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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Milton Bradley a bit confused

--posted by Tony Garcia on 8/24/2005

It seems that you have to be black in order to "know how to deal with all types of people".

Here Milton Bradley (OF-Dodgers) complains of Jeff Kent's of a lack of leadership and an inability to deal with black players"
"The problem is, he doesn't know how to deal with African-American people," Bradley said. "I think that's what's causing everything. It's a pattern of things that have been said - things said off the cuff that I don't interpret as funny. It may be funny to him, but it's not funny to Milton Bradley. But I don't take offense to that because we all joke about race in here. Race is an issue with everything we do in here.

"Me being an African-American is the most important thing to me - more important than baseball," said the 27-year-old center fielder, whose voice never went beyond his normal speaking level. "White people never want to see race - with anything. But there's race involved in baseball. That's why there's less than 9 percent African-American representation in the game. I'm one of the few African-Americans that starts here."

First thing to comment about is the reality of Bradley's statement. If it is not funny then it is offensive. A foolish yet common logic. Either the statements are offensive when anyone says them or they are not. Frankly, I am of the opinion that close to nothing is offensive. Poor taste, maybe, but offensive...no.

Second thing to notice is Bradley's desire for affirmative action in baseball. Baseball teams select people based on how they can help the team the most, not on their race. The simple fact is that a lot of baseball's greater influences are from Central America, Asia and California.

Think about this sociologically. Why would there be a lower number of blacks in baseball AFTER accounting for the growing numbers of Central Americans and Asians? Picture this: An early summer day in Chicago and the black kids are out in the schoolyard playing sports. What sport are most of those kids playing? It is not hockey. It is not baseball. It is basketball.

Bradley, if you want higher representation in baseball then you better go persuade the boys from the "hood" why they should stop shooting hoops and start working on the diamond.
Bradley did not like what Kent said to him after he failed to score from first base on a double in Saturday's victory over the Florida Marlins. Bradley initiated a 25-minute closed-door meeting with Tracy after that game.

Ah, so now we understand the true basis for Bradley's issues. Kent was after Bradley for his lack of hustle.
"At no time am I going to let somebody question my hustle, my injury or question my motivation for playing," Bradley said. "I watch him on the field, and I follow in his footsteps and the things he does on the field. As far as off the field, he has no clue about leadership.

"If you're going to be the leader of the team, then you need to mingle with the team and associate with the team. I mean, you can't have your locker in the corner, put your headphones on and sit in the corner reading a motocross magazine. He's in his own world. Everybody else is in this world."

So when the criticism comes and you don't like it start throwing race issues around. But do not be fooled. There is another issue here.
"I was told in spring training I was the team leader - by Paul DePodesta. By Jim Tracy. By (team owner) Frank McCourt," Bradley said. "Growing up in L.A., I know how to deal with all types of people, and I do it on an everyday basis. But some people don't deal with all different types of people every day, and therefore don't know how to handle situations when they arise."

That's right, the other issue is that Bradley is not the team leader, at least not officially. Sour grapes and highly defensive about his hustle or lack thereof. So Bradley throws out "race". Disgusting.

Kent has had some issues in the past with teammates.
Kent, a former NL MVP who feuded with Barry Bonds in San Francisco, defended himself following Bradley's accusations.
From what I understand Bonds is a complete a**, so we can't blame Kent for having issues with Bonds.

How about Kent and race relations?
"If you think that I've got a problem with African-Americans, then go talk to Dusty Baker. Go talk to Dave Winfield, who took me under his wing. Go talk to Joe Carter - all the guys that I idolized in this game and all the veteran players who taught me how to play this game."

Milton Bradley...shut up and play.


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