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Milton Bradley ( 1978 - )  Category ( Sports_Figures ) [suggest a correction]
 

Not to be confused with the American game manufacturer of the same name, baseball player Milton Bradley has always done his best to create his own identity -- and not always in a positive way.

In 11 years as a major league outfielder, Bradley has performed for eight teams. His on-field talents are undeniable, but those were sometimes counterbalanced by his notorious temper.

With the Oakland A's in 2007, Bradley had a run-in with umpire Mike Winters, who claimed Bradley had thrown a bat in his direction. While Bradley was being restrained by teammates, he tore the ACL in his right knee.

The next season, playing for Texas, Bradley confronted Kansas City broadcaster Ryan LeFebvre over what he considered negative on-air comments. Once again, Bradley was restrained by teammates.

Traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2009, Bradley was suspended for his own comments, including the statement that "you understand why the Cubs haven't won in 100 years here." As soon as the season ended, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners for pitcher Carlos Silva.

During his first season with Cleveland in 2003, ESPN.com wrote of Bradley: "To see his boxscore lines -- the ones that have read 4-1-2-2 and 5-2-3-1 a lot lately -- is to have no idea that the Indians center fielder might very well be the angriest player in baseball. Even as Bradley blossoms into one of American League's most talented young players, a switch-hitting powderkeg who is batting .341 (third in the AL), a cloud of negativity swirls around him like the dirt on Pig Pen. He alienates opponents and teammates alike with his icy glare and smarmy strut. Even his own hitting coach, Eddie Murray, says, "He'll bark at you for no reason at all. I don't like the way he treats people.

"Bradley makes no apologies. 'I don't play this game to make friends," he says. 'I didn't always follow the rules. I didn't always do it the way it's supposed to be done. But I did it.'"

At the same time, he also writes poetry and once delivered an eloquent elegy at a funeral service for Cleveland trainer Jimmy Warfield.

Bradley's best season have come with Cleveland  (.321 batting average, 17 stolen bases, 10 home runs) and Texas (another .321 average, 22 home runs, 77 RBI, 78 runs). He was drafted out of Long Beach Polytechnic High School (alma mater of Snoop Doggy Dogg as well as former all-Star outfielder Tony Gwynn) in 1996 by Montreal, and made his major league debut with the Expos on July 31, 2001.


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