Bradley: 'I don't have problem with Lou'
"I apologized for the last comment I made, told him he knows in the context I meant it," Piniella said. "But I also told him that just can't continue, to have shenanigans that we've put up with. I told him he's going to hurt somebody, he's going to hurt himself."
I apologized for the last comment I made, told him he knows in the context I meant it. But I also told him that just can't continue, to have shenanigans that we've put up with. I told him he's going to hurt somebody, he's going to hurt himself.” -- Cubs manager Lou Piniella
Piniella ordered the mercurial slugger to go home Friday afternoon after Bradley threw his helmet and went after a water cooler following a fly out in the top of the sixth inning of the Cubs game against the crosstown rival White Sox.
"He didn't really talk to me about it, he just kind of yelled at me in the dugout and told me to get out of there," Bradley said Saturday before he talked with Piniella. "So I left. Then he continued to yell at me some more. I've got to take that."
Bradley confirmed a report in the Chicago Sun-Times describing the expletive Piniella used.
"Yeah, that's exactly what he said," Bradley said. "But I'm not going to get into it."
After going 1 for 5 as the Cubs lost to the White Sox, 8-7, Bradley said he had no problems or issues with Piniella, especially after their meeting before Saturday's game.
"I got a ton of respect for Lou," Bradley said. "When he says something, I really take heed and listen to it, not just the tone or the exact words but the sentiment behind it. I really think he had a heartfelt talk with me in his office, and I think we are both better for it."
Bradley has struggled on the field, batting .236 with five 5 homers and 16 RBIs. Injuries have also limited his first season with the Cubs after signing a three-year, $30 million deal. And he has a history of emotional outbursts during a decade-long major league with seven different teams.
But Bradley is not the first Cubs' player to show his frustration during this disappointing season.
Pitchers Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster both went after the drink dispenser in the Cubs dugout at Wrigley Field earlier this season. Zambrano drew a suspension after a wild meltdown against an umpire when he threw a ball into the outfield and slammed his glove against a dugout fence before whacking the dispenser.
But Piniella had seen enough when Bradley fired his helmet down and sent liquid all over the dugout. Piniella said the incident and his reaction to it was on his mind all night and he didn't enjoy the Cubs' victory over the White Sox.
"I don't like these sort of things. ... This job is tough enough without having to have confrontations. It was only for a few seconds. It wasn't long," Piniella said.
Bradley has already been suspended for one game this season after arguing with umpire Larry Vanover when he was called out on strikes with the bases loaded April 16.
"I think this young man has put a lot of pressure on himself. I think he needs to relax and let his ability flow," Piniella said. "He's trying too hard and he's fighting it and that just compounds the problem over and over. Yesterday I had had enough, what can I say?"
Bradley said his past outbursts are always in the forefront.
"I don't have the same set of rules as other people," he said. "I've committed mistakes in my past, so I don't get the leeway that other people might get. To a certain extent, I guess, that's fair."
Before speaking with general manager Jim Hendry on Friday night, Bradley said he got a call from teammate Derrek Lee. Lee told him to come early Saturday and clear up the situation with Piniella and that the team needed him.
"It was just good to be back out there playing," Bradley said. "My mind was clear."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press