06/12/08 12:37 AM ET
On-air comments irk Rangers' Bradley
Outfielder tries to confront Royals' TV announcer Lefebvre
By Mark Dent / MLB.com
Minutes after Wednesday's game ended, Bradley rushed from the dugout to just outside the Royals' TV booth, attempting to confront Ryan Lefebvre, the announcer who had commented about him during the broadcast.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels ran up the stairs to the fourth floor and manager Ron Washington took the elevator to head Bradley off. They caught him when he was about 20 feet away from the TV booth. A security guard kept Bradley from entering the room, where Lefebvre was conducting postgame.
Bradley, who was Texas' designated hitter, apparently heard some comments from Lefebvre while he was in the clubhouse between at-bats. Lefebvre insisted he wasn't singling out Bradley.
"From what I remember, we were complimenting Josh Hamilton and how he's turned his life around and been accountable for his mistakes," Lefebvre said. "Frank [White] and I were just having a conversation that it's a shame it doesn't appear Milton Bradley is doing the same in his life."
Bradley returned downstairs to the clubhouse with Daniels and Washington immediately after they cut him off.
"He was upset," Daniels said. "Somebody that doesn't know him was effectively passing judgment on TV. The guy's been a tremendous teammate and a good guy for us and it's obvious he was hurt by those comments."
Joel Goldberg, another Royals TV announcer, was coming upstairs to the booth from the field when Daniels, Washington and Bradley passed by. He'd never seen anything like it.
"It was the bizarre site of walking up the stairs," Goldberg said, "and seeing two people who had just been on the field three minutes ago walking down the stairs."
Bradley entered a winning clubhouse filled with the sound of rap music. The tunes stopped a few minutes later when he opened his mouth.
"All I want to do is play baseball, and make a better living for my kid," Bradley said, sobbing at the same time. "I love you guys. I'm strong, but I'm not that strong."
Soon after Bradley returned to the clubhouse, Washington and Daniels requested a meeting with Lefebvre. Lefebvre said he repeated what he remembered of the discussion he had on the air about Bradley. He didn't speak with Bradley in the clubhouse and said Daniels and Washington recommended that the two don't meet.
After his rant, Bradley faced his locker with his head down. A few teammates went over to comfort him. Most stayed away.
Lefebvre maintains he and his broadcast partner, White, a former Royals player, weren't intentionally trying to insult Bradley.
"This wasn't a Milton Bradley rip session," Lefebvre said. "It was just based on the pictures we've seen of him in the series walking from the dugout all the way to right field. Dropping his bat. Making gestures to the fans in right field and above the dugout, taunting them. He's the only person in baseball I know who does that kind of stuff."
Mark Dent is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.