The Science That Is Milton Bradley
New Seattle Mariners acquisition Milton Bradley is the most troubled big leaguer we may ever see.
Chance after chance. He wastes them all.
Bradley got into a heated argument with then Indians manager Eric Wedge. Wedge banned him from spring training because of his failure to run out a fly ball. The Indians then traded him to the Dodgers.
He spent two seasons with L.A., and the wheels started coming off the bus yet again. During his second season with the team, a fan threw a bottle at him. He confronted the fan while cursing him out.
He also managed to alienate more people by going insane. He turned the ball bucket over in right field.
After those incident, Bradley was shipped to Oakland for RF prospect Andre Ethier.
When he arrived in San Diego, the following year, he played well. Then, he got into a heated argument with umpire Mike Winters (who probably goaded him into it), and actually tore a ligament in his right knee.
With the Rangers, in 2008, Bradley had the best season of his career hitting .321 and making the All-Star team. But that didn't mean there was no controversy.
After a game with Kansas City, Bradley sought to pick a fight with Royals color commentator Ryan Lefebvre because Bradley thought he made derogatory remarks against Bradley. He never got to him, thankfully.
Then with the Chicago Cubs just last season, he struggled mightily. Bradley made the following comments against the team's fans:
"All I'm saying is I pray the game is nine innings, so I can go out there the least amount of time possible and go home," Bradley said.
He was eventually kicked out of the team, after what was a horrific season in every way possible.
But how do you handle Milton Bradley?
No. 1, he has to be on an American League team because of the DH rule. He's most successful when he is solely focused on hitting.
No. 2, Bradley played his best baseball for an African-American manager in Ron Washington. Unfortunately, there is only one black manager in the AL and that was the ladder.
No. 3, Bradley can't play in a big market. The spotlight was too great in places like L.A. and Chicago. When there's less focus on him, he plays much better.
No. 4, don't play him every game. Give him one to three off games every month. He is injury prone, and you get production from any player when they are well rested.
No. 5, you have got to talk to Bradley about walking to the batters box and back, whenever he gets out. Too many times he looks back at the umpire, and that starts trouble. He already is a target by the umpires, as mentioned earlier in the article.
If he stayed in Arlington, for the rest of his career, I believed he would have been very successful.
But I do think that the Mariners clubhouse is a good place for him. Ken Griffey Jr. is a strong presence, as is manager Don Wakamatsu.
Remember, it is possible to get the best out of Milton Bradley.
Before he self destructs.
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