BY John Hickey 02:35PM 02/17/2011

Bradley makes quiet entrance into camp

There was no major scene greeting left fielder Milton Bradley’s arrival at camp, but Seattle needs to be prepared for one, just in case.

Milton Bradley - Seattle Mariners - 2010- 3

Milton Bradley made his first appearance in Mariner camp Thursday / Ben Van Houten, Mariners

PEORIA, AZ – There are three big screens in the Seattle clubhouse in the Peoria Stadium Complex, and on none of them Thursday was the arrival of newsmaking Mariner left fielder Milton Bradley — even a glimmer.

It was all about Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, who is in the headlines after an arrest, reportedly for drunk driving. What will the Tigers do with Cabrera, who has a history of alcohol trouble, including in the 2009 playoffs when Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski had to pick him up at a police station during the playoff series against the Minnesota Twins?

And it was all about Albert Pujols, the St. Louis slugger surrounded by television cameras because he and the Cardinals can’t get together on a contract extension, meaning the 31-year-old Pujols will be the free agent of the decade when his contract with St. Louis ends after this season.

Just because it wasn’t about Bradley in Peoria Thursday doesn’t mean the Mariners get a free pass on this one. Bradley, after all, was arrested on a felony charge of making threats against his wife in January.

He isn’t expected to face criminal charges, although he still must meet with the district attorney in Los Angeles, where the whole thing came down back on Jan 19.

Other than a few “Hellos,’’ Bradley didn’t talk to the media Thursday and he probably will not be talking about the incident much ever – his attorney has advised him against it.

That doesn’t mean that the questions won’t be asked, though, and any time that happens, there’s always a chance for a headline, depending on the question and the response.

Seattle manager Eric Wedge has been down this road before with Bradley, when both men were in Cleveland, and with other players during the seven years Wedge was at the helm of the Indians. Wedge and Bradley, who were at odds in Cleveland, had a lengthy conversation Thursday.

Asked by Sportspress Northwest Thursday what he’d do to make sure Bradley doesn’t become a Pujols-esque or even Cabrera-esque problem, Wedge waltzed around the question like a finalist on Dancing with the Stars.

“I don’t want to talk about something that hasn’t happened,’’ Wedge said. “Let’s get things going and have guys start playing and see where that takes us.

“There always will be situations that as a club you have to deal with. My one rule is that you don’t let it get in the way of baseball. That’s why my job is called `manager’ and not `head coach.’ I have to manage people and manage the situation.’’

Tony La Russa in St. Louis and Jim Leyland in Detroit know the feeling. But there are times when the situation gets out of the manager’s hands. Wedge has to be ready for that, and he knows it.

“My level of concern is based on the players knowing what I expect from them,’’ Wedge said. “That’s my focus right now.’’

How long it will be allowed to remain his sole focus is anyone’s guess.

Bradley arrived one day early at camp. Position players are due for the physical exams Friday, then the full team works out for the first time Saturday.

John Hickey is a Senior MLB Writer for AOL FanHouse (

Twitter: @JHickey3


  • Sam Chowder

    Probably everyone and their grandma are waiting for another Bradley incident to pop up over the next few weeks or months, but unless one of the media pops him in the mouth, I predict a quiet spring and summer for Bradley.