball mega-agent Scott Boras are among the many that have joined his podcast since the pandemic shutdown.
Like everyone, Braden is hoping players and owners can come to an agreement on a financial plan to get the season started. The hope was to begin on 4th of July weekend, but that date seems less realistic as each day passes.
“These are the gentleman that have been pursuing this dream since they were young men,” Braden said. “They want nothing more than to be on the field playing the game.”
Players are expecting to be paid full pro-rated salaries while owners are trying to negotiate pay cuts because of diminished revenue streams.
Braden feels the protracted negotiation signals a lack of motivation to get a truncated season going — particularly from the ownership side.
“If you’re not willing to do things that the union has asked to be done like open up the books,” Braden said. “If those things aren’t happening then you’re going to have a hard time convincing me that there’s a group that’s really interested in getting a product back on the field.”
While baseball “quibbles” over money, Braden is concerned that the harmonious plans to get the NBA and NHL re-started will do permanent longterm damage to America’s Pastime.
“They are going to be in the minds and hearts of people searching for something,” he said. “The fact that there will be other distractions when baseball should be at the foremost thing in your mind is tough.”