Bradley also fined for tossing bottle into stands
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley was suspended for the rest of the regular season by Major League Baseball on Wednesday, a day after a bottle-throwing tantrum during a win over Colorado.
A contrite Bradley said he will seek help to deal with his anger and wouldn't appeal the suspension.
"From the bottom of my heart, I apologize for my outburst," the 26-year-old Bradley said shortly after learning of the suspension. "Getting upset has caused me to hurt family, hurt friends, hurt my team, hurt fans.
"I need to talk to somebody about anger, get treated, find a way to correct that situation. It's not even about baseball. This is about what I need to do for my life. I let anger get the best of me."
The Dodgers lost to the Rockies 4-1 on Wednesday, but still lead the NL West by three games over San Francisco with four remaining after the Giants lost to the Padres 4-3.
Bradley also was fined an undisclosed amount by Bob Watson, baseball's vice president of on-field operations. Earlier this season, Bradley was suspended for four games after throwing a bag of balls onto the field following an ejection. He has been ejected from four games this year.
"You can't condone an action like that," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "I'm not standing here trying to convince you guys that I condone what I saw last night. It was wrong. He embarrassed himself, he embarrassed the organization. He realizes that. He admits as much to that. And now you've got to move forward, you've got to help the guy and keep trying to help the guy."
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said that while the team didn't condone Bradley's actions, it supports him.
"I think Milton Bradley has made a huge step today, accepting the fact that he can reach his potential as a human being by seeking help," McCourt said. "Milton came to the conclusion on his own. It's a courageous decision and I support it wholeheartedly."
Both Tracy and McCourt called the episode a "blessing in disguise" because this allows him to get help during the offseason as opposed to letting the problem continue into next season.
McCourt called the suspension "significant," but added he was pleased a decision came down so quickly.
Bradley is hitting .267 with 19 home runs and 67 RBIs in his first season with Los Angeles. His temper was one of the reasons Cleveland traded him to the Dodgers right before opening day.
Bradley was thrown out of Tuesday night's game after a fan threw a plastic bottle at him shortly after his two-out error on Mark Sweeney's liner with the bases loaded.
Bradley picked up the bottle, left his position in right field and angrily approached the stands -- appearing to yell at a fan. He then slammed the bottle into the front row.
"I deserved to be booed for reacting that way," Bradley said. "You can't approach the stands."
Bradley did say he's been a target recently.
"In San Francisco, I got it relentlessly," he said. "I got a bottle thrown at me in San Diego. It was the bottle that really frustrated me, being an LA fan or whoever it was."
As Bradley walked from right field to the Dodgers' dugout, he took his jersey and hat off. With the crowd behind the dugout booing, Bradley gestured with palms up, urging the fans on.
Bradley said Wednesday he took off his jersey because he felt embarrassed about his behavior.
The game was delayed for about four minutes. The Dodgers rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Rockies 5-4.
Bradley's teammates expressed support but wouldn't criticize the suspension.
"It's something we expected as a team," Cora said. "The line was crossed both ways."
Mario Garcia, 33, of West Covina, who allegedly threw the
bottle, was detained and arrested early Wednesday, LAPD spokeswoman Adriana Sanchez said. Garcia was charged with throwing an object on the field with the intent to interfere with play or distract a player.
McCourt said security wasn't a problem, that he was convinced after watching tape of the matter that it was handled properly.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press