Last night, word came down through the Twitter account of Seattle writer Geoff Baker that the Mariners’ Milton Bradley had been arrested in Los Angeles for uttering threats to cause “death or great bodily injury to another person.” Bradley was arrested at his home at around 10:40 yesterday morning for making a threat against an unidentified female. He was later released on $50,000 bail.
Bradley was probably first noted for his bad boy behaviour in 2004 after an altercation with his Indians manager Eric Wedge (who will manage Seattle in 2011). He was subsequently traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers where upon his arrival he branded Jeff Kent a racist (which, let’s be honest, wouldn’t be the most surprising thing he’s ever been called).
In 2007, Bradley may very well have cost the Padres a playoffs invitation when he tore his right ACL while being restrained by manager Bud Black during an altercation with first base umpire Mike Winters. While the video evidence didn’t do Bradley any favours, it’s important to remember that Padres first base coach Bobby Meacham corroborated Bradley’s story of Winters demaning language, and it was Winters who received a suspension, not Bradley, because of the incident.
In 2008, Bradley again caused universal head shaking when he attempted to confront a Kansas City Royals television commentator, who offered a less than flattering comparison between Bradley and the Jesus redeemed Josh Hamilton. He again had to be restrained by coaching staff and ended up breaking down into tears in the clubhouse.
Milton Bradley was suspended by the Chicago Cubs in 2009 when he was quoted by the media as saying that there was a “negativity” that surrounded the club and the city, and the organization and “you understand why they haven’t won in 100 years here.” You can imagine how much the people of Chicago appreciated his honest and thoughtful analysis of their team and city.
Last season, now with Seattle, Bradley voluntarily left the team in July to work on “personal issues” and never returned. His .641 OPS on the listless Mariners wasn’t missed by any means. However, until this latest incident, he was preparing to suit up again this coming season despite the hiring of his former nemesis Wedge.
The brief history of Bradley’s craziness means that the biggest question in the minds of baseball fans isn’t regarding his guilt or innocence, but rather if the Mariners will be able to use this run in with the law as an excuse to void the $12 million still left on Bradley’s contract. Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra believes it will be difficult, especially considering the lack of success that the Mets experienced trying to void their contract with Francisco Rodriguez after the reliever assaulted his father in law.
Teams almost never try to void deals, and if they do, they’re always met with grievances from the players’ union. A lot of this is because of the nature of our justice system. If Bradley gets indicted and goes to trial, it could be several months or longer before he sees the inside of a courtroom. During the pendency of that case, he’s out on bail, presumably with court approval to travel with his team and all of that. He can and will claim that he’s not been convicted of anything, he likely can and will proclaim his innocence and he will be able to perform under his deal, even if Eric Wedge never considers penciling his name into the lineup.
The Mariners are highly unlikely to try and advance their case to void Bradley’s deal in an arbitration with the union while Bradley still has criminal charges pending. At most they’d maybe consider approaching Bradley about settling the last year of his deal in a mutual walkaway for lower money, but even that’s unlikely given that Bradley ain’t exactly the go-along-to-get-along type. Why would he be in this case? What’s in it for him?
Here’s an interesting feature article from 2003 that talks about Bradley’s background, and for those who enjoy putting on our pop psychologist hats, it probably explains a bit of his behaviour over the years.
Perhaps most surprising is that Bradley’s latest issues involve a woman and not the Parker Brothers. Heyo!
Quote Of The Day
From New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman:
Andy has talking about being home for years. Being from Texas and having to be in New York for six months out of the year can be hard because he has kids and he’s missing important time with them. He’s opting not to play right now but that might change it might not. I told him don’t ‘Brett Favre’ us. You got to be all in and fully dedicated to play. Do I need him? I need him, but I don’t want him to play if his heart’s not in it.
I’m assuming Cashman’s data plan with his cellphone service provider doesn’t include MMS, because what other reason could there possibly to not want to see Andy Pettitte’s junk?
And The Rest
There were a few arbitration avoiding signings that we passed over yesterday including a record deal in Milwaukee that will see first baseman extraordinaire Prince Fielder receive $15.5 million in 2011.
In case you needed further proof that you should never trade prospects for a relief pitcher, the Minnesota Twins settled on a $7.15 million contract with Matt Capps, after trading Wilson Ramos to the Nationals to acquire him last season. The Twins also lost Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Brian Fuentes and Jon Rauch from their bullpen to free agency this offseason. None of those guys will make as much as Capps next season. It’s enough to drive some Twins fans a little batty.
The San Diego Padres have signed Tennesse funeral parlor operator Gregg Zaun to a Minor League contract. He’ll have the opportunity to compete for the backup catcher’s role with the Padres in Spring Training.
Is it Ruben Amaro who doesn’t feel comfortable trading Joe Blanton, or the twenty-nine other teams in the league that the Phillies GM would be trying to work out a trade with?
Finally, why baseball needs a World Championship Belt.