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Don Wakamatsu already has hands full managing Milton Bradley

Apr 13, 2010, 11:38 AM EDT

Milton Bradley has played just seven games for the Mariners, yet manager Don Wakamatsu has already had a pair of sit-downs with the troubled outfielder.
Wakamatsu met with Bradley after he flipped off the crowd in Texas last week and they had a late-night, closed-door session yesterday to talk about his 1-for-22 start to the season. Here’s how Wakamatsu described last night’s chat:

We talked about not fueling the fire, and relying on your teammates to help you out. That’s what we’re focusing on right now. There are going to be people looking for him and I understand that, but lead by example. I think he’s found a comfort level with this ball club, and doesn’t want to let his teammates down. A lot of fans don’t realize he cares sometimes too much about his performance, and what he’s supposed to be bringing to this club.

Either that or he’s just nuts.
Bradley should eventually get on track offensively, because he’s been an above-average hitter in each of the past seven years and bounced back from a similarly slow start with the Cubs last year to hit .271/.385/.412 in his final 113 games. However, his defense has been absolutely brutal in left field so far and that seems unlikely to change at age 32.
And of course the fact that he’s playing for his eighth team in 11 seasons and has had incidents at every previous stop isn’t simply a matter of “caring too much about his performance.” Still, if he hits something close to his .276/.370/.448 career mark and keeps the incidents to a minimum things will be just fine in Seattle. Unfortunately for the Mariners, history suggests that if Bradley’s slow start continues much longer the issues may begin to snow ball.

  1. Jonny5 - Apr 13, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    Ask Orlando Hudson, He’ll tell you why this guy is doing poorly. Isn’t it obvious?

  2. twinsfiend - Apr 13, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    This guy has the emotional maturity of an 8 year old.

  3. Porky Lopez - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    Really it took 7 entire games to get two sit-downs with the skipper?
    He must be maturing.
    and cue the end of sarcasm…!

  4. BC - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    Man, I hope he stays in this slump. It just doesn’t feel like a baseball season unless Milton Bradley goes sadufhsidagfhresb every once in a while.

  5. Patrick - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    ugh, look, if he was 7 for 22 you wouldn’t be talking about this would you? I’d think a manager would be having a sit-down talk with any clean-up hitter who has hitting a sub .100 average. But, no, since it’s Milton Bradley it must be because he’s psychotic, I get it.
    Yes, it would be nice if he didn’t react to the idiots who were shouting stuff at him in Arlington (and god knows the stuff they’d be saying)but we don’t all have great temperaments. I hate the double standard where fans can be as horrible and abusive as they want and players are supposed to take it and like it.

  6. Utley's hair - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Milton Bradley? Causing problems? What the…? Up is down…black is white…c-a-t spells dog… You could knock me over with a feather. If only the Mariners had some sort of warning that this might happen.

  7. Skids - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    Come on Patrick, give me a break. It’s not like this is the first time. He is psycho and entitled. I am a sports official, and yeah, it pisses me off, but you just have to learn how to ignore it. And I’m not paid anywhere near what he makes, so he should maybe get a real job and see how he likes that.

  8. Tim - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    Bradley flipping off the fans in Arlington is only half the story. The fans in general (I was in section 15, row 6) weren’t arbitrarily yelling obscene things at him, as a matter of fact he was cheered a bit.
    The issue is, a ball girl warms up the left fldr and she threw the ball 2 feet over his right shoulder, rather than reaching up to catch it, he let it go over his head and had the ball girl retrieve it in center fld. After that he refused to warm up with the ball girl and was warmed up by the bullpen catcher (this carried in to Saturday also).
    That is why he was boo’ed and it shows that he is a miserable/angry human being not a victim. Pretty soon he will be done with BB and the only person he will have left to hate is himself.

  9. andy - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    I feel bad for Milton, he’s dealt with anger issues his entire life. I went to school with him from 3rd-6th grade (Grace Brethren), highschool (Long Beach Poly) and community college (LBCC) in Long Beach, Ca. Even on our 4th grade football/baseball team – he was pitching fits and stormed off the field if something didn’t go his way. So much potential – sad to see.

