Milton Bradley says he welcomes Wedge’s approach
Milton Bradley awaits his turn for batting practice on Friday. (Photo by Greg Johns)
Milton Bradley has some history with manager Eric Wedge from their Cleveland days, but the Mariners outfielder said Friday he thinks Wedge’s toughness will be welcome in Seattle.
Bradley spoke with the media for the first time after taking batting practice and doing some outfield work on the day before full-squad workouts begin in Peoria, Ariz.
The media session was brief, given Bradley said he would only talk about baseball topics and didn’t want to address questions concerning his knee or any of his off-field issues.
But he did respond positively when asked about Wedge, the manager he had a run-in with in the 2005 preseason that led to his being traded by the Indians.
“I talked to him in the offseason and I talked to him again (here),” Bradley said. “I’m glad he’s here. We needed that discipline, somebody to put that foot in your behind when you need it. We just got a little lax with the way things were going before. Now he’s going to get it back on track the way it needs to be.”
As for returning to the field after missing the last few months of 2010 with his knee problem, Bradley said: “It just feels good to be around the guys. Baseball is the easy part, I guess. Just being with the guys, having fun and enjoying it.”
As for whether this season, the final year of his contract, brought extra motivation, Bradley said no.
“I don’t place all that stuff like you guys do,” he said. “Whatever makes your stories. But I always play like it’s my last game anyway. Every pitch, every moment means the world to me. I’m not going to take any different approach now.”
Wedge sees Bradley playing in left field and occasionally at designated hitter. He declined to say who was the favorite in the left-field competition, naming Michael Saunders, Bradley, Jody Gerut and Gabe Gross as well as the “young kids.”
But then he added this interesting comment: “It is safe to say if he (Bradley) is healthy, he can have the greatest impact for us out there.”
Also this morning, Erik Bedard was held out of his bullpen session, but Wedge said that was a “proactive” move suggested by pitching coach Carl Willis. Every pitcher will have a day off at some point and the decision was made to give Bedard his early in order to keep him fresh as he returns from his history of shoulder problems.
I’ll have more on the Mariners.com website later.