Coming to the ballpark a little after 1 p.m. today, Milton Bradley knew the Chicago media was coming to him - and so did teammate Mike Sweeney.
After giving it a little thought, most of the thinking going back to last year with the Chicago Cubs, Bradley was ready to deliver a three-word greeting when the press arrived.
"I was going to say, 'Kiss my ass,'" Bradley said.
And then, Sweeney approached him and handed him a Bible passage - Phillippians 3: 13-14, which says:
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"... one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Sweeney offered practical advice along with those two verses.
"He said I had the chance to answer a few questions and glorify God," Bradley said. "Why do something that might distract the team?"
Somone pointed to the back page of the tabloid Chicago Sun-Times and said that if Bradley had gone with his first plan, the headline tomorrow morning would likely have been: 'Bradley: Kiss my bleep.'
"I know," Bradley said, smiling.
So he talked to a gaggle of media types, saying he loved his teammates in Seattle, that he enjoyed being part of this clubhouse - and stayed away from talk about 2009.
"It's probably the third or fourth time one of my teammates has given me advice or made a suggestion," Bradley said. "When Mike handed me the verse, I read it and thought he'd made the point. So I changed my mind.
"Of all the clubhouses I've been part of, this has been the place I've enjoyed most. It makes coming to the park easier. These guys are about winning, but they have fun, too. I'm really happy."
By the way, Bradley won't start tonight - he's available to pinch hit - and might play tomorrow or miss the whole three-game series with a tight left calf.
"The soreness has moved from one side to the belly of the muscle, and that's a concern," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "The biggest thing is to get a handle on it, calm it down."