Umps took it after no one picked it up

Updated: June 3, 2004, 12:32 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers center fielder Milton Bradley got his bat, batting gloves and helmet returned to him Wednesday, a day after umpire Joe West confiscated them during a wild argument.

The temperamental Bradley was ejected by umpire Terry Craft as he entered the batter's box in the sixth inning of Tuesday night's 4-1 loss to Milwaukee.

Bradley had to be restrained by Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy. Bradley then took off his batting gloves and left them near home plate with the bat and helmet, put up his hands and headed back to the bench.

"Bradley was doing that to show up the umpires," said West, who ejected Tracy moments later.

Once Bradley reached the top step of the dugout, he grabbed the ball bag and hurled the contents onto the field. He also threw a ball to the warning track in left field.

While the ball boys were cleaning up Bradley's mess, fans in the left-field pavilion started throwing debris onto the field, causing play to be held up for several more minutes.

West gathered up the equipment and handed it to Dodger Stadium security man Mickey Scheinbaum, telling him to put it in the umpires' locker room.

"We confiscated the bat because no one went to pick it up," West said. "And the way the players' association has been handling the appeals, we wanted the office to know we had fined them for an equipment violation, and that we had the equipment if they wanted it in their office. We called the office, they said, 'No, we have a film of it. Give it back to them.' "

When umpires Mike DiMuro and West got to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, they handed Bradley's belongings to the Los Angeles clubhouse manager.

West, a 27-year veteran, said he didn't remember having a problem with Bradley before.

Bob Watson, who handles disciplinary matters for the commissioner's office, spoke with West, Tracy and Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta by phone on Wednesday. But none of them would discuss what was said.

"For the benefit of the parties involved -- the player, the umpires and the commissioner's office -- I shouldn't make a comment on that until the league passes out their decision," West said. "I'm only going to say what I did. It's in their hands."

West said he did not make any suggestions to Watson as to what the length of any possible suspension should be, or how much he felt Bradley should be fined.

Umpires sometimes do make suggestions along those lines, and West said he has done it on other occasions.

"I feel very strongly that the player was provoked -- and I don't appreciate that," Tracy said after Tuesday's game. "Everyone talks about Milton and how he has a tendency to lose his temper. Well, I don't know anyone who wouldn't lose his temper when provoked."

Milwaukee pitcher Doug Davis wasn't allowed to throw any warmup pitches during the delay and was ordered off the field by the umpires.

Davis said he'd seen Bradley get angry when they played against each other in a fall league.

"It really didn't surprise me at all," Davis said. "He's got somewhat of a bad rap. But off the field, he seems to be a pretty good person."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press