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San Diego's Milton Bradley out for postseason - torn ACL
Source: MRI shows Bradley has torn ACL from bizarre incident
ESPN.com news services
SAN DIEGO -- An MRI taken by Padres left fielder Milton Bradley shows he has a torn ACL, a source with knowledge of the diagnosis told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, and the volatile outfielder is expected to miss the rest of this season and part of next year, too.
Recovery time from a torn ACL can vary, though 9-to-18 months is typical.
Bradley tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he was spun to the ground by his manager Sunday during a blowup with an umpire.
Bradley, who helped spark the wild-card leading Padres during the season's second half, was ejected by Mike Winters. He then hurt his knee during a bizarre scene when manager Bud Black spun him to the ground to keep him from going after the first base umpire in the eighth inning of Sunday's 7-3 loss to Colorado.
The Padres, trying to reach the playoffs for the third straight year, entered Monday night's game at San Francisco with a one-half game lead over Philadelphia in the wild-card race. San Diego was 2? games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West with seven to play. San Diego had won seven straight against last-place teams San Francisco and Pittsburgh before their offense went flat and lost three straight to the hot-hitting Rockies.
The Padres were incredulous after Sunday's game, saying Winters baited Bradley, leading to the confrontation.
Although the Padres apparently haven't approached baseball with a formal complaint about the umpires' interaction with Bradley, spokesman Rich Levin said he expects Bob Watson, MLB's vice president of on-field operations, to look into the matter.
"Bob will will do his due diligence and do what's necessary," Levin told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. "If he thinks there's some kind of problem with the umpires, he'll forward that on."
Gene Orza, chief operating officer of the Players Association, said the union also plans to look into Bradley's situation.
Bradley, whose volatile temper has overshadowed his talent during his career, called it "the most unprofessional and most ridiculous thing I've ever seen."
"It's terrible. And now, because of him, my knee's hurt," Bradley said Sunday. "If this costs me my season because of that, he needs to be reprimanded. I'm taking some action. I'm not going to stand pat and accept this, because I didn't do nothing wrong."
Bradley was playing his third game back from a 12-game injury layoff. Batting .313, Bradley hit his 11th homer earlier in the game.
As Bradley walked to the plate in the eighth, umpire Brian Runge asked the player if he had flipped his bat in the ump's direction after taking a called third strike to end the fifth.
"I said, 'Are you kidding me? That's ridiculous,"' Bradley said. "He said, 'Well, it was reported to me by the other umpires that you threw your bat at me.' And I said, 'That's completely ridiculous. I've done a lot of things. I'm trying to turn it around. I would never harm anybody."'
Bradley singled, then asked Winters if he told Runge he threw his bat. "He goes, 'Yeah, you did.' I go, 'Are you kidding me? That's completely ridiculous. If I strike out and the inning's over, why are you looking at me? Everything's always about me."'
Then, a fan heckled Winters.
"I pointed to the guy in the crowd, affirming it," Bradley said.
Bradley said Winters responded with a string of expletives.
"That's when I went at him, and he kicked me out," Bradley said.
First base coach Bobby Meacham began to restrain Bradley, and Black came running out. Bradley got away from Meacham, but Black grabbed him by the jersey.
Bradley tried to get free and, after a few seconds, Black spun Bradley around and the player collapsed. Bradley immediately grabbed his right knee and eventually had to be helped off the field.
"I was trying to pull Milton away from the argument," said Black, later ejected for arguing a checked-swing call against Adrian Gonzalez.
Crew chief Bruce Froemming wouldn't allow a reporter to speak with Winters.
Meacham defended Bradley, and also said Winters used profanities.
"In 26 years of baseball, I can honestly say that's the most disconcerting conversation I have ever heard from an umpire to a player," Meacham said. "It was almost like he wanted to agitate the whole thing. He wanted to get Milton boiling for some reason. Milton, he held his cool. I was just appalled."
Padres CEO Sandy Alderson, a former general manager and president of the Oakland Athletics, said he'd never seen a player injured like that. Asked about Black's actions, though, Alderson said: "But as far as I'm concerned, it was necessary."
Alderson used to work in the commissioner's office, where one of his duties was overseeing umpires.
"We're not going to sit by and see an umpire bait a player," Alderson said. He added that if the commissioner's office concludes the situation was handled appropriately, "I'll be shocked."
Alderson and general manager Kevin Towers didn't immediately return calls seeking comment on Monday.