For a guy wanting to put Chicago in his rear view mirror, Milton Bradley keeps looking back. In an interview with ESPN, Bradley says that his time in the Windy City “was pretty bad,” and that he “would have rather tore my knee up and gone
through rehab all over again then have to deal with that.”
He also expands on his dustup with Lou Piniella in which Lou called Bradley a “piece of s—.” Bradley:
“The next day, he called me into his office and wanted to apologize. I felt you put me on blast, called me out in front of
everybody, you’re going to apologize in front of everybody. He
didn’t choose to go that route, but I accepted his apology nonetheless,
because as a Christian that’s what you do. I don’t have time to hold
grudges against people, I’ve got enough stuff I’ve got to deal with.”
Much of the rest of the piece is about racist jeers he received and/or perceived while in Chicago. He’s been remarkably consistent in talking about this since last year, so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt on it and assume he’s telling the truth (it’s an ugly world, kids). But at the same time, you’d hope that a guy in Bradley’s position would try and find a way and blow that kind of garbage off. But he can’t. Bradley is often called “combustible,” but I think his biggest problem is that he’s one of the most overly-sensitive guys to ever play the game. Even if that which he has experienced is unacceptable, it’s also not unprecedented, and there are few if any players who have reacted to slights both real and perceived as poorly as Milton Bradley has.
But this may be the worst part of it all:
Bradley said it became so uncomfortable that he rarely left his home. “I was a prisoner in my own home,” he said. “I pretty much stayed at home, ordered in every day, never went anywhere.”
My God. Things got so bad for Milton Bradley last year he became a blogger.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.