The Oakland Athletics are doing something to their broadcasting team that they’re not known for doing on the field – adding high profile superstars. After announcing the addition of Jose Canseco as an analyst for the 2017 season, the team’s off season makeover continued on Tuesday with the announcement of former Athletics pitchers Dave Stewart and Dallas Braden joining the mix for the upcoming season.
Stewart, spent the past few years serving as the General Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Throughout his career he was a dominant pitcher, winning 20-plus games for the A’s four years in a row from 1987-90, and cementing his legacy as a big money pitcher during the postseason, when he went 10-6 with a 2.77 ERA over 22 games, including winning the World Series MVP award in 1989.
In addition to his on the field success, Stewart has also served as a pitching coach, and player agent. He’s hoping those experiences will serve him well in his new role.
“There are little things in this game that people just don’t see” said Stewart. “These are the things I’ll be making note of and those are the lights I’ll be turning on for them”.
As it relates to his involvement for the 2017 season, Stewart will contribute as a studio analyst for A’s Pregame Live and A’s Postgame Live. He explained why reconnecting with his former team carried extra special meaning to him.
“I love talking baseball,” added Stewart. “Baseball has been my life for over 40 years. To share some of my experiences in the game, to be able to give a different point of view to viewers, I can’t think of a better situation. And then to speak about a team that’s been my favorite team since I was a kid is exciting.”
Adding Canseco and Stewart is special enough, but that didn’t stop the Athletics from making another major splash. Dallas Braden, who many baseball fans have grown familiar with due to his work on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, and who pitched for the club from 2007-2011 and tossed a perfect game on Mother’s Day 2010 is also becoming part of the analyst rotation. His involvement with the club won’t affect his position on ESPN.
The left-hander was one of Oakland’s most colorful and outspoken personalities during the past decade. He was notorious for yelling at the baseball as he walked back to the mound after a pitch that missed the strike zone. He also displayed his love and passion for his hometown of Stockton, California, adding a tattoo of “209” across his midsection.
“It might sound kind of cheesy, but it was a little emotional,” Braden said. “How I’m looking at it, it’s the first steps of getting back to being a part of the organization on more than just a surface level as a national guy. Now I’ll have the opportunity to dive in. It means a lot to me because I really do feel connected to the fan base as well. And I think it’s clear the organization has started a phase of transition. They have some new energy and new ideas from what I understand.”
The additions of Braden, Canseco and Stewart will compliment the steady presence and exceptional work of current A’s analysts Bip Roberts and Shooty Babbitt. Brodie Brazil will continue to anchor the team’s Pre and Postgame programs.