Bradley met with manager Don Wakamatsu and GM Jack Zduriencik on Wednesday morning and told the pair “I need your help.” Zduriencik says the team will do whatever it can to help Bradley.
Bradley told the Mariners management that his issues have put him in a position where he can’t compete the way he expects and that “It’s been a long time coming.”
Not to make light of a man’s unfortunate situation, but has there ever been a bigger understatement?
The guys career has been, to put it kindly, “colorful” up to this point. I think the fact that he once sustained a season ending injury while arguing with an umpire says just about everything one can say about his career track.
Simply put the man has burned more bridges than Sherman did on his way through Georgia.
Yet prior to this season someone in baseball gave him another chance to wipe the slate clean, to begin anew. The Seattle Mariners, in perhaps the most stress-free of markets came a callin’ on the Chicago Cubs and tossed Milton one last lifeline.
GM Jack Zduriencik was certain things will work out with Bradley. Of Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu, Zduriencik said, “He allows players to be who they are.” The only thing the big love-fest was missing was a throng of nature loving hippies singing Kumbaya.
And how did our poor, misunderstood soul repay that utterly naive display of faith from the Mariners organization?
The season wasn’t even 10 games old and we saw Milton Bradley start 1-for-22, flip off the Texas crowd and have two closed-door meetings with Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu. Discussions were all over talk radio about how long the Mariners would wait before pulling the plug, as Jim Hendry and the Cubs did last September.
Bradley is constantly in the middle of some sort of tension, some sort of drama and that cannot be a coincidence. And it can’t always be someone else’s fault.
We’re talking about a man who gets to play baseball for a living yet projects himself as if he’s some poor schlepp struggling to make ends meet at some crumby job.
This guy takes his incredibly blessed life for granted, sports a misguided sense of entitlement and then has the audacity to act like it’s a burden to walk around with his level of talent.
If you dare question his actions he has an arsenal of accusations to toss your way. Any criticism clearly indicates you are racist, insensitive and just don’t have the capacity to understand the strife he feels on a daily basis. Remember, he’s saddled with this talent that he didn’t ask for.
Not to sound cruel, or indifferent to what could very well be some significant issues the man is going through, but this is the man that the world sees Milton Bradley as. He and his friends can regale us with tales of how he’s a perfectionist and he just cares so much that his temper gets the best of him.
His agents can remind us of his impoverished upbringing and talk about how he tries to give back to the community. They can say it time and time again, “he’s really a good person at heart”, but it will more often than not fall on deaf ears.
Because that isn’t the Milton Bradley that we know. The best way to start proving to people what a good person you are is to start showing it.
Hopefully this isn’t the beginning of some sort of Oliver Stone worthy, paranoia fueled diatribe by the mercurial outfielder where he fails to take responsibility for the world he has carved out for himself.
I wish him the best of luck in dealing with the demons that are plaguing him, asking of him only one thing.
As you work your way thorugh these troubled times, look in the mirror with open and honest eyes. Then come back to us a different man than the Milton Bradley we now know.