A's Bradley: 'I'm not going to cause problems'

Updated: February 25, 2006, 6:03 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Oakland Athletics newcomer Milton Bradley broke his six-day silence Saturday and kept his first spring training interview non-controversial.

Five reporters were told by the A's public relations department to keep all questions restricted to baseball. Bradley went one step further, saying he would talk only about his experience with the A's.

Bradley declined to be interviewed when he reported early to camp last Sunday, saying "I really don't want to deal with the media this spring."

Bradley signed every autograph request Saturday and had his photo taken posing with fans and their children.

"Are you glad you're out of L.A.?" one reporter asked once the interview began.

"Next question," Bradley replied.

Bradley had several issues with his temper in his two years in Los Angeles with the Dodgers. He was suspended for the final five games of the 2004 season when he slammed a plastic bottle at the feet of a fan in the box seats in the right field corner at Dodger Stadium after someone threw it on the field. Nobody was injured.

He had anger management counseling during the offseason. He had a vocal disagreement last season with teammate Jeff Kent, who accused him of not hustling. Bradley countered by saying he had been told by Dodgers management that he was the team leader and that Kent couldn't fulfill that role because he didn't understand black players.

On Saturday, Bradley said the addition of Frank Thomas should make the A's even stronger.

"Anytime you get a career slugger like Frank, who can drive in runs, get on base, hit well, it's always an asset," Bradley said. "Plus he gives you leadership, someone you can look up to. It's always a bonus to have someone like that."

Bradley said he wouldn't try to assume a leadership position with the A's.

"I'm not going to have opinions," Bradley said. "I'm not going to cause problems. I'm going to go with the flow."

Thomas spent his morning swinging at soft tosses lobbed toward him from 15 feet away in a batting cage by hitting coach Gerald Perry as trainer Larry Davis looked on.

Thomas was limited to 108 games the past two seasons because of broken bones in his left ankle and was held out of baseball activities the first few days of camp.

"I felt great," Thomas said. "It was what I expected. That's my goal, to be ready for Opening Day."

Perry said he was "very pleased," by the session and said it was "a bit more than I expected."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press