In Blez's awesome interview on 9/10/07 one of his questions to Billy Beane surrounded Dallas Braden and the disappearance of his screwball. In the interview, Billy seemingly dodged Blez's questioning re: Braden's Scroogie. A's field leaders talked openly in today's SF Chronie about shutting down Braden's screwball. Is Billy Beane intentionally misleading Athletics Nation, or does he not have a handle on what is going on in his organization?
With Beane's (alleged) history of micromanagement, I am inclined to doubt the latter which leads me to a fairly bummed out state. While Braden's Screwball is near the bottom of the list of the A's concerns this year, the slipperyness Beane continues to show with the media and fan base makes me wonder if he is being completely candid with his core fans. To Quote:
9/10/07 "Blez: There has been a lot of speculation that Dallas Braden was told that he couldn’t throw his screwball anymore because of the injury risk. Is that the case or is there something else going on?
Beane: I certainly didn’t tell him not to do that.
Blez: Is he still throwing his screwball?
Beane: That’s a better question for Curt (Young). He had his arm surgery and as far as that being a mandate...well, that’s the interesting thing about this organization. For all the perception that there are all these mandates floating around, it’s something I don’t think that we’ve done. It’s probably a good question for Curt. I do know that it was a pitch when we first drafted him that was not only a really good pitch but a very unique pitch in today’s game and it is obvious to me that he isn’t throwing it as much. That might be a question for Dallas as well. That’s one of the micro-details that I won’t get very involved in."
In Today's San Francisco Chronicle:
"Braden, 24, has been working on the fastball location, as well as subtracting a little from the fastball (Casey Blake hit the subtraction fastball for a two-run double in the fourth inning). He also throws a slider, but the screwball for which he was once known has not been part of his repertoire; the coaching staff asked him to stop throwing it this spring because Braden was coming off shoulder surgery.
"They wanted to take away the fear factor if the screwball was the masked man behind my injury," Braden said.
The screwball could resurface one day, but Young said, "Our minor-league people thought his changeup was more effective than his screwball.""