  10. noah - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    Really? So, you think Girardi has sat down Texeira? Ha, not likely… these ‘sitdowns’ are pre-emptive measures by a manager who knows his player is a few crayons short of a full box and may meltdown at anytime.
    Don’t believe me? Well, pay attention for a few more weeks… he’s going to ruin Seattle’s season, because that’s what Milton Bradley does.

  11. Utley's hair - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    If he was 7-for-22, he would most assuredly not have a sit-down with the manager about hitting. If he was 7-for-22 and flipped off the fans in Arlington—where he was employed previously, by the way—yes, the manager would still have a sit-down with him about attitude and interaction with the people who make it possible for him to make seven or eight figures. Reputation goes a LOOONNNG way in how fans relate to players. And I believe his attitude and fan interaction during his days in Arlington play a major part in the nurturing of that reputation.

  12. cb - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    cb replied to comment from skids. what is a real job? being a sports offcial is not one, so maybe you should go get one.

  13. Tom Shumaker - Apr 13, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    Anther reason why GUARANTEED contracts are the bane of baseball. This guy should be cut loose, but with so much $$$ at stake, it’s hardly likely. I guess the real question is why this stupe continues to get signed. I’m sick of reading about him. Maybe the Mariners could trade him to some Mexican League team and save everyone from having to hear any more about his infantile antics.

  14. ed-dough - Apr 13, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    It sure looks like the Cubs got the best of the Silva-Bradley trade…and that statement is true if Silva goes winless. Bradley has severe mental problems including possibly a lack of intelligence. The only ones dumber than Bradley are the idiotic baseball GM’s who keep taking chances on this whack job. Hendry of the Cubs is the dumbest for giving Bradly a 3 year deal at exorbitant money. It goes in line with Hendry’s other brilliant signing of Soriano. There are valid reasons the Cubs never sniff the World Series and those reasons are Soriano, Bradley, Wood….

  15. ed-dough - Apr 13, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Don’t feel bad for Milton…he’s a multi-millionaire. How are you doing in comparison? ( Of course it’s hard to put a dollar value on not having a metnal problem.)

  16. Dessa - Apr 13, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    good grief, Bradley is going to single handedly going to ruin Seattle’s season? I think he’s absolutely the least of their problems. Cameron couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn and they still managed to be mediocre with him. So he’s got an attitude problem, so what? leave the guy alone, what could have ever done to you?

  17. Nasty Boy - Apr 13, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    Milton = DERANGED, that says it all.

  18. Fast Eddy - Apr 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    Well, it doesn’t matter does it not? After he is off to such a fast start too. Too bad we don’t give him a chance to play. If he has problems no matter where he plays, I guess it is all our fault, right? It could be that all the fans in Seattle are all racists too. Well the only important thing we need to ask is WHAT DO MOMMA SAY?

  19. GrouchoM - Apr 13, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    2-6 is mediocre?
    What do you have to be -2 and 5 to be bad?

  20. Ryan - Apr 13, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    As a diehard M’s fan, I had high hopes that Bradley would settle down, quiet down, and just produce solidly. He has been horrible so far, and he appears as though he doesn’t even care. Seeing him strike out is like watching some kid play a sport they hate only because their parents want them to play. I hope they can get it turned around fast. Ichiro always struggles early, but Gutierrez can’t carry this whole team. Hurry back Lee and Bedard!

  21. Pistol - Apr 14, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    With all that’s being written about this psycho, I thank God the Yankees never signed this guy. The New York fans , and the media would tear him apart. He is a disgrace to any team he’s on. Hopefully we’ll all be finished with him before too long. Lets all hope that time really does fly.

  22. Nasty Boy - Apr 14, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    I called it at the end of spring training, that he would cause trouble on the field, or in the club house. He didn’t make a liar out of me. The M’s really tried to put a good group on the field , but Bradley can ruin a wet dream. I feel for you ,and the people of Seattle, you don’t deserve this malcontent.

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