Bradley injured in bizarre blowup

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SAN DIEGO - Padres left fielder Milton Bradley tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he was spun to the ground by his manager Sunday during a blowup with an umpire and will miss the rest of the season.

Padres trainer Todd Hutchinson attended outfielder Milton Bradley, who injured his knee during an altercation with an umpire Sunday and will be out for the rest the season.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Padres trainer Todd Hutchinson attended outfielder Milton Bradley, who injured his knee during an altercation with an umpire Sunday and will be out for the rest the season.

Bradley, who helped spark the wild-card leading Padres during the season's second half, was ejected by Mike Winters. He then hurt his knee during a bizarre scene when manager Bud Black spun him to the ground to keep him from going after the first base umpire in the eighth inning of Sunday's 7-3 loss to Colorado.

The Padres were incredulous, saying Winters baited Bradley, leading to the confrontation.

Bradley, whose volatile temper has overshadowed his career, called it "the most unprofessional and most ridiculous thing I've ever seen."

"It's terrible. And now, because of him, my knee's hurt," Bradley said Sunday. "If this costs me my season because of that, he needs to be reprimanded. I'm taking some action."

As Bradley walked to the plate in the eighth, umpire Brian Runge asked the player if he had flipped his bat in the ump's direction after taking a called third strike to end the fifth.

"I said, 'Are you kidding me? That's ridiculous,'" Bradley said. "He said, 'Well, it was reported to me by the other umpires that you threw your bat at me.' And I said, 'That's completely ridiculous. I've done a lot of things. I'm trying to turn it around. I would never harm anybody.'"

Bradley singled, asked Winters if he told Runge he threw his bat. "He goes, 'Yeah, you did.' I go, 'Are you kidding me? That's completely ridiculous. If I strike out and the inning's over, why are you looking at me? Everything's always about me.'"

Then, a fan heckled Winters.

"I pointed to the guy in the crowd, affirming it," Bradley said.

Bradley said Winters responded with a string of expletives.

"That's when I went at him, and he kicked me out," Bradley said.

First base coach Bobby Meacham began to restrain Bradley, and Black came running out. Bradley got away from Meacham, but Black grabbed him by the jersey.

Bradley tried to get free and, after a few seconds, Black spun Bradley around and the player collapsed. Bradley immediately grabbed his right knee and eventually had to be helped off the field.

"I was trying to pull Milton away from the argument," said Black.

Meacham defended Bradley, and also said Winters used profanities.

"In 26 years of baseball, I can honestly say that's the most disconcerting conversation I have ever heard from an umpire to a player," Meacham said. "It was almost like he wanted to agitate the whole thing. He wanted to get Milton boiling for some reason. ... I was just appalled" Meacham said.


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