FanDuel - WFBC

August 23, 2005

Bradley accuses Jeff Kent of Racism: Milton Bradley, a malcontent, again had a problem with a teammate. He said that Jeff Kent doesn't know how to deal with African American players. Bradley might just be spewing after Kent called him out after he failed to score from 1st on a double. I think that Milton Bradley should be dumped, he han't played up to his potential and he is a heinous teammate. What do you think?

posted by redsoxthrowdown to baseball at 10:07 PM - 53 comments

Bradley is just using his minority status to get back at Kent. What a jerk. He's no good and should be dumped ASAP

posted by jake132 at 11:45 PM on August 23

Man, I am just so glad we got him out of our clubhouse in Cleveland, he's nothing but a problem.

posted by gregy606 at 12:11 AM on August 24

Jeff Kent is worse for baseball than Milton Bradley. Kent is clearly old guard, and has been known as a prickly jerk. He lied about an injury (said he hurt himself while washing his truck). I can sooo see him being a racist.

posted by uncleboatshoes at 12:44 AM on August 24

I, too, sit comfortably upon my armchair and denounce both Kent as a racist prick and Bradley as a lazy, victim-baiting tool.

posted by charlatan at 01:28 AM on August 24

I see Jeff Kent being a mouthy abrasive redneck, but not a racist. There's no reason to believe or defend either Kent or Bradley. This sounds like a clubhouse problem, not a civil-rights issue, and I don't like meddling in other people's relationship problems.

posted by chicobangs at 03:02 AM on August 24

By reading the article it sounds like Bradley is the one playing the race card. If Kent is a leader on the team and calls Bradley out for not hustling, what does that have to do with him being an African-American? It sounds to me like Bradley's only reply to not hustling was to say Kent was picking on him. What a low way of dealing with the situation.

posted by letral at 05:39 AM on August 24

I would call Jeff Kent alot of things, but I dont think Racist would be one of them. I agree with the fact that bot men have had trouble with: "working and playing well with others!"

posted by daddisamm at 06:05 AM on August 24

Bradley is just using his minority status to get back at Kent. By reading the article it sounds like Bradley is the one playing the race card. I'm sorry, am I on the right planet? Wish I had minority status. I'm with chico here: these are two assholes. It's low on the Shocking Meter that they annoy each other. Bradley seems to be reaching for an excuse as to why Kent telling him what to do annoys him. Kent probably can't live without firing up everyone around him. Why don't we sit back and enjoy the ride?

posted by yerfatma at 06:15 AM on August 24

Why don't we sit back and enjoy the ride? And play some Parcheesi while we're at it. I have another theory: all his life, Milton Bradley has been teased about his name, and it's made him just a wee bit sensitive to perceived slights and goadings. The umpteenth time that Kent said, "Hey Milton, you gotta hustle if you wanna win in the Game of Life, nyuk nyuk, ya know what I mean???", Bradley just lost his composure a little bit.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:30 AM on August 24

Milton Brabley is nothin but a whining jerk. Seems to me that when things dont go right, "lets play the race" card, im so damn sick of it. Glad MB is out of Cleveland to!

posted by Sasquatch12154 at 06:43 AM on August 24

And play some Parcheesi while we're at it. I have never learned how to play. Is it a hard game to learn?

posted by daddisamm at 07:18 AM on August 24

I have never learned how to play. Is it a hard game to learn? It's a relentlessly stupid and frustrating game.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:30 AM on August 24

"I think that's what's causing everything. It's a pattern of things that have been said -- things said off the cuff that I don't interpret as funny. It may be funny to him, but it's not funny to Milton Bradley." Evixir finds it difficult to take anyone seriously when they refer to themselves in the third person. Both these characters have some chips on their shoulders, but taking it to the press is the most undignified way of doing it. Interesting to see that Kent took the high road on this one by not getting into it. On a different note, wow, noone seems to be using the Preview button much anymore. Evixir finds it difficult to take posts all that seriously when they're rife with spelling errors. Hey, someone had to be the grammar police around here! [/snark]

posted by evixir at 08:34 AM on August 24

It's amazing to me Kent has made it through so many years of baseball, through the minors, many years in the bigs, and then, what do you know, all of a sudden in 2005, Milton Bradley steps up and has us contemplating whether or not the guy's a racist? Milton Bradley?? I've never encountered one reason why anyone should believe anything that comes out of that guy's mouth. I'm fairly sure Kent may not be the most outgoing player in the history of baseball, but Bradley better have a LONG list of evidence against him before he starts playing the race card. Maybe what he (Bradley) should be doing instead is looking in the mirror and facing his own issues with race.

