The late Bobby Bonds was an angry and bitter man when he was playing in the Major Leagues, he had a chip on his shoulder and just dared you to knock it off. A few years before his untimely passing, in a very candid interview Bonds said that he looked back on his playing days with regret. He told his interviewer that he had wished that he had not allowed the anger to rule his life the way it had. He said because of it he had not enjoyed his career the way he should have. He feared that his son Barry was consumed by the same demons, and though he talked with his son it seemed to have no effect.
I don't know if the late Mr. Bonds ever met San Diego Padres outfielder Milton Bradley, but Bradley certainly would have benefited from talking with him. As I have said many times on this site, I have never met Barry Bonds, perhaps the only big named athlete in MLB, NFL, or the NBA that I have not had even a brief interview with. But I know Milton Bradley covering him on a daily basis while he was with the Cleveland Indians. I would find it hard to believe that Barry could be any more disgruntled than the man I have labeled "The Angriest Man In Baseball."
Bradley got caught up again in the moment and tore his ACL as a result ending his season. I realize that the preceding sentence looks bizarre, let me explain. The Padres were playing the Colorado Rockies when Bradley came to the plate in the eighth inning. The home plate umpire, Brian Runge asked Bradley if he had flipped his bat at the official after he called the outfielder out on strikes in the fifth. Bradley says he told Runge that it was ridiculous, and asked him what prompted the query. Runge told him that the other umpires had told him that Bradley had done it. Bradley then hit a single, and when he got to first asked first base umpire Mike Winters if he had told Runge that he flipped his bat at him, and Winters confirmed he did. At that point Bradley and Winters got into an argument, Bradley was ejected from the game and imploded. San Diego first base coach Bobby Meacham tried to restrain Bradley, but the outfielder wriggled out of the coaches grasp. At that point Padres manager Bud Black ran from the dugout and wrestled Bradley to the ground, tearing the ACL in the process.
Naturally Bradley is blaming everybody but himself, the umpire, a fan who supposedly heckled Winters from the stands, and who knows maybe a popcorn vendor. Milton, I am sincerely sorry you are hurt, but unfortunately you have only yourself to blame. You got yourself run out of Montreal where you were known as a can't miss prospect. You blamed Eric Wedge for your demise in Cleveland, and Jeff Kent for your troubles with the Dodgers. Earlier this year you were released by the Oakland A's. Milton you have two major problems, first is your fragility, you get hurt every year. But so does Ken Griffey Jr. in Cincinnati, but he has over 500 home runs. Mike Sweeney is on the D.L. on an annual basis in Kansas City, but he is one of the classiest athletes in all of sports. But to be fragile and angry is a deadly combination and you are running out of teams Milton. It's time for you to see that the only enemy you have is the man you see in the mirror.
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