Seattle Mariner player Milton Bradley described himself in spring training as the bad boy of baseball.
Wednesday, the bad boy requested his organizations help to cope with “emotional distress” as described by Mariner’s manager Don Wakamatsu.
General manager for the organization, Jack Zduriencik, publicly stated that Bradley will be out indefinitely from the line up until he is ready to come back.
“It’s come to a head,” Zduriencik stated.
Earlier this week, Bradley had performed poorly in a game, recording two strikeouts and was visibly angry with himself. Wakamatsu took him out of the game for the remainder.
Wakamatsu said that Bradley phoned him and requested that the two meet in person and discuss certain issues that Bradley wanted to talk about.
“The fact he has stood up and asked for us to help him, I think, is an extremely important step for him as a young man,” Zduriencik remarked.
On the year, Bradley is currently batting .214, with just two homers and 12 RBI’s.
In Bradley’s place will be Ryan Langerhans, who was called up this week. Langerhans was in the starting line up for Seattle against Tampa Bay.
“He’s going through some things in his life right now that are very personal and very emotional,” Zduriencik remarked. “We firmly believe that we manage people first. Certainly we are about winning baseball games … but most important is the employees that work with us. We will join together and help him receive the assistance that he needs.”
Earlier that day, Bradley went with his manager and several teammates to a nearby elementary school. The outfielder discussed what the driving force behind him is.
“I grew up in Long Beach, Calif., me and my mother,” Bradley said. “She worked in a grocery store, checking out groceries every day, 40 hours a week. Every day she’d come home, get the mail. She’d get in the same chair with the bills. She’d put in one pile the bills she could pay. In another pile she’d put the ones she couldn’t pay. Bill collectors would call. I saw her fall asleep in that chair.”
“I saw that every day. That was my motivation.”
Following the event at the school, teammate Mike Sweeney said that the Mariners will help Bradley.
“The way we’re going to do that is just, to love on him,” Sweeney remarked. “His track record shows he’s had some ups and downs. But we can embrace him and get him to click the way he did in Texas [in 2008, Bradley's All-Star season].”
“He’s a beautiful man, with a beautiful heart.”
Online Sportsbooks have installed Seattle with odds at 22/1 to win the 2010 World Series title.