posted by dyams at 08:41 AM on August 24

Picking sides between Jeff Kent and Milton Bradley isn't easy. I think it's wrong for Bradley to take it out of the clubhouse and make it a race issue, but Kent's no prize, if the stories out of San Francisco are true, and he acknowledges that some kind of incident fueled Bradley's ire. Bradley also doesn't help his case by speaking in the third person with comments like this: "It may be funny to him, but it's not funny to Milton Bradley." In any case, I'm cancelling my plans to be in Los Angeles for the World Series parade this fall.

posted by rcade at 09:21 AM on August 24

I'm fairly sure Kent may not be the most outgoing player in the history of baseball, but Bradley better have a LONG list of evidence against him before he starts playing the race card. Why should Bradley have to have proof enough that would convince the average white man before he calls Kent racist? Kent has had difficulty with teammates in the past, maybe this is part of the reason why. I don't find Kent's defense that he knows and respects a handful of black folks that convincing. Racists are like bad drivers. Everyone knows they exist, but no one ever admits to being one.

posted by bperk at 09:52 AM on August 24

You know what Milton Bradley thinks is funny? Operation. Taking a few pieces out of Whitey, man ... now that's some side-splittin' shit. Trusting Milton Bradley's opinion of another person's character is like asking marital advice of Bill Clinton. I'd have been more inclined to listen if he'd said something snarky about Kent's porn stache. And evixir, if you want to be a member of the SFGP (SpoFi Grammar Police), you'll have earn your chops. Start by putting a space between "no" and "one", rook.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:53 AM on August 24

Operation! I loved that game!

posted by daddisamm at 10:35 AM on August 24

Milton Bradly is a known trouble maker and thinks the world revolves around him. Jeff Kent is heading towards the Hall of Fame and should conduct himself accordingly. Kent has been around way too long not to know better. It's better to keep your mouth shut than to incite an over sensitive team mate. To this day, even with their multi-million dollar contracts, front line publicity and half or most of a major league baseball team consisting of Blacks & Hispanics, some think that they are steeped under an umbrella of racism. If that many people feel that they are being discriminated against then MLB needs to address the problem. Perception becomes reality. dc

posted by tsebitaidan at 10:36 AM on August 24

daddisamm...you're showing your age (I loved that game too)

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 10:42 AM on August 24

I wouldn't be so quick to put Kent in the HOF, especially with his media relations/clubhouse issues both in SF and now LA. Oh, and he still falls short on all 3 of baseball-reference's HOF predictors: Gray Ink: Batting - 64 (370) (Average HOFer ~ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 39.1 (148) (Average HOFer ~ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 89.0 (168) (Likely HOFer > 100) Add to the fact that he's played his career in these offensive-minded years, and his numbers fall even further short at this point in his career.

posted by brewdudepa at 10:46 AM on August 24

Milton Bradly is a known trouble maker and thinks the world revolves around him. The pressing question (and I'm not defending MB, just pointing out the abstract issue) is "Why is Milton Bradley a 'known troublemaker'?". Maybe 100% of it is because he's a complete fucking headcase, but I always wonder if he'd be a hard-scrabble, salt-of-the-earth ass kicker if his skin was a different color. We all know Jeff Kent's a complete asshole; why isn't he a "known troublemaker" in the press?

