Milton Bradley came to camp with the Seattle Mariners ready to work in part, he said, because he knew the man in charge this spring - manager Eric Wedge.
Bradley and Wedge had an infamously poor relationship in Cleveland back in 2002, but Bradley said he's learned a great deal since then. Including the fact that he didn't know everything.
“When we were together before, I didn’t want to hear it. Now, I hear it and I know it’s not personal, even if he gets in your face. He’s trying to make you better," Bradley said. "“Wedge will get the most out of everybody on this team. He’ll get the most from me."
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That process began in earnest today when Wedge put Bradley in left field and Jack Cust at designated hitter in hopes of sparking a little offense in the heart of the Seattle lineup. Bradley responded with three hits, a pair of RBI and a stolen base.
“Coming into camp, I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, but there’s a certain amount of accountability to this team," Bradley said. “It was the offensive side where we needed the most help."
Seattle beat the Texas Rangers - who left most of their best players at home - 5-4, and the Mariners remained undefeated at 2-0-1 this spring.
Bradley, meanwhile, has impressed his coaches and Wedge with his work, and has been enjoying himself in the process.
“I think he’s having a good time. He’s enjoying himself, he’s enjoying his teammates," Wedge said. "I love his work ethic. His approach has been good. I just want him to sustain that.”
“For me here, it needs to be about baseball. Baseball is what I do best. I’m 100 per cent focused," Bradley said.