Rockies 7, Padres 3

A wild-card race that was already wild turned absolutely bizarre Sunday, and Milton Bradley was right in the middle of it for the San Diego Padres.

Bradley was ejected and then hurt his right knee when Padres manager Bud Black spun him to the ground in an attempt to keep him from going after an umpire.

The Padres were livid, claiming that first base umpire Mike Winters baited Bradley in the eighth inning, leading to a confrontation that overshadowed the surging Colorado Rockies' 7-3 win and an impressive three-game sweep of the wild card-leading Padres.

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,'' said Bradley, a second-half catalyst for the Padres who was in his third game back from an injury that sidelined him for nearly two weeks. ``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.''

Asked about his knee, Bradley said: ``I've got to get an MRI. It's killing me, though.''

The punchless Padres retained their half-game lead over Philadelphia, which lost 5-3 to Washington, while the Rockies pulled within 1{ games by winning their season-high eighth straight.

San Diego stayed 2{ games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West with seven to play. Colorado is four back of the Diamondbacks with six games remaining.

An inning before Bradley was hurt, the Padres lost center fielder Mike Cameron after Bradley stepped on his right hand while the two pursued Garrett Atkins' inside-the-park home run.

As Bradley walked to the plate in the eighth inning, he and umpire Brian Runge talked for about 25 seconds.

Bradley singled, then said something to Winters. Later on in Kevin Kouzmanoff's at-bat, it escalated into an argument, with Bradley going toward Winters. 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 was attempting 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,'' Black said.

Runge said that after Bradley struck out looking to end the fifth, he ``flipped the bat about 5-10 feet in front of me.''

Bradley said Runge asked him in the eighth if he threw his bat at him.

``I said, 'Are you kidding me? That's ridiculous.' 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.'''

Once on first base, Bradley 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.

Crew chief Bruce Froemming wouldn't allow a reporter to speak with Winters.

Froemming said Bradley ``got grumpy with Mike Winters. Winters told him to knock it off and he continued it. There is no covering up what he did. He had to be physically restrained. We're not going to put up with it if he wants to talk.''

One batter later, Black ran onto the field after third-base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called a checked-swing strike on Adrian Gonzalez and was ejected.

Meacham defended Bradley.

``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. ``But as far as I'm concerned, it was necessary,'' he said.

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.''

Brad Hawpe homered for the second time in three games and Jeff Francis earned his 17th victory for the Rockies, who roughed up Greg Maddux.

Colorado also won its franchise-best 84th game as it tries for its second playoff appearance in its 15-year history. The Rockies won the NL wild card in 1995 before losing to Atlanta in the first round of the postseason.

``Their actions speak louder than anything I can tell you guys,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``I'm just proud of the way they're going about their business.''

Hawpe went 8-for-13 with two homers and five RBIs in the series. He is 12-for-21 with 10 RBIs in his last five games.

Francis (17-8) held the Padres to two runs and seven hits in eight innings to tie the franchise mark for wins in a season. He struck out eight and walked one.

Maddux (13-11) lasted only 3 2-3 innings, allowing five runs and eight hits.

Bradley homered to center in the third. Josh Bard connected in the ninth.< ^Notes:@ It was Colorado's 36th road win, tying the franchise mark set in 1997. The Rockies have three more road games, starting Tuesday at Los Angeles. ... Francis' 17th win tied Kevin Ritz (1996) and Pedro Astacio (1999) for the franchise single-season record.


KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.

If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.

powered by Disqus
KKTV 520 E. Colorado Colorado Springs, CO 80903 Office: (719) 634-2844 Fax: (719) 632-0808 News Fax: (719) 634-3741
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 9950691 - kktv.com/a?a=9950691