Yesterday, former Major League outfielder Milton Bradley was sentenced to just over 2 1/2 years in jail for abusing his estranged wife. He had been threatening and physically abusing her for years and, additionally prosecutors had argued that the 35-year-old also smoked marijuana in front of his kids. They have two children and are separated while they are going through their divorce.
What Bradley was convicted and sentenced for was indeed a crime; no question. However, anyone that has followed his career should not be surprised by his behavior given his past transgressions, some which include the following:
1. Bradley tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in 2007 when he played with the Padres after he was spun to the ground by manager Bud Black, who was trying to keep him away from an umpire.
2. During his brief stint with Seattle, he was suspended for a game for bumping an umpire and ejected for arguing a called third strike.
3. Bradley also received a four-game suspension once for tossing a bag of balls onto the field after an ejection.
The real travesty with Bradley has nothing to do with his marriage. No, instead it has to do with the game of baseball, and this is where the scouts, GM’s and owners prove time and time again that indeed, in baseball, sometimes love IS blind. Here is a player that clearly was a bust after being selected in the 2nd round of the 1996 draft by the old Montreal Expos.
Bradley only hit 20 or more home runs one time in his 11 year M.L. career. He never drove in more than 77 runs in a season and perhaps even more glaring is that Bradley never played more than 141 games in a season, and he did that only once!
Couple his lack of talent with his on and off field outbreaks of temper and lack of professionalism, and one finds themselves scratching their collective heads wondering how nine different teams gave this malcontent contracts in just 11 seasons. That means that nine different teams thought that Bradley had something in his repertoire that would help their club; at least in the short term anyway because the longest stint that Bradley had was with the Cleveland Indians with whom he stayed for three seasons but only appeared in 209 games over that span.
Bradley, a free agent since the Mariners released him in 2011, has been shown a lot of love by a lot of baseball teams for over a decade. He’ll see a different kind of love now behind bars…