Thursday, June 12, 2008
Bradley wanted to 'introduce' himself to Royals announcer
ESPN.com news services
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Texas Rangers outfielder Milton Bradley said Thursday he wanted to "introduce" himself to Kansas City Royals television announcer Ryan Lefebvre after some negative comments made on the air.
Bradley stormed up four flights of Kauffman Stadium stairs looking for Lefebvre after the Rangers' 11-5 victory Wednesday night.
"I came in to watch my at-bat on the video and all of a sudden I heard my name," Bradley said Thursday. "It was a spiel like five minutes out of the blue about me. I didn't think anything he was saying was anything positive.
"I never met him and I heard him talking about me on TV. I was upset and was going to introduce myself.
All I wanted to do was introduce myself and tell him the stuff you're talking about is uncalled for."
Bradley never made it to Lefebvre, who is the son of former major league manager and player Jim Lefebvre. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels interceded and the two went back to the clubhouse.
Daniels said the Rangers would take no disciplinary action against Bradley.
"It's a situation you want to avoid, but I don't see where disciplinary action is warranted," Daniels said. "I was there the whole time. There was no aggressive action. There was no foul action, nothing of the sort. We move on."
Rangers president Nolan Ryan told ESPN.com on Thursday that he didn't hear Lefebvre's comments on the broadcast but added that Bradley has done an admirable job of trying to put his behavioral problems in the past.
"We're disappointed that things were said that upset Milton," Ryan told ESPN.com. "From my observations since spring training, he is really trying to change the part of his life that has plagued him during his career. We're very supportive of that, and we feel as if he's made great strides.
"It's an incident that came up, and I think it was handled properly. Milton was upset and disappointed about it, but I'd like to think this is behind us and we'll move on," Ryan said.
Daniels said he would have preferred Bradley handle it in a different way than trying to go the television booth.
"It was the heat of the emotion in the moment," Daniels said. "It was an emotional response. Having been there, it was under control. We would have preferred it not become the public incident it did, but nothing happened."
Lefebvre said he met with Daniels and Washington about his on-the-air comments, but did not talk to Bradley. Lefebvre said the comments were intended to praise Josh Hamilton, who missed nearly four years of professional baseball with cocaine and alcohol addictions, rather than tear down Bradley.
"It was a conversation about how Josh Hamilton has turned his life around and has been accountable for his mistakes," Lefebvre told The Associated Press. "Right now, it seems like the baseball world and fans are rooting for him.
It doesn't seem like Milton Bradley has done the same thing in his life."
Bradley, who leads the league with a .333 batting average and a .629 slugging percentage, said he wasn't looking to physically confront Lefebvre.
"I get tired of people only choose to talk about negativity," he said. "People would automatically assume that if I went to meet that guy that we were going to start fighting. That would be completely out of my character. I never had a fight in my life."
Lefebvre commented about Bradley taunting fans above the dugout and in right field.
"I interact with the fans, but it's not anything malicious," Bradley said. "If anything it is malicious back to me, and I go out and play well and rub it back in their face. I have fun with it."
Bradley has a history of losing his temper.
He slammed a plastic bottle at the feet of a fan in the right-field seats at Dodger Stadium in 2004 after someone threw it on the field. With San Diego in the pennant chase last September, he tore the ACL in his right knee when he was spun to the ground by Padres manager Bud Black, who was trying to keep him from an umpire.
Bradley claimed umpire Mike Winters baited him into the confrontation and directed a profanity at him last September. Winters was suspended the final five days of the regular season and didn't work the postseason.
Bradley knows the perception of him by outsiders may not be good because of past incidents.
"I've done some things that have been construed as violent or temperamental," Bradley said. "But I've never physically harmed anyone. You can talk to any teammates I've had and the most they'll tell you about me is I'm moody. I love to laugh and have fun, but when I'm out on the field it's strictly business. It's my life. I take a lot of pride in what I do."
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick was used in this report.