Milton grows up

They love Milton Bradley in Oakland. He had a much more enjoyable time with the A's this year than he ever did alongside Jeff Kent in the Dodgers clubhouse. Dodger fans would probably be surprised to learn that after the A's playoff loss to the Tigers this weekend, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Bruce Jenkins singled out Bradley as Oakland's leader in guts and clubhouse class.

One of baseball's toughest men was moved to tears. Sitting at his locker, a towel draped over his head, Milton Bradley had been crying. His eyes were blood-red as he finally turned to face the media. He handled a most difficult interview session the way he handled the American League Championship Series -- intensely, professionally, without fear.

We all have memories of spectacular postseason performances in defeat. Such names as Henry Aaron, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Frank Robinson, Carlton Fisk and Thurman Munson come to mind. So many others. I can't recall many more inspirational than Bradley's this postseason, and Saturday's Game 4 in particular.

As much as he tried, Frank Thomas could not carry Oakland through this series. In a sea of futility, on a team coming to life only in the final, desperate moments, Bradley took the responsibility upon himself. Along the way, he became more of a man. He found his most pleasurable experiences, by far, in a baseball uniform. To have all that, and to have given his best in defeat, moved the man to tears....

"I just feel I was made for this," Bradley said through those reddened eyes. "The pressure. Giving it all you have. It was such a great ride. Most fun I've ever had in baseball. Best team I've ever been with. Maybe someday I'll smile, and be happy, over having played well. Right now, it hurts."

The Dodgers should be kicking themselves for not finding a way to help Bradley take this step forward here in his hometown.

October 16, 2006 12:21 AM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

© 2003-2014   •  About LA Observed  •  Contact the editor
LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.
Native Intelligence
Gary Leonard | Take My Picture Gary Leonard runs weekly on Thursdays at LA Observed.
Jon Christensen and Mark Gold | Changes afoot at UCLA mean changes here. Mark Gold is moving on at UCLA. Peter Kareiva joins UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability as new director. And this column reboots.
Steve Harvey | Welcome to our annual Salute to the Toilet, spotlighting the aesthetic side of that noble apparatus and recent technological breakthroughs.
Bill Boyarsky
The wrong-headed decision by the five Los Angeles County supervisors to consolidate power in their own hands comes at the worst possible time, just as the county is facing a homeless crisis of epic proportions.
Jenny Burman
Before I lived in Echo Park, there was a tiny 1920s bungalow-cottage-standalone house on N. Occidental in Silver Lake. I...
Here in Malibu
I don't know if you can tell how much beach got swept away over the last few days --...