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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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New Leaf Talks About Being Turned Over by Bradley
2006-01-19 13:04
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In his recent interview with A's general manager Billy Beane, Tyler Bleszinski of Athletics Nation came away with a progress report on former Dodger outfielder Milton Bradley. An excerpt:

Blez: You're probably already tired of answering this question, but there are a lot of concerns about Milton Bradley's perceived attitude problem. How much did you take that into account when you were considering acquiring him?

Beane: Obviously, some of the things that have gone on, you can't change that or ignore that. But I think it was also something we tried to investigate as much as possible. And a number of people we've talked to who have come in contact with him were very supportive of him There's no sense in talking about his talent because it's evident. He's a switch-hitting, 27-year-old kid in the prime of his career. He's a bright young man and I've had the opportunity to talk to him. People who know him all say the same things. I think you also have to take into account that it was a tough year for the Dodgers. They went through a ton of injuries. The year before they won the division with Milton. I think people need to be careful and fair, even though I understand why they do, in prejudging Milton. I know he couldn't be more excited about coming here. I talked to a number of players before the trade was made, Eric (Chavez), Kots (Mark Kotsay) and Kendall. They all couldn't wait to have this guy on the team because they know he's going to contribute to a winning atmosphere. And listen, my attitude is a lot better when we win. Believe me, if you caught me on a tough season or a tough day, I would be accused of having the nastiest of attitudes. He's a great talent, and we got some great references that he's a bright and competitive young man. He's going to fit in very well here.

Blez: Did you happen to talk with Paul DePodesta about Milton?

Beane: I didn't think it was too fair at that point, so I tried to limit my conversations with him. I didn't want to put him in an uncomfortable position. But I consulted with players, guys who played against him and stuff like that. I couldn't have gotten a great endorsement than I did from some of the team leaders we have here.

Blez: Is Milton healthy?

Beane: Yeah, he had knee surgery last year. And he was up here in Oakland last week. We got his medical reports. ... He was up here last week. If I was at liberty, the report is sitting right in front of you, but I can't let you look at that. (laughs) He's doing great. We actually had to slow him down. He's far ahead of schedule.

Blez: So he should start the season?

Beane: Oh yeah. As a matter of fact, we think he should be ready for spring training. We'll probably take it easy on him in the spring. But according to the most medical reports, he should be ready for normal activity in the spring. But we're still going to take it easy on him.

Comments (55)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-01-19 13:30:51
1.   Steelyeri
Good read. I have to say, I sure am going to miss seing milton out there this coming season.
2006-01-19 13:33:11
2.   jystakes
Is he trying to say that the dodgers having a tough year is some mitigating factor or excuse in Milton being Milton?
2006-01-19 13:37:33
3.   Jon Weisman
2 - I suppose he's saying it's a mitigating factor, though to what degree I don't know. Certainly, some of this is probably spin. I think the larger point is, "Milton can be Milton without it necessarily being a bad thing for the team."

The most questionable comment Beane made might be, "People who know him all say the same things."

2006-01-19 13:39:07
4.   D4P
2
Probably. Beane is likely a believer in the "Winning produces chemistry, not vice versa" mantra, a philosophy that might also imply "Losing produces Miltonian behavior."
2006-01-19 13:42:22
5.   Marty
Well, in 2004 winning produced Miltonian behavior. I think if you are going to take Bradley on, you need to be prepared for the worst.
2006-01-19 13:52:49
6.   Slikk
Wow, I'm so happy to be reading about Bradley in another organization I can hardly type. It's so nice not to have to worry about him exploding or pulling one of his usual stunts here again.

I understand why Beane is taking the risk on him (attitude and injury-wise). He's a perfect example of the kind of guy Beane would want - undervalued due to (fill-in-the-reason), cheap, and productive.

Have fun with him, Oakland.

2006-01-19 13:56:21
7.   D4P
It will be interesting to see how the MSM treats Flanders if Bradley succeeds in Oakland. I doubt they'll hold Ned responsible for letting him go.

Which brings up another thought I've had: what if Ned's gaggle of geezers has some degree of success this year (i.e. at least a division title). And, what if Ned decides not to keep players like Alomar, Lofton, Nomah, etc.: will the MSM treat Flanders the same way they treated Depo when he "blew up" a division-title-winning roster?

2006-01-19 13:59:19
8.   Jon Weisman
7 - There seems to be consensus that Colletti's 2006 team is built for the short-term, so I expect the reaction to players coming and going to be mild, no matter what happens.
2006-01-19 14:03:47
9.   King of the Hobos
Grady seems to be talking to himself (I haven't seen any questions anyways). But this is...unfortunate?

