What do we make over the latest stories about Milton Bradley? His manager pulled him after two strikeouts on Tuesday, the last one with the bases loaded and indications were that Bradley did not take the benching very well. His manager stated that Bradley looked like he wasn't handling the strikeouts well and felt it was in Bradley's best interest to get out of there. The next day (Wednesday), Bradley spoke with his manager and general manager and told them he needed help with personal problems that were hindering his on-field activities. Of course, the Mariners said they would try to help him.
The cynic inside the Fan wants to think that Bradley probably knew he was out of "get of jail free" cards in his Monopoly baseball career and asked for help to try to keep his baseball job. But on the surface of things, Bradley has never been that astute to come up with such a gimmick. This is a guy who will drive off a bridge despite the sign pointing to danger ahead.
Perhaps this is the most positive story about Bradley in an awful long time. It takes a lot of guts to ask for help. And perhaps it is a real positive that Bradley has finally admitted he needs it. Of course, with privacy issues in play, the help needed wasn't provided in the news stories and it shouldn't be. But whether the problem is chemical (which would make sense due to Bradley's erratic behavior), or emotional, this is a guy whose baseball career shouts out to a falling sky of breakdown.
And so, this Fan is going to push away the cynical and hope for the best for Bradley, if not for his baseball career--which seems toast these days--but for his life. The man is one of those me-against-the-world types and man, that takes a lot of energy to maintain. It's time for Milton Bradley to get on a more even keel in life and find some peace. Let's hope it's still a possibility for him.