posted by yerfatma at 10:46 AM on August 24

As a former professional ball player, I know that the worst player on any major league club is an over achiever and super star from a young age. One does not make it into the major leagues unless you out performed everyone along the way (high school, college and minor leagues). When one is an over achiever you are treated differently than others and from a young age you are treated with reverence. Many professional ball players are literally spoiled rotten because of this long time special treatment. In fact, many are incapable of receiving constructive criticism from anyone. Being a MLB coach or manager is like walking on a tight rope. Your ability to get along with these 22 year old multi millionaire prima donna's determines your job longevity. This is a very sad commentary but true to the core. dc

posted by tsebitaidan at 10:49 AM on August 24

The new LA Dodger organization seems to be an organization that some established players don't want to play for. Gary Sheffield is an example. Sheff has been known not to get along with other players but seemed to flourish in Atlanta and NY. Sheff is one of the great players of the game and for some reason LA really did not suit him. Perhaps Milton Bradly is under the same mindset? I would rather have two Ceon Figgins or two Steve Finley's than one unhappy Milton Bradly. It's time for Bradly to move on. dc

posted by tsebitaidan at 11:05 AM on August 24

BUTTERFINGERS! (Sorry, Operation commercial reference.) Well played, verfatma (re: known troublemakers) What's interesting to me is that this "crazy" guy actually has a lot of strong and positive--if inconsistent--things to say. He mentions "a pattern of things that have been said" by Kent, and while I hope it's nothing more than cracks about the game of LIFE, I fear there's more there. Of course, Bradley undermines his complaint by saying right afterward that he, Kent, and all the Dodgers joke about race and race is an issue with everything they do. Then what the hell is he making this into more than a single comment about a single play? Milton says that being African-American is the most important thing to him, more important than baseball--actually a very empowering statement. He also uses his latest (self-made?) soapbox to draw attention to African-Americans' 9% representation "in the game." One of Bradley's complaints is that after the incident, all the reporters went to talk to him, the African-American, first. Problem was, Kent hadn't arrived at his locker to talk to reporters yet. Oops. But this bias in the story was most interesting to me (my Chicago Tribune AP copy is a little different than the link posted): "[Bradley's] voice never went beyond his normal speaking level." Now this is either biased FOR Bradley, in that the writer was trying to downplay his anger and make this controversy appear to be a Bradley-initiated race-relations summit, or terribly biased AGAINST Bradley, in that the writer has so completely prejudged Bradley as a hothead that the fact that he spoke in a normal tone of voice was newsworthy. Frankly I find that nugget the most interesting part of this entire story. By the way, first it was Milton Bradley, then Coco Crisp. Was there a period of time, as Cleveland was winning the Central year after year with its eyes closed, where the team was just filing out its draft sheet with odd names? No wonder Marquis Grissom ended up playing there too.

posted by Brett at 11:09 AM on August 24

Why should Bradley have to have proof enough that would convince the average white man before he calls Kent racist? Because Milton Bradley has no credibility. If he did...well then maybe we could take what he says seriously without further evidence. I have never been a Kent fan and I certainly don't know if he is racist or not, but you have to bring a little more than Bradley has to call out someone as a racist in the press. Racists are like bad drivers. Everyone knows they exist, but no one ever admits to being one. I agree completely...if there were no racists or bad drivers...how great a world would we live in??

posted by stofer71 at 11:14 AM on August 24

Years ago Will Clark was labled as a "racist" because he dared to buck heads with the surly Barry Bonds. Clark never lived down the Bonds accusation. Jeff Kent also had his run in with Barry Bonds when Bonds grabbed Kent by the throat in the dugout during a game. Kent, right or wrong, has a propensity to say things that upset people. Milton Bradly may have been over reacting by calling Kent a "racist" but Kent should have known better and expected this from a notoriously difficult personality (Bradly). Both are at fault and most of the blame has to go to Kent. Again, because Kent has been around way too long and should know how to handle spoiled brats. dc

posted by tsebitaidan at 11:15 AM on August 24

Milton says that being African-American is the most important thing to him, more important than baseball--actually a very empowering statement. That comment struck me too. If he feels that strongly about his racial identity, he should put that into practice in positive ways, rather than bringing it up in the context of a spat between players. How many black kids would love to have him come to their schools to tout the great game?