"I manage a ball club according to the talent on the field and we try to use good common sense with our judgments on when to do certain things. A lot of times,a stolen base is as effective as a hit and run so sometimes we'll do that. I do like to hit and run if the personnel are the right people in order. I like action."

2006-01-19 14:04:59
10.   King of the Hobos
Now Grady says "Bengie Molina is still out there," but claims "We're awfully proud of the young catchers we do have and we have high hopes from the young kids."
2006-01-19 14:07:54
11.   regfairfield
7 Colletti is immune from critism. How many articles have you seen about how you can't trade this many players and still have good chemistry?
2006-01-19 14:07:55
12.   Jon Weisman
"I do like to hit and run if the personnel are the right people in order."

I have no problem with this. The problem for the Dodgers has been that the hit and run is a lot harder than they seem to think it is.

2006-01-19 14:14:26
13.   Sushirabbit
Am I the only one thinking that maybe there's a win one for Scully attitude? I mean retirement is surely on the horizon, if not iminent, right? Think of the PR hazards awaiting the McCourts (plum crazy tm) on that one. I still think another major trade is coming.
2006-01-19 14:20:28
14.   Bob Timmermann
I really don't think Vin Scully cares one way or the other if the Dodgers win another World Series.

Really, I don't. He just goes about his job. He will work until he doesn't want to. He's seen the Dodgers win all their World Series. It's not like he's missed out on anything.

2006-01-19 14:21:32
15.   Curtis Lowe
To me this team reminds me of one that has something to prove. Starting from the Top

McCourt needs to prove he's not McCheap.

Colletti needs to prove he's not Sabbeans clone.

Grady needs to prove he can manage a ball club to win.

Murray needs to prove that what happened in Cleveland wasnt his fault.

Gagne needs to prove he's as dominant as ever.

Nomar needs to prove he can be an offensive force again.

Kent needs to prove he's not getting too old to win.

Lofton needs to prove he's not too old for baseball.

Drew needs to prove he can play in more than 100+ games without breaking down.

Lowe and Penny need to prove that they are in fact Aces.

OP needs to prove he's not washed up.

Navarro needs to prove he's good enough to start.

Cruz Jr. needs to prove he's not wasted potential.

Werth needs to prove he's not werthless.

etc etc.

2006-01-19 14:24:59
16.   caseybarker
Drew also has the out clause at the end of the year. I do think Lowe turned it around in the second half of last year--let's just hope our infield defense holds up.
2006-01-19 14:26:22
17.   D4P
Someone needs to ask Little about his plans for Choi. Enquiring minds want to know.
2006-01-19 14:27:17
18.   Curtis Lowe
17- I asked how he felt about HSC and arm angles but have failed to recieve a reply.
2006-01-19 14:27:56
19.   DodgerBakers
Back to Bradley, I sure won't miss him and his superstar "plays" where he dives for the ball and always (at least every single time I've either watched or listened) does not make the play, in fact, it usually results in a single becoming a double or worse. I'm glad he's on the A's. Should be a good player for the Angels.
2006-01-19 14:29:03
20.   Dark Horse
15--Couldn't you pretty much say that about any team or set of players?

A-rod needs to prove he can succeed in the postseason.
Cano needs to prove he isn't a fluke.

Etc. Not saying some of those aren't so, but...there was no real indication last year Kent or Lofton were "too old for baseball," I'm sure most players coming back from injuries have varying degrees of concern and so on.

2006-01-19 14:32:07
21.   Curtis Lowe
20- Is that what you do? You take a point and shoot it down with some lame example? Comparing what Arod has todo this season with anything any of the current Dodgers has to prove is ludicrous. They seem like a bunch of outcasts if you ask me.
2006-01-19 14:37:49
22.   Penarol1916
15. What would not being Sabean's clone mean for Colletti? What would he have to do?
2006-01-19 14:42:15
23.   trainwreck
I am late to the party, but if you are looking for good Ethiopian food then go to Berkeley, oh and Bengie Molina is overrated and will breakdown because he is at that age for catchers and he is not exactly a workout warrior. I much rather have Navarro play and progress.
2006-01-19 14:43:55
24.   Doug N
15 I find it tough to assume players or owners ever feel they need to prove anything. i think most of them feel entitled to the money they earn, and further, that we should consider ourselves lucky that they even put the uniform on.
2006-01-19 14:45:38
25.   Curtis Lowe
22- Develop a talent farming machine by integrating young progressive talent with solid steady talent while restocking the farm system through select trades and draft rights. Trading some young talent at overstocked positions for major league holes.
Basicly to accomplish everything the Giants have'nt.
2006-01-19 14:47:38
26.   Curtis Lowe
24- Then why follow them?
2006-01-19 14:49:57
27.   Bob Timmermann
I think the players feel the need to prove that they are worth the money they get paid. Pro athletes are hypercompetitive. They want to be good.

