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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Milton Bradley Cranks Up His Game: Dodgers 9, Giants 8

So, say you're Milton Bradley, and you wake up and find this staring at you in the morning Times over your coffee:
A child Bradley met during a Dodger function in February asked him whether he was going to get mad at him. Bradley was taken aback. "Are you afraid of me?" he asked the boy, who nodded.

"I couldn't get that out of my mind," Bradley said. "I don't want anyone to be afraid of me."

He reflected on his behavior off the field. He had recently served three days in jail in Ohio for an incident in 2003 when he drove off from a police officer who was giving him a ticket. Bradley also was arrested for disorderly conduct Thanksgiving Day when he screamed at a police officer who had pulled over his friend.

"I want to be a role model for kids," he said. "I want them to see me as an inspiration, not as someone to fear."

That's... well, that's pretty tough stuff.

So, for today, Milton gets to be that inspiration, driving in the winning run on a long bases-clearing single. On a day when Jeff Weaver just couldn't get it done, on a day when Jeff Kent couldn't buy a hit, grounded out twice (once into a double play), flyed out (but walking twice), Bradley got to be the hero.

That's sweet, kid.

For the Giants, it's October 2, 2004 all over again, as a "defensive replacement" mishandles a ball and causes the team to implode.

It wasn't pretty, but the Dodgers won. And Milton Bradley, for one day, can spell his name K-i-r-k G-i-b-s-o-n.


Bradley can play a good game that is easily seen. Now when he can learn to control his temper and be a role model for kids, he will be a hero and not a tantrum throwing fool.
MB has a huge heart. Yall cannot buy that at the store. MAybe he does wear his emotions on his sleeve, but he is real. And his heart is in the right place. He is man enough to handle up on his issues, and to grow out of them... Just the way he sprinted out of the dugout yesterday during pregame introductions showed me something, not to mention how he plays the game as a whole. The game winning hit couldnt have come to a better man... Give me nine Milton Bradleys and zero Arods or zero Bonds.
MB has no problem being upbeat sprinting out of dugouts before games, he has no problem playing the game hard and with great skill. The problem is when someone crosses Mr Bradly. We see the real man when he doesn't get his way and that is the problem when he is someone our kids look up to as a baseball hero. On Tuesday evening a young pony baseball player killed another player with a ballbat because he was teasing him about losing a game! Obviously this young man was wearing his emotions on his sleeve. I'm not saying MB is responsible for this boys death in any way but he could however set an example of controling himself when he meets someone who crosses him. One man interviewed after the boy was killed said there too much competition and that was the result. BALOGNY! Competition didn't kill this child! This was obviously a troubled youth to begin with. I have very little doubt he took his game seriously and may even have wanted to become a pro someday. These kids look up to out professional ball players and want to be just like them. I do hope MB is man enough to handle his issues and set an example for young ballplayers at all levels.

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