Bradley rips Wedge, Indians in SI

Updated: April 28, 2004, 10:33 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CLEVELAND -- Former Cleveland outfielder Milton Bradley is taking a few final swings at his old team, reserving his best cuts for manager Eric Wedge.

Manager's response
Indians' manager Eric Wedge reluctantly responded to Milton Bradley's scathing remarks in this week's Sports Illustrated.

"If he chooses to handle things this way, that's up to him," Wedge said. "He knows the real story, like I know the real story. I will leave it at that. My focus is with this organization and this major league club."

Wedge added that Bradley had no right to speak on the behalf of any of his former teammates.

--Associated Press

The temperamental Bradley was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last month after a series of run-ins with Wedge. He's harshly critical of his former manager and team in this week's Sports Illustrated.

"It was like a sinking ship," Bradley tells SI, "and I was glad to get my life raft and get my second chance over here. The right people aren't in charge there, and I'm not the only person on that team who feels this way. There are a lot of unhappy people over there, just working for a paycheck."

And Bradley points the finger at one person.

"My experience playing for the fans in Cleveland was awesome, and I took pride in and enjoyed being an Indian," he tells SI. "It was strictly a problem with Eric Wedge. Some people want to be bigger than they are. You have no credentials, you have no history of anything, how are you going to tell someone else what he needs to be doing? I can't respect somebody that has nothing to go on."

Wedge was not available for comment before Cleveland's game in Chicago on this afternoon.

Indians general manager Mark Shapiro says he's aware of Bradley's remarks, but chose not to directly respond to them.

Bradley had several duels with Wedge, including the final one on March 31 during spring training. Wedge thought that Bradley did not run out a pop-up. Bradley returned to the dugout and told Wedge he felt a twinge in his groin and didn't want to risk injury in a meaningless game.

Wedge didn't buy it, and pulled Bradley from the game. Bradley immediately left the stadium, and never suited up for the Indians again. He was traded to the Dodgers just days later.

"I think it's safe to say that what was out publicly, versus what also happened behind the scenes, paled in comparison," Bradley tells SI.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.