x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Bradley's first step is admitting he has a problem

Milton Bradley has played for eight teams in his major league career, including five different ones in the past five years.

Milton Bradley has played for eight teams in his major league career, including five different ones in the past five years. The itinerant nature of Bradley's career is not a reflection of his ability - Bradley has power and terrific on-base ability - but rather his reputation as a difficult person. On most of his stops Bradley has feuded with teammates, management, the media and fans - sometimes, it seems, all at once. Last week, after the Seattle Mariners outfielder became enraged over a called third strike, Don Wakamatsu, his manager, pulled him from the game, believing that such a move was in the best of interest of both Bradley and his team.

It seemed like one more meltdown by the mercurial player. But the next day, a surprising thing happened. Instead of blaming others for his problems, as has been his habit, Bradley asked team management to find him some help. The Mariners agreed and placed Bradley on a restricted list. He will get counselling, and if he's fortunate, eventual peace of mind. The Mariners are to be commended for responding the way they did. Perhaps now Bradley, who was running out of both teams and chances, can get his life - and temper - under control. It must be considered a good sign that, for the first time, Bradley is accepting that he is responsible for his own behaviour.

That may only be the first step, but for the troubled but talented Bradley, it is a significant one. sports@thenational.ae