posted by rcade at 11:17 AM on August 24

When a player of Milton Bradly's young age and extraordinary talent level is traded from one team to another in short order that's an idication that Mr. Bradly is not getting along with others. It's that simple. dc

posted by tsebitaidan at 11:24 AM on August 24

Last year the talented Jose Guillen was suspended and dumped from the LA Angels during the heart of the AL playoffs because Guillen was constantly disrupting the team and bucking heads with management. I wonder if the owner of the Angels wasn't Hispanic would Guillen have used the "race card?" dc

posted by tsebitaidan at 11:30 AM on August 24

The notoriously goofy and flaky Jose Canseco wrote in his book that racism against Hispanics is rampant in major league baseball. Again, if ball players perceive something to be true on a wide basis then it is true or becomes true. Hall of Famer's Frank Robinson and Joe Morgan say that these things are true and so does manager Felipe Alou. Then what is MLB doing about these charges of racism? dc

posted by tsebitaidan at 11:37 AM on August 24

In any case, I'm cancelling my plans to be in Los Angeles for the World Series parade this fall. Best comment about this "issue", hands down.

posted by qbert72 at 11:45 AM on August 24

If he feels that strongly about his racial identity, he should put that into practice in positive ways, rather than bringing it up in the context of a spat between players. And who says Bradley doesn't go to schools? He participated in the Take-a-Dodger to school program and went back to his elementary school. He has "Bradley's Crew" where he gives tickets to kids and meets with them before games. I think speaking out against racism and calling it out is important and positive even when it isn't the popular thing to do. Then what is MLB doing about these charges of racism? MLB has instituted a policy that forces clubs to interview minorities for open managerial positions.

posted by bperk at 11:48 AM on August 24

As a Tribe fan, I'm glad Milton's gone from my team, because he did engage in assholery regularly. I think you're right about the name being a problem for him, yerfatma. Had he embraced it as the fabulous Coco Crisp did, things may have worked out differently for him. I did feel a bit sorry for him last year when he was blasted for throwing that bottle in the direction of the asshole fan. That incident was nothing compared to the horrible chair-throwing mess, yet Bradley was demonized for it. My sympathy was shortlived, though, because Milton made another dick move immediately thereafter.

posted by pooch at 12:16 PM on August 24

http://www.onlybaseballmatters.com/archives/2005/05/31-ask_any_casual_baseball_fan.php Pretty decent interview with MB himself in Only Baseball Matters. My favorite exchange: Student #5: How much do you get paid? MB: I can keep the lights on.

posted by jackhererra at 01:31 PM on August 24

Yes parcheesi can be frustrating, but I can never seem to turn a game down.....

posted by tina at 01:32 PM on August 24

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

posted by chris2sy at 01:38 PM on August 24

Why should Bradley have to have proof enough that would convince the average white man before he calls Kent racist? It just might be a good idea to have some proof before you decide to go try to ruin someone in the media. Not that you could hurt Jeff Kent any more than he has already hurt himself. These are just two assholes getting tired of a long season together. I too am glad MB is out of our Cleveland clubhouse. Go Tribe!!!

posted by jojomfd1 at 02:07 PM on August 24

Can anyone find Baseball America's story on Milton Bradley from before he ever made the bigs? That's what shaped my opinion (and sympathy) for him, but I can't find it online (pretty sure it was BA back in the day).

posted by yerfatma at 02:14 PM on August 24

There is 20 articles on their site, but I do not have a subsciption, sorry.

posted by jojomfd1 at 02:49 PM on August 24

oops subscription

posted by jojomfd1 at 02:49 PM on August 24

I think speaking out against racism and calling it out is important and positive even when it isn't the popular thing to do. I don't think it's positive to trivialize the accusation of racism by applying it to minor interpersonal spats. Perhaps Kent has really done or said something so heinous he should be publicly confronted about it. But for all we know, Bradley's turning this into a racial thing because that's the easiest way to make Kent look like an asshole. And he's not saying what Kent did or said; he's just smearing him by insinuation. There are racists, and there are also people who use the accusation of racism unfairly. Bradley's history of being a childish hothead makes me hesitant to take this accusation of his at race value.

