Dissension in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ clubhouse sent center fielder Milton Bradley to the manager’s office following Saturday’s 11-6 victory victory at Florida.
Bradley (above) said he requested the private, 25-minute meeting with manager Jim Tracy, apparently to discuss discord with a teammate.”I want people to say Milton Bradley was a pretty good ballplayer and a pretty good person,” Bradley said. “Anybody who is going to stand between me getting there, then they need to be eliminated.”
Bradley and Tracy declined to provide specifics.
“It’s internal,” Tracy said. “I had a chat. It has nothing to do with anything he did, right or wrong.”
“Some people, that’s all their life is — is baseball … how many hits they get, how many runs they drive in, how many plays they make,” Bradley said. “They’re working for a plaque. I’m not working for a plaque. I’m working to put food on my table.”
When asked by a reporter if he was OK, Bradley replied, “I’m always OK. As long as I’m black, I’m fine.”
In the seventh inning, with the Dodgers trailing, Bradley failed to score from first base on Jeff Kent’s double into the gap in right-center field. The hit tied the score, 6-6, but Bradley’s scoring would have given the Dodgers the lead and Kent, who joined the Dodgers as a free agent on Dec. 9, his team-leading 84th run batted in.
“For some people, all their life is baseball,” said Bradley, who never mentioned Kent by name. “All they care about is how many hits they get, how many runs they drive in and how many plays they make. They’re just looking for a plaque.
“I love baseball to death, but it’s not my life. My life is working to put food on the table for my wife and my son, coming in December¦. You can read between the lines and see who’s had problems with teammates; never me.”
Bradley, tears welling in his eyes, surveyed the emptying clubhouse and the reporters surrounding his locker.
“Look around, there’s only one of me,” he said, apparently referring to his being African American. “I’ve got to have my own back.”