Reporting Steve Large
STOCKTON (CBS13) – His temper overtook him. Now, the Oakland A’s pitcher who pitched a fit and promised to pack up and leave Stockton over its high crime rate, is saying he’ll stay anyway.
Dallas Braden’s tirade went viral weeks ago. But now the pitching champ and hometown hero has had a change of heart and a change in approach.
It was a much different Braden this time around. You might say the A’s pitcher threw Stockton a change-up.
“How many people have a 209 tattoo on them? I do,” said Braden. “It’s really close to my heart, and that’s where this city lies. My home is here; my roots are here.”
It’s a reversal from his rant just two weeks ago following a shouting match with the Stockton police chief at an anti-violence rally.
He said the chief was lying, and that police weren’t doing everything they could to stop crime.
That day, Braden told me he was leaving his hometown.
“These people got lied to and it’s a shame. I’m outta here because I’ve been lied to my entire life here, and I hate to see these people get lied to like this,” said Braden.
“You’re leaving Stockton?” I asked.
“Absolutely, I’ve already put my home on the market. I’m out,” said Braden.
How does he feel now?
“Obviously the outlet was what it was – a town hall meeting, if you will. And there was a camera in my face, and I spoke very candidly about the emotions coursing through me at the time,” said Braden.
Braden’s ballistic message also sparked backlash and accusations that he was quitting on the city.
His grandma says it’s a perception he wants to change.
“Well, I think some of the people that have talked to Dallas, and that have approached him are trying to help him put a different spin on it where he now maybe should stay here and try to make things better,” said Peggy Lindsey, Dallas’ grandmother.
Braden, first outraged, is now doing outreach.
“You know what, there’s always a different way things can be handled. And that might have not been the best way to go about it. But the take-home message is there is dialogue created now and we’re moving forward,” said Braden.
I never heard Braden come out and say “sorry”, but he did say he could have handled the situation differently.
Lindsey also told me that he said he has had no regrets about his outburst, but has learned from the whole experience.