As you may have heard by now, Milton Bradley had a temper tantrum during yesterday’s game against the White Sox, and was removed from the game by manager Lou Piniella. Apparently Bradley, frustrated with a poor at bat, came into the dugout and took a few swings at the Gatorade cooler and threw his helmet.
Sound familiar? It should. Pitchers Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster had similar outbursts earlier this year. I guess this was the one that pushed Piniella over the edge, because he immediately booted Bradley.
But it’s a bit more serious than that.
Piniella ordered Bradley to the clubhouse and followed him — with Carlos Zambrano joining him — through the tunnel from the dugout.
According to sources, Piniella then shouted at Bradley, ”You’re not a player! You’re a piece of sh–!”
Bradley then said, ”I have too much respect for you to respond to that,” a source said. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
Yikes. The following up the tunnel sounds a whole lot like when Zambrano beat the crap out of former Cubs catcher Michael Barrett. And, hey! Zambrano’s there for this one, too? Was he like, the enforcer? Was he Piniella’s body guard?
Or was he the cooler head in all of this? The collision of Piniella, Zambrano, and Milton Bradley is a tempest I cannot fathom. Yet, somehow, in this version of events, Bradley comes off looking like the most relaxed one.
”I just told him to take his uniform off and go home,” Piniella said after the game. ”And followed him up into the clubhouse and we exchanged some words. I don’t like those things to happen. But I’m just tired of watching all that.
”This has been a common occurrence and I’ve looked the other way a lot, and I’m done with it.”
At first glance, it seems like Bradley is getting the short end of the stick here – Zambrano and Dempster do the same thing, and Piniella sticks up for them when MLB comes sniffing; Bradley does it and he gets the boot and called a piece of shit. HOWEVA – this is hardly a new thing for Milton Bradley. I’m sure that, by now, he hasn’t engendered himself much benefit of the doubt when it comes to explosions.
Players and managers fight. It happens. I’m not saying it’s no big deal, but they can get past this. What is far, far more troubling is what teammate Alfonso Soriano had to say.
Alfonso Soriano said he’d never seen a player and manager fight the way Piniella and Bradley did.
“I hope he comes back and he can help the team to win,” Soriano said of Bradley. “If he’s not that way, we don’t need him. We have 25 players, we have to be on the same page. If he’s not 100 percent to help the team to win, we don’t need him.” Muskat.
Yo. That ain’t good.
Kind of makes you think there’s a whole lot more going on behind the scenes that we’re not privy to.