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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Top Ten Milton Bradley Meltdowns, Moments and Quotes

Little has been said lately of the Cubs prized(?) free agent acquisition, Milton Bradley.

Namely because nobody has really seen him after he went down with a leg injury during his first at bat in Spring Training.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the new Chicago Cub.

Bradley's history is littered with moments that can either make you fear for your safety at Wrigley Field, or feel bad for a guy that could just be misunderstood.

Decide for yourself with the Top Ten Milton Bradley Meltdowns, Moments and Quotes.

10. 2004 - Bradley vs. Bag of balls

After being ejected in a 2004 game while playing for the Dodgers, Bradley didn't go down quietly.

I'll let this excerpt from an ESPN article tell the tale:

"When Bradley reached the top step of the dugout, he grabbed the ball bag and tossed balls onto the field. He also threw a ball to the warning track in left field."

Always a classic tantrum tactic and one that Lou Piniella may have actually invented. But don't tell too many people about it because Lou's been saving it for when the Cubs need a spark late in the season.

Like in the playoffs or something.

9. 2004 - Bradley vs. Fan

Bradley was minding his own business out in the field when a moron in the stands threw a plastic bottle at him. He quickly headed towards the direction it came from, looking like Jack Nicholson in the Shining, and chucked the bottle into the front row of the stands.

That's why remind you to keep your hands and feet inside the stands ladies and gentlemen.

Steve, you listening?

8. You Can't Make Stuff Like This Up

“I want people to say Milton Bradley was a pretty good ballplayer and a pretty good person. Anybody who is going to stand between me getting there, then they need to be eliminated.”

Sounds like a quote from a bad Sylvester Stallone movie.

7. 2004 - Bradley vs. Cleveland Indians

Bradley disrespected Tribe manager Eric Wedge after failing to run hard on a popup and is promptly traded to the first team willing to take him.

I'd want to be traded from the Indians too.

Or as we like to call them, the Cubs Part Deux.

6. 2003 - Bradley vs. Bruce Froemming

Froemming is notorious for getting into verbal altercations and questionable actions as an MLB umpire.

Bradley was walking back to the dugout and Froemming continued to stare him down like he owed him money or something. Bradley then launched his helmet and bat in Froemming's direction and had to be held back from knocking his block off.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Bradley would have received a few pats on the back from current and former players if he had gotten there.

Most notably Milt Pappas.

5. 2005 - Bradley vs. Jeff Kent

"The problem is, he doesn't know how to deal with African-American people," Bradley said.
These two seemed destined to butt heads eventually and it happened right after a series with Marlins in 2005.

This wasn't Kent's first rodeo with a situation like this, feuding with Barry Bonds throughout most of his years with the Giants.

4. 2008 -Bradley vs. Ryan Laefebvre

While playing in a game against the Royals last season, Bradley was alerted to the following comment made by Royals announcer Ryan Laefebvre while talking about Josh Hamilton:
"Here's a guy, with all the troubles he’s had, he’s showed that if you work at it, you can get your life back in order. And that would be a pretty good role model for Milton Bradley, who clearly has no control over himself, because it’s the same thing year after year ..."
Bradley was restrained and never made it up to the booth where, according to him, he planned on 'introducing himself' to Laefebvre.

3. 2003 - Bradley vs. Paul Lo Duca

Bradley and Lo Duca engaged in a war of words during a game back in 2003. Lo Duca was upset about Bradley unstrapping his batting gloves before running out a home run ball.

Bradley had this to say after the game:

"Somebody alerted me to the fact he was over there poppin' off," Bradley said. "I saw the videotape of him saying some things. I guess he kind of feels bad my numbers are better than his and I spent two weeks on the DL (disabled list).''

"Don't assault me and I won't assault you, because you don't know what I will, or won't, do. I'm going to end it with that.''
You can read the full story here.

2. This Sounds Promising
"Well, you can get a healthy guy to go out there and play 162 games, but he won’t do what I did in 120." - Milton Bradley, 2009 to the
While that quote may jump out at you, Bradley did go on and attempt to explain himself further.

"When you’re on one-year deals constantly, you’ve got to put up as good numbers as you can. When you have days where you’re not feeling like you can contribute, you’re not going to go out there, because you’re not going to want your numbers to suck.

"So, if you’re in a situation like I am now, if they want me to go out there when I’m feeling a little banged up, I’ve got no problem doing that because [the Cubs] made the commitment to me."

Are you worried about that statement Cubs fans?

Or do you like a taste of pure honesty?

I guess we'll let his production decide.

1. Bradley argues with ump, tackled by coach, blows out his ACL

Fast forward to the 38 second mark if you want to skip over the expert analysis.

Bradley blows out his knee while being restrained from going after umpire Mike Winters by manager Bud Black.

While Bradley comes out looking like the bad guy in the video, Winters was no angel in the situation.

Padres first base coach, Bobby Meachem, said, "In 26 years of baseball, I couldn't believe my ears the way that [Winters] spoke to Milton. [It] was so disrespectful, so angry, so vindictive."

He reportedly called Bradley a "f _ _ _ing piece of s _ _ _".

Milton Bradley won't stand for insulting Milton Bradley.