As for the owners, they want to turn a profit.

2006-01-19 15:10:25
28.   Doug N
26 Cos I love baseball and I'm a sucker.

27 I'm sure you're right, I just have a hard time picturing OP crying over his Dos Equis and wanting us to like him.

2006-01-19 15:19:24
29.   KAYVMON
27- "players feel the need to prove that they are worth the money they get paid."

I think that applies especailly to Bradley. If you remember after the pennant winning game in 04, he was crying and wanted to reform himself, to be apart of the winning. And remember, he did more in the community this year than any other Dodger. I think in Bradley's head, he knows people think hes this out of control guy, so he just wants to prove himself as a winner and as intelligent to challenge peoples assumptions and distaste for him. If he tried to prove his sanity, it wouldnt work. But if hes seen as a fierce competitor, people would be able to find a place for his temper. When Kent challenged his competitorness (is that a word?), that was knocking down the one thing Bradley had left to rest his cap on. I think that Bradley was probably excited to leave LA as a result, and he will probably suceed as a fierce competitor in Oakland. And re:19, yeah he will probably miss on some of those dives, but what outfielder doesnt, and he might make some spectacular plays while trying.

2006-01-19 15:28:25
30.   Dark Horse
21--Admittedly, the example was a little (OK, a lot) burlesque, but I'm not sure I see the team in those terms. More importantly, I suspect they don't see themselves that way. But I think 1, 5 (to an extent,) 6 and 9 certainly, 10 maybe. I'm not so sure Odalis wakes up thinking he could be "washed up" (given his makeup I'm not sure it would help us if he did or not,) or that Jeff Kent has anything to prove at all. I don't think a clutch of uncertainties makes them a team of "outcasts," is all I'm saying.
2006-01-19 15:59:11
31.   ToyCannon
I guess the real question about Milton is he going to be worth Boadwalk this year or just a utility card.
2006-01-19 16:03:32
32.   Bob Timmermann
Boardwalk is a bad investment in Monopoly. People don't land on it enough to recoup your investment in houses.

You're better off with the oranges and reds. Build houses on those and you will win big.

That's my real estate tip for the day.

2006-01-19 16:08:25
33.   Jon Weisman
In Monopoly, it's best to own property just down the block from a jail and right next to a community parking lot. Just like real life.
2006-01-19 16:09:26
34.   natepurcell
is molina really that much of an improvement over navarro?

who is likely to improve on their game? a 21 yr old catcher or a 32 yr old catcher...

2006-01-19 16:11:41
35.   D4P
34
The more appropriate questions for this thread would be, "Is Lofton really that much of an improvement over Bradley? Who is likely to improve on their game? A 27 yr old CF or a 38 yr old CF...
2006-01-19 16:15:35
36.   jystakes
The thing about Bradley is that if he was going to reform or be a success in a certain environment, it would have been in LA. He's a LA native, got a fresh slate, fans loved him, good tradition, playing his favorite position, etc. If he couldn't make it here, with arguably ideal circumstances, is he going to be a success and truly "reform" in a smaller market, less popular team in a city with less tradition and glitz?

34 - Navarro is more likely to improve for sure, but also more likely to bat .216 next year with 7 hr and obp of .279. The point is at this stage, Molina is not only statistically better offensively and defensively, but more proven and likely to perform at that level.

2006-01-19 16:15:58
37.   natepurcell
im not really too huffed up about the bradley deal. a healthy werth+ lofton platoon will produce numbers very similar to bradley. and even though bradley is 27/28, he is so brittle and frail that you cant count on him for a 140 game season.
2006-01-19 16:23:25
38.   D4P
36
Does Oakland have anyone like Jeff Kent? There's a pretty good chance that, if Kent wasn't a Dodger last year, Bradley still would be.
2006-01-19 16:23:28
39.   jystakes
By the way, off the topic slightly, I know there are alot of lawyers on this board. Where and what does everyone practice?
2006-01-19 16:26:56
40.   jystakes
38 - Everyone on the As seems pretty mellow - all their players are always so young that its hard for them to be as demanding as a Kent. No one has been around long enough to have the audacity to demand a talented player off the roster. Could see him butting heads with maybe J. Payton? Loaza? Kendall?
2006-01-19 16:34:35
41.   ToyCannon
32
Broadway is more hype then substance, which is about the same I feel about Milton.

