09/29/2004 2:28 AM ET
Bradley booted in eighth inning
Outfielder ejected after throwing bottle into stands
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
|Milton Bradley was ejected in the eighth inning Tuesday after an argument with some fans. (Chris Carlson/AP)
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers won the game Tuesday night, but only after losing Milton Bradley to ejection in a 5-4 comeback victory over Colorado.
Bradley dropped pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney's fly ball for a two-run error with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the eighth inning. Outfielder Brad Hawpe followed with a broken-bat single to center for another run, putting the Rockies up 4-0. During that play, a fan threw a plastic bottle at Bradley's feet.
Center fielder Steve Finley said that Bradley lost Sweeney's ball in the lights.
"The guys in the corner were all over him, they were relentless," said Finley.
Bradley picked up the bottle, marched to the box seats near the foul pole and threw the bottle to the ground in the stands. Security guards and teammates Alex Cora and Finley pulled Bradley away from the seats, as Bradley yelled at fans. Second base umpire Jim Joyce intervened, Bradley pointed and yelled at him, then he was ejected by Joyce.
"There's nothing to really say because what happened had nothing to do with an umpire's decision," said crew chief Dana DeMuth. "We need to make a report to Major League Baseball and the decision is up to them."
Bradley started walking toward the Dodger dugout, but when he reached the edge of the infield, he pulled off his jersey. When he reached the dugout, waved his arms into the air repeatedly. Earlier in the game, Bradley struck out and slammed his bat at the ground, breaking it in half.
"There's no excuse on either side," said Finley. "The fans were crude to him and they threw the bottle and pushed him over the edge. When he threw the bottle, he threw it straight down."
After Bradley was ejected, Shawn Green shifted from first base to right field, and Olmedo Saenz entered the game at first. The Dodgers won the game by scoring five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
"It's very unfortunate and I'm sure now he regrets it," Green said of Bradley's outburst. "There will always be people to stir things up, but it's a shame to throw a bottle at him. His reaction wasn't a good one. We support him as a teammate, but you don't like to see what we saw. He's a big part of the club. We need him back."
All this came one night after Bradley had the game-winning hit and nearly four months after his memorable meltdown argument with umpire Terry Craft, after which he poured a bag of baseballs onto the field and fired one toward the left-field fence.
That outburst received a four-game suspension and fine for Bradley, and a one-game suspension and fine for manager Jim Tracy's comments that Bradley was "provoked."
Bradley left the clubhouse before talking to reporters.
"Milton is a good person," said teammate Jayson Werth. "Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, he gets emotional and can be misconstrued for something he's not. He's a passionate player. We all love him in the clubhouse."
Said Tracy: "I've done everything to be an ally to Milton, to provide guidance and I'll do so with this one. Fans pay money and they can jeer and get on you and it's all part of that. He allowed his emotion to spill over and you can't let that happen."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.