Bradley to writers: You ran me out of town

Milton Bradley told three Chicago reporters on Sunday that they "ran me out of town." AP Photo/Paul Connors

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Milton Bradley sat out his only chance to play his former team this spring, but he didn't pass on the chance to criticize another group from his tumultuous stay in Chicago.

On Sunday, Bradley cut off an attempt for an interview by three Chicago writers by saying "no chance" and "beat it." He told the writers "you ran me out of town. ... Peace."

Sunday's rest defused a potentially touchy reunion with the Cubs, for whom the 31-year-old former All-Star began a tumultuous 2009 in the cleanup spot. He lasted just 19 games in that place with Chicago, batting .179 with just two home runs and five RBIs at cleanup. He hit just .257 overall with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs before getting suspended by the team for a run-in with his hitting coach. He later said the team and city mistreated him.

That prompted a response earlier in spring training from Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, who said: "I think it's time maybe Milton looked himself in the mirror. He just didn't swing the bat. He didn't get the job done. It's really unfortunate that you ... try to use the other areas for excuses."

Hendry said signing Bradley to a three-year, $30 million contract before last season was "a mistake." He added the atmosphere of the entire organization has improved since the outfielder was traded to Seattle for pitcher Carlos Silva in December.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella asked about Bradley before the game.

"How's Milton doing? Tell him I said hi," Piniella said.

"He got off to a little bit of a rocky start with the bat. He's certainly very capable of being a productive fourth hitter. He's over there in Seattle, and we wish him well."

Piniella said he didn't think the media "ran" Bradley out of Chicago.

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