Milton Bradley is done for the season, Mike Cameron might not be
in much better shape and the livid San Diego Padres tried to
regroup Monday from a bizarre chain of events that left their
outfield depleted with a week to go in the season.
Bradley will miss the rest of the year with a torn anterior
cruciate ligament in his right knee. He was injured when his own
manager spun him to the ground while trying to keep him from going
after umpire Mike Winters during an eighth-inning confrontation in
Sunday's 7-3 loss to Colorado at Petco Park.
The commissioner's office said Monday it is investigating
whether the volatile Bradley was baited by Winters. The Padres said
Winters directed profanities at Bradley right before the blowup.
"I know there will be a thorough investigation of the dialogue
between Milton and Mike Winters," Padres general manager Kevin
Towers said before San Diego opened a three-game series in San
Francisco. "I have a lot of confidence there will be due process
and it will be handled well. For Milton's sake, he certainly has
the support of our ballclub."
Black, the Padres' first-year manager, called it an unfortunate
development for a team that fell into a tie with Philadelphia for the NL wild card after a 9-4 loss at San Francisco on Monday. Bradley, the club's starting left
fielder, was playing in his third game after missing 12 with a
"I feel bad for Milton," Black said. "I feel bad for him
because I know he was coming back from the oblique and he was
looking forward to playing here down the stretch.
"He's a very strong guy. My thought was, 'I've got to do
everything I can to keep Milton away from any confrontation because
if he gets suspended it's going to cost us games.'"
Bradley will seek a second opinion in Cincinnati. Towers expects
him to have surgery for a "significant" tear within about a week.
The recovery process is expected to be at least six months.
Batting .313, Bradley hit his 11th homer with San Diego and 13th
overall earlier in Sunday's game.
Cameron, a Gold Glove center fielder, has a partially torn
ligament in his right thumb and a strain in the same area. He was
hurt when he made a sliding attempt at Garrett Atkins'
inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning Sunday, then had
Bradley step on his hand.
Cameron will wear a wrap for four or five days and could pinch
run. There's no guarantee he would be ready to return even next
week if the Padres make the playoffs.
Baseball spokesman Rich Levin said the commissioner's office is
looking into whether Bradley was baited by Winters.
Players union general counsel Michael Weiner said the
association is waiting to see whether MLB does something before
deciding whether to take action.
Bradley, whose volatile temper has overshadowed his talent
during his career, called Winters' action "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."
The confrontation began after plate umpire Brian Runge asked
Bradley if he had flipped his bat in the ump's direction after
taking a called third strike to end the fifth. Runge indicated that
Winters told him that Bradley had.
The dispute escalated after Bradley singled, then asked Winters
if he told Runge he threw his bat.
First base coach Bobby Meacham and Black said Winters used
"You guys couldn't print it," Black told reporters in San
Francisco. "In this situation, it escalated to a point where some
things shouldn't have been said. I didn't hear what Mike said. My
understanding is ... they were profane."
Before Monday night's game, Cameron turned to teammate Chris Young in the Padres' clubhouse at AT&T Park and said, "C.Y., we've
got to call somebody. That same crew has our last series." San
Diego plays four games at Milwaukee starting Thursday.
Cameron said the confrontation could have been avoided.
"I don't think umpires should get emotionally involved," he
said. "That is Milton's office just as much as it's Mike Winters'
office. You can't get your work done if there's always
confrontation. As much as we say he is a guy prone to sensitive
situations, I might have done the same thing," Cameron said about
Needing a fast fix in the outfield, the Padres obtained Jason Lane from Houston for a player to be named or cash Monday. Lane
could help fill in this week, but if the Padres secure their third
straight playoff berth he wouldn't be eligible to play in the
postseason because was acquired after Aug. 31.
"I called a few other clubs and there were only a few guys they
had trade waivers on," Towers said. "He can
play center field. He has power. He has played in the postseason."
On Tuesday, the Padres will recall infielder Chase Headley,
purchase the contract of outfielder Drew Macias and place Bradley
on the 60-day disabled list in order to put Macias on the 40-man