Did not see a whole lot of television on Sunday, and made a conscious decision to avoid the Internet. So, just now noticing the news that Milton Bradley tore the ACL in his right knee for the Padres in an argument with an umpire on Sunday.
One word: Hilarious.
Not for the Padres, who nonetheless should get no sympathy. They knew what they were signing up for when they traded for Bradley in June, and like with every other team he every played, Mount Milton has spent more time sidelined with injuries than he has on the field. The consolation, of course is that the pitcher they dealt for him, A’s reliever Andrew Brown, doesn’t look like the second coming of Dennis Eckersley.
As for Bradley?
Reason I say that is this: At no point in his life, it seems, has Milton learned how to take responsibility for anything. Everytime he has blown a gasket, in his mind, he has either a) been provoked or b) been misunderstood. He is a fabulous talent, deemed someday to land on a list of all-time wasted ability. And yet, he has never had anything to do with it.
A year ago, when he had won over several Athletics, a few members of the organization told me privately that they’d talked to Milton about controlling his temper, and resisting the fan-baiting and umpire-baiting that his attitude sometimes engendered. It’s understandable. My own experiences with Bradley found him to be kind, big-hearted and with seemingly an insatiable desire to be liked. His on-field ferocity also was a needed element in the A’s clubhouse.
That said, there’s a line between being feirce on the field and being dumb. Look, umpire Mike Winters stirred the pot, but ultimately, we alone are responsible for our actions, and Bradley has to know that he can’t do anything dumb. Blowing his stack is dumb. Period.
Now, he has an injury that can threaten a career. Not that he knows this, but he has himself alone to blame.