Milton Bradley Journalistic Spin—Two Ways of Looking at the Latest Controversy

Michael PopeAnalyst IJune 12, 2008

Here's what Rotoworld paraphrased from a Dallas Morning News article about what happened with Milton Bradley after the Royals-Rangers game in which Bradley attempted to speak with Royals broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre:

"As the Rangers' designated hitter, Bradley was able to watch the broadcast when he wasn't batting and took offense to a comparison Lefebrve made between him and Josh Hamilton. Manager Ron Washington and general manager Jon Daniels stopped Bradley before he got to Lefebvre, at which point Bradley returned to the clubhouse in tears. 'All I want to do is play baseball and make a better life for my kid than I had, that's it,' Bradley said. 'I love all you guys. I'm strong, but I'm not that strong.'"

And here is what appeared on the MLB website about the incident.

"...Earlier during Wednesday's game, he was in the clubhouse checking the video of one of his at-bats when he heard his name all of a sudden. Bradley shifted his attention to Lefebvre's voice on the TV. Lefebvre and his partner, Frank White, were talking about Josh Hamilton when Lefebvre called it a shame that Bradley hadn't turned his life around in a similar fashion. He went on to mention incidences of Bradley taunting fans and walking from the dugout to his position in right field.

"Bradley thought the comments were uncalled for and out of place. His thoughts turned to his mother, Charlena Rector, who he said was watching the game at home in Long Beach, Calif.

"Minutes after the game, Bradley stood in front of a desk outside the Royals' TV booth in a gray muscle shirt. In his words, this is what happened:

He asked the security guard at the desk if Lefebvre was up there. The security guard said no. Bradley saw Lefebvre straight ahead and told the security guard he'd wait for him. The conversation went down in a normal tone. Bradley said he wasn't angry.

'He never met me, so, when the game was over, I wanted to introduce myself to him,' Bradley said. 'Because it's amazing when you actually meet somebody how different they become.'"

I don't know Milton Bradley and I'm sure no one else who has been overly critical of him does either. He has done some stupid things and shown very poor judgement.

However, none of that explains the contradictions in these two representations.
One could argue rotoworld is being overly critical and persecuting the player on circumstantial evidence. Compare the news article to their blurb and you can find a few discrepancies.

On the other hand, could a similar argument be made that isn't taking the incident serious enough and painting the ballplayer in a more favorable way?
Whatever the case, this points out how perspective isn't a tangible quality. It's a matter of perception and presentation from that perception.

Writers believe they are presenting facts and relaying a true representation of an event. But they forget how their portrayal influences the perceptions of their readers.

Therefore, readers should always keep in mind that the article is dripping opinion and most often isn't a carbon copy of actual events. It's one way of looking at something.

Writers should do their best to relay a balanced view.

In this case, it seems someone did a poor job.