36
I expect Navarro to come close to what Bengie would bring and the service I rely on for future production prognistication agrees. We have enough veterans and the pitchers were very happy with Navarro. I really really hate slow players so I'm prejudiced against Bengie. I watched the Angels try to score him when he got on base and it was never an easy venture. He scored 45 runs even though he hit 295 in 400 ab. He was on base 148 times and hit 15 home runs. Which means his teammates were able to score him 30 times out of the 133 times he was on base.

2006-01-19 16:37:49
42.   ToyCannon
I believe Steve works for the group lobbying for middle relief pitching recognition. It is a thankless job but due to the increase in middle relief salaries he's well compensated.
2006-01-19 16:41:19
43.   jystakes
I just found out two nights ago that an acquaintance of mine (good friend of a good friend), who is probably 28 or 29, was recently hired as the PRESIDENT of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He was an I-banker for 5 years out of college, then did freelance financial consulting for a rich dude, who was planning on buying the Rays. When the guy did buy the Rays, he brought him along and he's now the President. I still can't believe it, at 29? How does this happen? What's going on?
2006-01-19 16:43:00
44.   ToyCannon
41
Oh and that was in a DH league. In the NL and DS he may never score. Do you think it is a coincidence that such a good hitting catcher is still unemployed? Or maybe the GM's of the league know that a 32 year old catcher coming off his career year is just as likely to pull a Greg Myers after 2003 then he is to continue to be a consistent player.
2006-01-19 16:45:33
45.   ToyCannon
43
That is why they hired Hunsicker to help him navigate his way.
2006-01-19 16:47:52
46.   natepurcell
wow. from this quote, little is already 1478904X better then tracy.

spottedowl: How important is it to have a set number of lefties in the bullpen, either one or two? Or are you looking to bring the best relievers with the club no matter which way they pitch?

Little: I'll tell you what, I'm not a firm believer that you need to have a left-handed pitcher in any situation just because he's left-handed. So many times, you have a better arm in the bullpen but some managers try to protect themselves by bringing in the lefty to face the lefty, even if it's not the right move. I'm not a manager that's going to go on that percentage. And the same thing goes for our left-handed hitters against left-handed pitchers.

2006-01-19 16:51:21
47.   King of the Hobos
45 You're thinking of Andrew Friedman, he's the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations. Hunsicker has the same title, but with Senior instead of Executive. The President is Matthew Silverman
2006-01-19 16:52:31
48.   Andrew Shimmin
Little chat transcript:

http://tinyurl.com/9375j

2006-01-19 17:17:00
49.   D4P
How appropriate that the Little chat transcript was Tiny URL-ed.
2006-01-19 17:44:14
50.   natepurcell
www.baseballwebtv.com just launched. tons of prospect videos on prep players.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-01-19 18:31:30
51.   natepurcell
theo rejoining red sox....
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2298743
2006-01-19 19:55:31
52.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
I keep hearing how slow Molina is, but isn't that the case with most catchers? I know if I had to crouch like that, I'd have to crawl to first. I don't think his speed is that much worse than the average catcher's.

as for 41, the number of runs he scores is heavily dependent on the lineup around him. Maybe the problem wasn't his speed so much as his low average, low OBP teammates.

I wish I trusted Navarro to be a solid hitter, but at his young age and with little major league experience, I'll be shocked if he manages a VORP over 10. And if he does that, we'll see how many supporters he has here by August or so.

Point being, I think Colletti sees Molina as insurance against a Navarro collapse. Right now that insurance is Sandy Alomar, who surely can't even outhit The Goggled One.

Really, those urging that we give the job to Navarro (who only turns 22 soon), what happens if he's hitting .200/.280/.300 in July?

Sign Molina to share the job with him for a year, then we're covered. And then Navarro can do the same for Martin in '07.

2006-01-19 23:20:21
53.   das411
Sorry for the late post-jump, but 43 - that's really cool!! I know there are a few closet D-Rays fans here, and I think we all agree that team is headed in a much better direction now than they were a year ago...or (at the risk of starting another Danny Baez flame war) even a week ago :)
2006-01-20 08:09:11
54.   DodgerBakers
Can you say absolutely nothing any better than this?
"I think the biggest challenge will be to win as many games as we can on a daily basis and keep the players healthy," said Grady Little."
2006-01-20 10:11:44
55.   everett
stupid magic beans...

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