Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bradley has 99 problems, but a pitch ain't one.

By InsiderSteve

Does anyone know what it like to have an uncontrollable urge? How about feeling so angry that it sometimes leads you to do or say something that you ultimately regret? I believe these are the problems that consume the every fiber of former Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley's life. These anger issues, which for the most part was kept in the public forum on the baseball field, has now dominated most of his personal life as well.

On January 18th of this year, Milton Bradley was arrested for allegedly committing battery against his wife Monique. Most of us just thought this incident was just the icing on the cake of a sad life that was quickly spinning out of control. That's why I think that no one was really surprised to hear that Bradley was again arrested for suspicion of felony battery. According to the LA Times, the incident that led to Bradly's arrest was at the same residence (his), and the same victim, Bradley's wife.

These deep seeded anger issues that consume Bradley's personal life have bled through to consume his professional life as well. Anger has cost him parts of his playing prime, and ultimately his career. There has never been a player that I can recall that had so much promise , and so much a natural affinity to play the game baseball then Bradley. His physically ability to play the field, and natural stroke at the plate, always made him an intriguing player that kept him in lineups over his 10-year MLB career. But unfortunately his anger issues and personal problems always made him a problem with teammates, and managers that tried to accommodate him.

A timeline in Milton Bradley's career:

  • During his sophomore season at Polytechnic High School in southern California, Milton was kicked of the baseball team for a lack of focus, leadership, and discipline.
  • In 2004, Bradley was arrested for confronting an officer during a routine traffic stop in Ohio.
  • In 2005, The Dodgers traded Bradley to Oakland after Bradley threw a water bottle the direction of a fan at Dodger Stadium.
  • In 2007 while a member of the Padres, Bradley tore a ligament in his right knee after being spun to the ground by manager Bud Black in an attempt to keep Bradley from attacking 1st base umpire Mike Winters.
  • In 2008 while playing for the Texas Rangers, Bradley went after Royals television announcer Ryan Lefebvre after Bradley believed Lefebvre made derogatory comments in his direction.
  • In 2010 while playing in Seattle, Bradley publicly blew up at then Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu during a game. Prompting Bradley to ask Mariners management for help with his anger issues.
Most thought Milton Bradley finally had turned the corner when he walked up to Mariners management and asked for help for a problem he no longer could control. His life had spiraled out of control to a point that the one thing he did love, baseball, was quickly slipping out of his fingers. No longer did the game come naturally to him. He found himself struggling to focus. For the first time in Milton Bradley's life, the game wasn't fun for him anymore. Everything in life simply became too much for him to handle. He needed to walk away and get his head right.

For the longest time I always wanted to give Bradley the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately I cannot do that anymore. There is only a certain amount of time you can use urges and impulses as an excuse for your behavior. After awhile you have to be a man, and look at yourself in the mirror and realize that your life has turned into a complete joke. You have to have the want to change. Because the people around you, in this case Bradley's wife, has taken the brunt of this abuse, and that is simply unacceptable. This stopped being about sport awhile ago. This has been about the need to find help for a man who's anger has reached such deep depths, that the next time we will be talking about a loss of a life.

Let's hope for everyone's sake we will never have to read that.

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