Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Bradley agrees to one-year deal
CLEVELAND -- Milton Bradley agreed Wednesday to a $1.73 million,
one-year contract for 2004 with the Cleveland Indians, who avoided going to
salary arbitration with the temperamental outfielder.
Bradley batted .321 with 10 homers and 56 RBI last season, but
he missed the final six weeks with a lower back injury. He led the
Indians with 17 steals despite missing 61 games with injuries.
Bradley opened last season with a 14-game hitting streak, and at
the All-Star break he was among the AL's leaders in batting
average, walks, doubles and steals.
However, Bradley was also making a name for himself by angering
some opposing teams with showboating antics. He has a habit of
ripping off his batting gloves after connecting for a home run.
He also threw his helmet and bat in the direction of plate
umpire Bruce Froemming during a game in Oakland, and had to be
restrained by manager Eric Wedge.
While he was on the disabled list in August, police cited
Bradley for speeding and fleeing when an officer tried to ticket
Bradley appeared in only 98 games during the 2002 season,
missing time after suffering an eye injury when he was hit trying
to make a catch. He also had an emergency appendectomy.
During his first full season with the Indians, Bradley was taken
to a hospital by emergency medical workers after refusing to leave
a restaurant because he was drunk.
The Indians acquired Bradley in a trade from the Montreal Expos
in 2001 for pitcher Zach Day.
While in the minors, Bradley spit gum at one umpire, reportedly
slapped another ump in a fall league game and served a seven-game
suspension for starting a brawl.
During contract negotiations with the Indians, he expressed a
desire to establish a program to help underprivileged youth.