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February 22, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Mariners slugger Milton Bradley touches down in Peoria

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Milton Bradley doesn’t have his physical scheduled until 1 p.m. local time. But he arrived here at 9:15 a.m. just to make sure he was on time and could get the lay of the land. He was wearing a Team USA jacket but it had nothing to do with the hockey victory last night.
“It’s all I’ve got right now,” he said. “My clothes haven’t gotten here yet.”
As for manager Don Wakamatsu, Bradley said: “I hear he’s a great dude. Josh Hamilton called me personally and told me he’s a great dude so I’ve got to take all that Hamilton has to say. So, I’m excited about, just everything. There’s nothing detrimental about being here.”
Bradley has quite a few former teammates here, including several coaches and catcher Josh Bard, infielder Jack Hannahan and bullpen catcher Jason Phillips. Bard has played with Bradley on three different occasions, including twice with Cleveland and once in San Diego when the Padres nearly went to the playoffs in 2007.
“I have nothing but good things to say about him,” Bard said. “He was great every time I was with him.”
Bradley said one thing he wants to do above all else this year is have fun.
“In the past I’ve always just wanted to win,” he said. “I didn’t care whether I liked it or not. As long as I was winning because that’s all it’s about for me. But at this point in my career, I want to enjoy it. I want to have fun. I’ve been fortunate enough to have played on a lot of teams, met a lot of guys. So, I’ve built some lasting relationships and that’s definitely something I take to heart.”
Fun is something he hasn’t had, he said, since 2008 with Texas and feels it is crucial towards everything else surrounding his game.
“It’s always the same thing: ‘Are you looking forward to this? Is it a fresh start? All that cliche stuff. But I don’t really believe in all that. You just go about your business. I believe if people just let you be you and don’t steer you in any certain direction, don’t steer people’s thoughts in any certain direction, then things will work out the way they’re supposed to.”


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So, that’s about it for now. There had been some requests for interviews by Chicago-based writers that Bradley was informed about upon entering the Peoria Sports Complex. Bradley quickly shook his head: “No way,” he said.
The only non Seattle media in the clubhouse was USA Today and Baseball Weekly writer Bob Nightengale .
Bradley had all kinds of nice things to say about Ken Griffey Jr., much as he did back in December when the trade went down. Griffey called Bradley soon after the trade and talked to him a bit about the team and told him he’d be there if he needed anything.
Griffey hasn’t had much chance to interract with Bradley yet. The two are in the clubhouse right now. Bradley took a few minutes to step outside and do some TV interviews, which is where we snapped the photos of him (we can’t take pictures in the clubhouse).
Lots of hockey talk today as you might imagine. I’ve heard all about it from Griffey and Ian Snell primarily. They know hockey about as well as Saudi Arabians know luge, but it hasn’t stopped the talking today. Brock Huard is down here and also got in on the act as did insufferable Bruins fans Mike Salk. I’ll be bringing up the “too many men on the ice” thing from May 10, 1979 for the umpteenth time when Salk and I bump into each other again today.
Rob Johnson, not exactly a hockey whiz, still kept asking me “No, Geoff, really, how does it feel? How does it feel to be Canadian and lose at hockey? How does it feel?”
Obviously, doing his best reporter impersonation.
Hannahan hung a copy of the USA Today sports front, with a photo of the victorious USA squad, over the top of the locker belonging to Mike Saunders — who wasn’t in yet.
All I can say is, the medal round hasn’t started yet. ‘Nuff said.
Going outside to see if we can cover an actual workout. The weather is still cool and overcast. Cool for Arizona. About 55.

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