posted by rcade at 04:09 PM on August 24

Did anybody notice that Bradley did not, in fact, accuse Kent of racism? The headline said he did, but nothing in the story backs that headline up. Saying that Kent "doesn't know how to deal with African-American people,'' is certainly not the same thing as calling him a racist. I can see how some would infer from that remark that Bradley thinks Kent is a racist, but Bradley didn't actually say that. The headline writer deserves a kick in the head.

posted by spira at 05:46 PM on August 24

I just saw a short clip on PTI and Bradley did suggest that race was a problem in the major leagues in general. I was impressed by his level-headedness and taken aback by Jay Mariotti throwing this all in Kent's face. I don't know if that's simply a safer position to take, but their (Mariotti and Wilbon) contention was Kent has never been a leader but has been an ass-ache in every clubhouse he's set foot in, so to try to "lead" by riding an unstable but talented teammate is anything but leadership, racism or no.

posted by yerfatma at 06:58 PM on August 24

Anyone that has ever been trained in cultural sensitivity and diversity understands that EVERYONE is racist to some extent. If any thought you ever have is impacted at all by the color of someone's skin, then racism is a part of you, too. And the first person who posts saying this is a bunch of crap and "(They) am/are NOT racist" is lying and in denial.

posted by dyams at 07:19 AM on August 25

I am going to disagree, dyams. I think everyone has prejudices. But, racism is a systematic prejudice and a belief in the superiority of one race over another. Many people also think that it includes an element of power, so the people without power in our society cannot be racist.

posted by bperk at 08:39 AM on August 25

You know, I think we get too hung up on labels You get to the point where they get placed on anything that comes even remorely close to the true definition of the label. This has been especially true with racism/racists. What one person think is racism, another might say that its not even close.

posted by daddisamm at 08:58 AM on August 25

Actually, the definition of "racism" is: Racial prejudice or discrimination. "Racist" is defined as: A person who advocates or practices racism. Racism, therefore, is prejiduce based on race. "Prejudice" is defined as: 1. A strong feeling about some subject, formed unfairly or before one knows the facts; a bias. 2. Hostility toward members of races, religions, or nationalities other than one's own. An example, in my mind, is when a white individual walks down a street and, coming towards him/her, is a group of black teens. If any instinct you have involves fear, then you DO have racist thoughts; prejiduce based on race, formed unfairly before you know the facts. Another is if you are a black parent, living in a predominantly black area/community, with predominantly black friends/associates. If you, in that case, would not have a single doubt or questionable thought should your son/daughter come home and say he's marrying a white girl/boy, then THAT is a person I really, really want to meet. I do agree there are great differences in the depth of racial feelings among all people, but some level exists in everyone. That was my point, and I hope nobody is offended by my examples.

posted by dyams at 09:44 AM on August 25

There are lots of different definitions of racism. Many of them include an element of superiority of one race or the other. To me, your first example could possibly be racist if that person's views were based solely on the race of the teens walking down the street and not by anything else. If a person would be scared of any group of teens walking down the street, then that isn't racism either. The second example doesn't sound like anything to me. If your child is getting involved in an interracial relationship in this society, and you aren't even a little bit concerned then you have your head in the sand. It is not racism or prejudice to be concerned about the very real difficulties that people face when they are involved in interracial relationships. Racism is when you do not want your child to be involved in an interracial relationship because he/she isn't good enough for your child based on race.

posted by bperk at 10:10 AM on August 25

It's always there. Face it.

posted by dyams at 11:36 AM on August 25

Further reading from Berg At Bat.

posted by Amateur at 12:59 PM on August 26

Good piece. I'm just surprised Bradley only brought up this "intolerable" racial atmosphere towards African-American individuals when Kent called him an "idiot" for not scoring on a play. Why wouldn't (or didn't) he speak to the manager before this. I think Bradley just had his nose bent out of shape because Kent jumped all over him during this game.

posted by dyams at 07:39 PM on August 26

All of that racial tension must have just gone and drove MB right back to the DL that DA

posted by jojomfd1 at 02:56 AM on August 27

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