Aardsma-Bradley feud? Um, not exactly

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Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma appeared to throw down a gauntlet of sorts to incoming teammate Milton Bradley when interviewed by the Sporting News over the weekend. His quotes, and the accompanying headline on the story essentially said this: “Milton, everyone knows you can play, but you better be cool in Seattle and not mess up our chemistry.”

Only one problem: Aardsma didn’t say that. In fact, as Doug Miller of MLB.com reports, Aardsma’s quotes were so messed up and taken out of context that the Sporting News ended up calling to apologize to the pitcher.

Aardsma says he has long admired what Bradley can do with the bat and that he should fit in well with what the Mariners are trying to accomplish in 2010.

“I am excited for him,” Aardsma said. “He’s going to be a huge part of this team and probably going to be a huge part of our success. He will be right in the middle of our lineup, and he’s going to help my career, too. He’ll help the team score a bunch more runs, and that makes my job easier in the bullpen.

“I’ll do anything I can to help him. I’m pumped up to have him.”

So now we know what David Aardsma thinks of Milton Bradley. The truth sure can be boring can’t it? Sigh.

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks. For more baseball news, go to NBCSports.com.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.