A few days ago, a reader named Greg left an epic comment on one of our most popular posts: The Definitive Unsourced Milton Bradley Timeline. We liked the comment so much that we decided (with his gracious permission) to republish it here:
As you say, the timeline requires periodic updating. Here’s my suggestion for the moment you left off in 2009 to date:
2009 C: December 18, more than a few days later, the Cubs trade Bradley to the Seattle Mariners for RHP Carlos Silva and cash.
2010: May 4, 2010: With the team on a losing streak, and Bradley one of the only bats recently making any noise, he is moved into the cleanup spot, where he starts off by going 0-3. After being pulled from the game in the 7th inning after consecutive strikeouts looking, the latter with the bases loaded, and the team trailing 3-1, he reportedly complains that manager Don Wakamatsu isn’t defending him sufficiently with the umpire and says, “I’m packing my stuff. I’m out of here.” The team loses 5-2, its fourth in what would become an eight game losing streak.
May 5, 2010: Bradley makes a scheduled appearance at a local elementary school, gives an impassioned talk about what motivated him growing up to become a ball player, then meets with his manager and the GM and says he needs help for ongoing personal problems. Art Thiel’s Seattle PI column describes the prior night’s loss as the “worst game of the season” and notes that Carlos Silva will continue to be the “gift that keeps on giving, right into his start for the National League in the All-Star Game.” Art’s “worst game of the season”would be topped (bottomed?) by others before the month of May is over.
May 6, 2010: The Mariners announce that they have placed Bradley on the restricted list. Thus begin his 15 days off to seek counseling.
May 19, 2010: Bradley is reactivated, the Mariners having gone 3-10 in his absence. Other candidates for “worst game of the season” in the intervening stretch include back to back 8-0 losses to the Rays and the Angels May 6 and 7, and a 6-5 loss to the Orioles in which Felix Hernandez pitches 7 innings, and exits with a 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the 8th.
May 24, 2010: Bradley gives interviews about why he asked for help. He says he thought about getting help in 2009, while still with the Chicago Cubs: “I wanted to take some time out, get my thoughts together, and just speak to someone and get an understanding from somebody unbiased,” he says. “But you can’t really do that in Chicago. There’s just too much going on.” Meanwhile, in Arlington, Texas, the Cubs spot Carlos Silva a 4 run lead in top of the first, and he scatters 6 hits and 3 runs over 5 1/3 innings to improve his record to 6-0.
May 25, 2010: Bradley, hitting cleanup for the first time since his May 4 meltdown, goes 2 for 4 with a two-run home run and three RBI as the M’s defeat the Tigers 5-3. After his RBI single in the 8th scores Chone Figgins for the go-ahead run, he leaves first base as a pitching change is made and celebrates with teammates in the dugout. He comments later, “I was full of joy,” he said. “The whole day, I just felt right. I had the right attitude and the right approach. My mind was clear, and I didn’t have a worry at all up there. I was able to come through.”
…and they all lived happily ever after.