We just different, yo.

Now, the only reason I'm writing you is because this is the second time this has happened. Back in San Fran in what, 2002, you had drama with Barry Bonds. Remember that? Yeah, that was crazy. You two, two of the best players in the game on the same team, acting like Shaq and Kob before Shaq and Kob.

In hindsight, it was cool … like Shaq and Kob. Makes for good baseball, better print. Teammates ain't gotta be best friends and all to get things done. I mean, if teams are supposed to be like family, that's just how fam actually is sometimes. You and BB kept it real.

Kobe Bryant
Same accusation, same sport, same time, same organization. Different treatment?

But that don't count, 'cause Barry ain't really one of us.

But now an issue with another "brotha" pops up. I'm not saying I see a trend, but …

Jeff, you've been in the league too long to not know how to deal with us. I mean, I know there's a color issue in baseball, I know there aren't many of us, but man, I know over the years there has been enough time for you to learn how to tolerate us or figure us out.

I mean, I've heard people call you a loner. They say that you don't get along with anyone, that it's not racial with you -- it's neutral. That you're just a down-home country kinda fella and it's you that we don't know how to deal with.

Cool. That's fair.

But when you start naming all of your black friends ("If he thinks I have a problem with African-Americans, then go talk to Dusty Baker, Dave Winfield who took me under his wing, Joe Carter and all the guys I idolized in this game and all the veteran players who taught me how to play this game."), it kinda validates Bradley's point.

No one ever claimed that you couldn't get along with us, no one even said that you didn't or couldn't learn to like or even love some of us. That's not the point. The point being made by your teammate is that you can't "deal" with us. Meaning, you don't understand us.

When Bradley says it's "a pattern of things" that you've said, when he says they are things he didn't "interpret" as funny, it lends itself to making us think that in the clubhouse -- and maybe outside of the clubhouse -- there isn't a certain degree of "consideration" for who we are and how we act.

And I know Milton is closer to an L.A. Angel than a real one, but don't totally ignore his claim.

And I know, like me, you'd hate for him to be right.

I don't want you to come out of this as the new Fuzzy Zoeller. Feel me? I don't want you to be the new white poster child for the "fried chicken and watermelon" circuit. Leave that for John Rocker's kid.

So remember what I said earlier; trust me, it'll help you until the Dodgers start winning. Black folks, we snap off; black folks, we sensitive.

And almost everything said and done with or about us has a history behind it that we have yet to outlive.

Plus, if you can't do it in L.A., how is Jeff Francoeur going to learn to do it a Braves uniform? Do you know how many black folks are in Atlanta?

And that's all I'm tryna do by writing you. Just to let you know that even though whatever you said may not have been of ill intent, or maybe your words were simply misunderstood, you don't deserve the label that's not far from being put on you.

Continued...


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