Milton Bradley is nuts. You know it, I know it. This insanity is clearly a large contributing factor to the reason he has gone through eight different teams over his 11 seasons in the big leagues. That, or he really likes to move around a lot.
When I saw his recent ESPN interview, I began to wonder when exactly it all went bad for him. This prompted me to assemble a timeline made up solely of the uncooperative, batsh*t crazy, flat-out stupid things the habitually-troubled outfielder has done. Keep in mind, the guy has talent in there somewhere. And aren’t we all a little crazy? Anyway, I don’t have all day, so we’re only going back as far as 2003. (on a side note, MLB baseball betting season is here! bet on it!)
June 2003: When Bradley was a young Indians outfielder, he got super pumped one time after he hit a home run. Opposing Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca was not impressed that he snapped the Velcro on his batting gloves after the bomb, and confronted him after the game. His response, like some sort of threatening nursery rhyme, was Classic Milton Bradley before Classic Milton Bradley even existed:
“I live by a simple creed. If you don’t know me and I don’t know you, don’t approach me and I won’t approach you. Don’t insult me and I won’t insult you. Because you don’t know what I will or won’t do.”
July 2003: In the eighth inning of a game against the Athletics, he let loose on home plate umpire Bruce Froemming, who wrung him up on a called third strike. Bradley had to be restrained and led back to the dugout by manager Eric Wedge before he tossed his helmet and bat toward home, resulting in an ejection. Right or wrong, there’s nothing umps hate more than players who argue balls and strikes. And then throw things at them.
February 2004: Just when we thought Bradley had finally grown up, he was pulled over for speeding in Cuyahoga, Ohio. He spent three days in the slammer for driving off before the cop even had a chance to write out the ticket. Seriously, do normal people have the balls to flee the police?
April 2004: Just a few days prior to the Indians’ season opener, Bradley again butted heads with Wedge, who was irritated he didn’t run down a pop fly that fell in for a hit. The following day, he was barred from training camp and traded shortly-thereafter to the Dodgers.
June 2004: Bradley was ejected for arguing balls and strikes again, this time having to be held back by Dodgers manager Jim Tracy. He whipped off his batting gloves and dropped them near the plate, along with his helmet and bat, before heading to the dugout. There he threw an epic fit to rival even the naughtiest of toddlers, hurling a bag of balls onto the field and angrily throwing one toward the warning track. The game was delayed for several minutes while unruly Diamondbacks fans littered Bank One with garbage. He earned a four-game suspension with an undisclosed fine for that stunt.
September 2004: While the Dodgers were visiting San Diego near the end of the season, a fan threw a plastic bottle in Bradley’s direction, resulting in a full-on meltdown. He picked up the bottle, abandoned his spot in right field, and chucked it into the front row as hard as he could. As Bradley exited the field in a huff, he ripped off his hat and jersey, daring the Padres faithful to boo him some more. That was the last game he played that season.
June – July 2005: This period may be the darkest and least-funny time in Bradley’s career. Police were called to his home on three separate occasions in response to 911 calls from his pregnant wife, who he allegedly slapped around and choked. He was arrested, but no charges were filed. Bradley called 911 himself at least once, but officers left without incident once they spoke to both him and his wife. Oh yeah, did I mention she was pregnant?
August 2005: The following month, Bradley accused Jeff Kent of being a crappy “team leader” because he didn’t know how to “deal with black players.” He then explained his position to reporters by speaking in the third person, which may or may not be a sign of being a total sociopath. Kent was pissed and called him pathetic. (I think there was a prop bet for this on atoo). Pretty sure they aren’t friends anymore.
Injury-plagued 2006: After sitting out near the end of the 2005 season with finger and knee injuries, Bradley inked a one-year contract with the A’s. Then he hurt his knee on April 27. He came back June 6 and then hurt his shoulder on June 19. He managed to stay healthy from July 14 until the end of August, when he twisted his ankle.
June 2007: Bradley was starting to get cranky regarding his lack of playing time, but seriously, he couldn’t go longer than 5-6 games without pulling something. So it’s June 20 and he’s landed on the DL three times already. He’s pissed that it’s taken the club two extra days to activate him, so he sneers to the media, “I’m healthy and I’m on the bench.” The A’s rewarded Bradley by designating him for assignment, but since he had over three years service time, he politely refused to play in the minors and was promptly traded to San Diego, where things got really nuts.
August 2007: At one point during his short and rocky stint with the Padres, Bradley busted a bat over his knee after striking out against reigning NL Cy Young award winner Brandon Webb… who fanned 193 other guys that season while tossing 42 straight scoreless innings.
September 2007: Recovering from hamstring issues and a right oblique strain, Bradley was feeling feisty. During a heated confrontation with first base umpire Mike Winters, who was allegedly (and later suspended for) provoking him with profanity, he wriggled free of manager Bud Black’s grasp and fell to the ground. Bradley tore his right ACL when he landed, which gave him one last thing to complain about before spending the rest of the season not arguing with umpires.
June 2008: Bradley had been pretty well-behaved up until that time he was listening to the game from the Rangers clubhouse and overheard Royals TV analyst Ryan Lefebvre compare some of his negative behavior to that of recovering drug addict Josh Hamilton’s in the past. Of course, he stormed out of the clubhouse and climbed four flights of stairs to get at Lefebvre, but GM Jon Daniels and skipper Ron Washington cornered him just in time. Bradley returned to yell at his teammates, cry, and mumble something about being misunderstood. Not even kidding. He spent the rest of his one season with Texas suffering random injuries until he filed for free agency.
June 2009: One time he tossed a fly ball into the stands as a souvenir when there were only two gone in the inning. That was hilarious, for everyone but Chicago Cubs fans, who pretty much hated him already for being such a sucky outfielder and an even bigger whiner.
August 2009: So here he was in yet another city, disliked and getting booed by fans of a team who don’t really appreciate being blamed for their 100-year curse, like he did when he was quoted as saying ruthless crap like “you have to understand why the [Cubs] haven’t won in 100 years here.” I don’t know, maybe if the outfielders knew how many outs there were per inning? That would be a good place to start.
“I’m talking about hatred, period,” he said. “I’m talking about when I go to eat at a restaurant. I’ve got to listen to the waiters badmouthing me at another table, sitting in a restaurant. That’s what I’m talking about. Everything.”
September 2009: The Cubs finally had enough of his constant shenanigans (the cruel and tragic kind… which make them not really shenanigans at all) and suspended him for the remainder of last season. Skipper Lou Piniella called him a “piece of [crap]” while GM Jim Hendry made it clear the two years and $20 million left on his contract was peanuts compared to the headache he was causing in the Windy City. Like most of Bradley’s breakups, this was a messy one.
March 2010: After joining the promising Seattle Mariners club this offseason, Bradley is a new man and ready to make a fresh start. Oh but not so fast, it looks like Hendry has already blown a gasket over some off-the-cuff remarks he made during the rather interesting interview which Bleacher Report has taken the courtesy of dissecting for us.
So there you have it: the loony timeline of Milton Bradley’s big league career, as far as I can recall. There was a lot of messed up stuff to cover, so hopefully I didn’t omit anything major. Anyway, my question to you is this: how long will it take him to piss off Mariners fans and management… or vice versa?Tweet
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