Did Dodgers pressure crew to erase film?
LOS ANGELES -- The television crew that taped Milton Bradley's confrontation with a Los Angeles Times reporter erased its tape at the behest of a Dodgers spokesman.
The Fox Sports Net Midwest television crew that taped the incident erased it at the insistence of a Dodgers spokesman John Olguin, FSN reporter Brent Stover said.
"What he said is, 'That tape is not going to leave the locker room. I'm going to watch you rewind it and I'm going to watch you record over it," Stover said.
Stover described the situation as threatening and intense, with several Dodgers players milling around. Complying with the request, he said it "felt like it was the best thing to do." Stover said he was concerned his media credentials might be revoked.
Olguin said Thursday that he asked the tape be erased because the camera was panning the clubhouse as naked players were emerging from the shower. He said the request had nothing to do with the confrontation between Bradley and Reid.
Olguin said his comments to Stover were not threatening, that he simply asked for the tape, and Stover complied.
In a one-paragraph statement issued Thursday, Jack Donovan -- FSN Midwest's general manager and vice president -- said that footage of the incident was erased "in the heat of the moment."
"This was an intense locker room situation, and it was a serious mistake to erase the video," Donovan said without elaborating.
Bradley allegedly called the Times reporter, Jason Reid, an "Uncle Tom" in response to a question about how the outfielder was treated by St. Louis fans following his season-ending suspension for throwing a bottle into the stands.
Bill Dwyre, sports editor for the Times, said that various reporters who were in the Dodgers clubhouse said that Bradley didn't like Reid's question. According to eyewitnesses and Reid's tape, Bradley said, "You're an Uncle Tom. You're a sellout."
Reid, who is black, took offense at the insult and began yelling at Bradley, who also is black, Dwyre said.
It was the first game for Bradley since he was suspended for the final five games of the regular season by Major League Baseball after a bottle-throwing tantrum during a win over Colorado in Los Angeles. Bradley was thrown out of that game after a fan threw a plastic bottle at him shortly after he made a costly error that allowed two runs to score.
When asked whether he expected to be disciplined by his employer, Stover, the TV reporter who allowed the tape to be erased said, "I've not heard that I would and don't plan to be."
A message left Thursday on the cell phone of Dodgers spokesman John Olguin was not returned.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press