Milton Bradley is the worst—enough said


Every Monday morning, Section 215’s Akiem Bailum gives an in-depth and unfiltered look at all of the latest sports news in The Monday Morning Realist. You can follow Akiem on Twitter @AkiemBailum.

I woke up this morning as I do every morning. I turned on the various morning drive-time sports programs to see that most of them are reveling in Justin Spieth’s 18-under victory at the Masters from Sunday afternoon.

Realists, I cared about this much, which is not much at all.

I am not the biggest of golf aficionados to begin with. Plus, for me, the Spieth victory did not take precedent over the gut-wrenching details uncovered in the story on our main Sports Illustrated (of which the Fansided network is part of) on the tragic relationship of Milton Bradley and his now late wife Monique.

I read the entire story from start to finish online and wanted to see if it was as bad as people were making it out to be. Sometimes, there are horrific stories and are probably not necessarily as bad as they’re appearing to be.

This was an exception to the rule. It was much, much worse.

The two apparently met when he was 25 and she was a 22-year old intern. For him, it was love at first sight until Monique got to see the monster who Milton Bradley really was.

Anyone could tell based on Bradley’s on the field actions that he was a loose cannon. After all, this was the same little boy that in 2007, tore up his ACL for arguing with an umpire.

And in 2009, I remember vividly when he signed with the Chicago Cubs. The same Chicago Cubs that signed him because they believed they had a deficiency in left-handed hitters.

The Cubs made the playoffs as an 85-77 team in 2007 and as a 94-67 team under Lou Piniella. While they were bounced in the first round of the MLB playoffs both seasons, they were more than on the right track to finally breaking through and winning the World Series.

Then, he came in and totally screwed up that locker room. Combine his volatile personality with that of Piniella as well as the powder keg that is Carlos Zambrano and it does not bode well for a team’s locker room.

But this is not about in the clubhouse issues. This is about domestic violence.

If it is one thing that the 2014 year exposed more than most previous years, is that there is a major domestic violence problem within, not only the NFL, but sports in general. The Ray Rice elevator video along with Adrian Peterson beating one of his kids with a switch, plus the Ray McDonald and Greg Hardy incidents possibly may have only been the tip of the iceberg.

There could be plenty of other domestic violence cases involving athletes that just have not got out yet because they have not been unearthed by the media as of today.

Last year put a bigger microscope on these issues, and the same must be done in this Milton Bradley case. The actions of Bradley were so abusive and so traumatizing that they led to Monique Bradley’s death.

That was someone’s daughter. Someone’s friend. Someone’s sister, etc. Meanwhile, Bradley is still walking the streets of Los Angeles scot-free instead of being in a jail cell somewhere.

How is it that several MLB teams, including the Athletics, Rangers, Padres, Dodgers, Cubs, and Mariners, allowed this guy to walk into their clubhouses, know about his volatile nature, yet not have the due diligence to do a background check to find out the source of everything going on?

If anything, this displays once again that Major League Baseball simply does not get it. Especially after the year that was domestic violence in the NFL, MLB needs to do something constructive to display that domestic violence is something that will not be tolerated in the league.

There is so much fervor about wanting to administer lifetime bans from MLB for those that were found guilty of performance enhancing drug use or those that were accused of PED use. Pete Rose is banned from the game for life for gambling.

Even though Bradley is no longer in the game (a game he does not deserve to be a part of) doesn’t anyone else who gets caught for physically assaulting a woman have to be more deserving of a lifetime ban than anyone who gets booked for PEDs or gambling?

Plus, in a perfect world guys like Bradley would be blacklisted from sports locker rooms if he is found to have done the stuff that he did to his wife, instead of Michael Sam who is only getting flak for being a gay football player.

Bradley is how ugly sports can be when testosterone on the part of a player, lack of upbringing, and malfeasance on the part of male-owned team(s) culminate together to produce a heartbreaking and tragic result. That is where sports culture must change.

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