Must-click link: “This is what domestic abuse looks like”


Former big leaguer Milton Bradley was a combustable presence on the field and a violent man off of it. We knew this because we read the news reports of his multiple arrests and controversies. Anyone who remembers him will remember him as a bad guy.

But even if we knew that he was a bad guy, we probably didn’t think too hard about how bad a guy he was. I think we do that with most athletes who get in trouble, actually. We think of players as good seeds or bad seeds and think the good guys are generally all alike and the bad guys are generally all alike. But we don’t think too hard about the specific behavior which gets a guy labeled a bad seed. Especially guys who aren’t in the game anymore. Was he the drunk guy or the guy who was caught with the prostitute? Was he the guy who got in the bar fights or the guy who hit his wife that time? It all blends together to some extent. They aren’t important people to our daily lives. They’re just jocks and entertainers.

Sometimes, however, we’re reminded of just how bad a seed someone can be. Today we’re reminded of how bad Milton Bradley is in the form of this article in Sports Illustrated. It’s not an editorial. It’s not an argument against him or a profile of him. It’s nothing more than four pages setting forth legal records, and straightforward testimony — interspersed with some factual context from the news — about his abuse of his late wife, Monique Bradley.  Some of it is her testimony in legal proceedings or affidavits. Some of it are Bradley’s own statements. All of it paints a horrifying picture of what life was like for Monique Bradley and her children as a result of Milton Bradley’s violence, threats and abuse.

If you go back and Google Bradley, you quickly learn of his arrests for beating and attempting to strangle his wife. His eventual conviction for domestic violence, which included battery, assault with a deadly weapon and death threats. You learn that, in September 2013, Monique Bradley died at the age of 33. This is all information that, even if we forgot or never knew, we can quickly ascertain without much effort. We can obtain basic information like this about all of the other bad seeds too. And then we can, as we so often and somewhat understandably do, forget what few details we know and go on with our own lives.

But after learning the details of Milton Bradley’s violence as set forth in this article, it’ll be much, much harder to forget them. And much, much harder for anyone who reads them to casually dismiss the next athlete we hear of who commits an act of domestic violence as one of the many bad seeds around, worthy of no more scrutiny than the other bad seeds.

Orioles sign OF Aaron Hicks, put Cedric Mullins on 10-day IL with groin strain

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks less than 24 hours after Cedric Mullins went down with a strained right groin.

Mullins went on the 10-day injured list, but the Orioles are hoping Hicks can help defensively in the spacious outfield at Camden Yards. Hicks was released last week by the New York Yankees with more than 2 1/2 seasons left on his contract.

“We had noticed that he was a free agent even before the injury,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “When the injury occurred and it became pretty clear this was going to be an IL, it seemed like a good fit even more so at that time.”

The Orioles are responsible for paying Hicks just $483,871, a prorated share of the $720,000 minimum salary. The Yankees owe him the rest of his $10.5 million salary this year, plus $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

The 33-year-old Hicks hit just .188 in 28 games for the Yankees this year.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective,” Elias said. “It’s very different from just looking at the back of a baseball card, and we hope that we get a bounceback from anyone we bring here.”

Hicks batted .216 last season.

“Hopefully that’s a good thing for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the Baltimore deal. “A lot of time here and a lot of good things happened for him here. I know the last couple of years have been a struggle. But hopefully it’s a good opportunity for him and certainly wish him well. Not too well being in our division and a team we’re chasing, but hopefully it’s a really good fit for him.”

Mullins left a loss to Cleveland after he pulled up while running out an infield grounder. Outfielder Colton Cowser – the fifth pick in the draft two years ago – is hitting .331 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he went on the IL in the past couple weeks.

“Certainly he was building a case towards promotion consideration prior to his injury and prior to Cedric’s injury,” Elias said. “We’ll just see where we’re at.”

Hicks was active for the game but not in the starting lineup. Austin Hays, normally Baltimore’s left field, was in Mullins’ usual spot in center.

When the wall in left at Camden Yards was pushed significantly back before last season, it made left field a bigger challenge defensively.

“In this park … you really need two center fielders,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Aaron’s got a lot of center-field experience. Played left field here before also. Brings the defensive aspect and then the switch-hitting.”