Milton Bradley stormed out of the Texas Rangers clubhouse after an 11-5 victory Wednesday night over Kansas City and bounded up four flights of stairs looking for Royals television announcer Ryan Lefebvre. Bradley, who was the designated hitter, heard what he considered derogative remarks made by Lefebvre on a TV in the Rangers clubhouse.According to the article, Bradley was upset about Lefebvre's comments about Bradley's past anger-management issues. Lefebvre's explanation:
General manager Jon Daniels and manager Ron Washington were close behind and intercepted Bradley before he reached Lefebvre.
“I don’t want to get necessarily into the details,” Daniels said. “He was upset. Someone who doesn’t know him was passing judgment on TV. It was obvious he was hurt by the comments.”
It was a conversation about how Josh Hamilton has turned his life around and has been accountable for his mistakes. Right now, it seems like the baseball world and fans are rooting for him. It doesn’t seem like Milton Bradley has done the same thing in his life . . . We weren’t tearing up Milton Bradley. I told [Washington and Daniels] this wasn’t a Milton Bradley rip session, but just based on the pictures we’ve seen in this series of him walking to the dugout all the way to right field, dropping his bat, making gestures to the fans in right field and above the dugout and taunting them. He’s the only person in baseball I know that does that type of stuff.I don't have that much of a problem someone ripping Bradley for his attitude. Sure, there are better, more current things to talk about with respect to Bradley -- like his fabulous performance so far this year and quick recovery from last season's ACL tear -- but he's a big boy and whether he likes it or not, he's opened himself up to this kind of thing over the course of his career and he should expect it.
What I do not like, however, is the moral equivalency that Lebefvre appears to be drawing between Hamilton and Bradley. Milton Bradely's "mistakes" involve being a prickly personality and, on occasion, a bad teammate. Josh Hamilton's "mistakes" involve a serious cocaine addiction that derailed his career and put his life at risk. To suggest, as Lebefvre appears to be doing, that Bradley needs to make the same kinds of adjustments in his life -- to "turn his life around" the way Hamilton had to -- is a really stupid and unfair thing to say.
It also ignores that fact that, this season anyway, Bradley has been a model citizen. As recently as last Friday, Bradley was quoted thusly upon being asked about possibly making the All-Star team:
If I somehow miraculously made it to the All-Star Game, I would be floored. I'd really be totally humbled by that. I'm just happy right now to play, to produce and to be with a good group of guys.Clearly, the man needs to be more like Josh Hamilton.