August 2005 - Los Angeles Dodgers Wiretap
Dodgers About To Lose Number One Pick
The Orange County Register reported that the Dodgers could be on the verge of losing their rights to first-round draft pick Luke Hochevar. The Register reported that the pitcher and the team are about $1.5 million apart and have reached an impasse in negotiations. Once Hochevar attends a class at the University of Tennessee, which he hasn't done yet despite classes being in session already, the Dodgers lose their rights to him. "He's got until next Friday to get in school and be OK," Tennessee baseball coach Rod Delmonico told the Knoxville News Sentinel earlier this week.
Bradley Will Have Season-Ending Surgery
The Dodgers' biggest headache took care of itself Wednesday when center fielder Milton Bradley was told by Dr. Frank Jobe, the team orthopedist, that he needed season-ending surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his left knee and possible damage to his anterior cruciate ligament. Bradley will get a second opinion this week from Dr. Tim Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds' medical director, but he is expected to have the surgery, which might mark the end of what has been a turbulent, two-year stint in Los Angeles. "He has an 80 percent tear of the patellar tendon and also some issues with the ACL," said Dodgers general manager Paul The announcement followed two days of meetings among DePodesta, Bradley and owner Frank McCourt following Bradley's latest bout with controversy, in which he stopped just short of calling teammate Jeff Kent a racist.
Bradley Accuses Kent Of An Inability To Deal With Black Players
Milton Bradley accused Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Jeff Kent of a lack of leadership and an inability to deal with black players. Bradley's remarks before Tuesday's game against Colorado came only a couple of minutes after he said that the feud between the two that became public last weekend in Florida was a "dead issue." "The problem is, he doesn't know how to deal with African-American people," Bradley said. "I think that's what's causing everything. It's a pattern of things that have been said -- things said off the cuff that I don't interpret as funny. It may be funny to him, but it's not funny to Milton Bradley. But I don't take offense to that because we all joke about race in here. Race is an issue with everything we do in here. "Me being an African-American is the most important thing to me -- more important than baseball," said the 27-year-old center fielder, whose voice never went beyond his normal speaking level. "White people never want to see race -- with anything. But there's race involved in baseball. That's why there's less than 9 percent African-American representation in the game. I'm one of the few African-Americans that starts here." Bradley did not like what Kent said to him after Bradley failed to score from first base on a double in Saturday's victory over the Marlins. Bradley initiated a 25-minute closed-door meeting with manager Jim Tracy after that game. "I was told in spring training I was the team leader by Paul DePodesta. By Jim Tracy. By Frank McCourt," Bradley said of the Dodgers' general manager, manager and owner. "Growing up in LA, I know how to deal with all types of people, and I do it on an everyday basis. But some people don't deal with all different types of people every day, and therefore don't know how to handle situations when they arise." Kent, a former NL MVP who feuded with Barry Bonds in San Francisco, defended himself following Bradley's accusations. "He can go ahead and say those types of things, and it comes from an incident that he still doesn't get. And that's a shame," Kent said. "If you think that I've got a problem with African-Americans, then go talk to Dusty Baker. Go talk to Dave Winfield, who took me under his wing. Go talk to Joe Carter -- all the guys that I idolized in this game and all the veteran players who taught me how to play this game.
Kent Speaks Out About Confrontation With Bradley
On the morning after teammate Milton Bradley unleashed a public tirade against him - albeit without using his name - Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent told his side of an incident that took place between the two after Saturday night's win over Florida. Kent was anything but repentant. "Most of what happened stays in the clubhouse, but I will respond (to Bradley's comments)," Kent said. "I'm one of the veteran players on this team, probably the only veteran. When things happen, something needs to be said. I'm not one to hold back. How other players respond to that is something I can't control." The incident reportedly took place in the clubhouse immediately after the game, when Kent confronted Bradley after Bradley failed to score from first base on Kent's seventh-inning double, a hit that scored Hee-Seop Choi from second to tie the score. Bradley eventually did score on a bases-loaded walk by Jayson Werth, putting the Dodgers ahead to stay. Bradley apparently took exception to what Kent said, and what one source described as an "ugly" confrontation ensued. That led to an impromptu, closed-door meeting involving the entire team, but neither Kent nor manager Jim Tracy would say who called it. After that, Bradley requested, and was granted, a one-on-one meeting with Tracy. When that ended, Bradley showered, got dressed and addressed the media. His comments were cryptic in nature, but he left no doubt it was Kent to whom he was referring. Kent wouldn't confirm that the episode began because Bradley didn't score on the double. "That would be unfair to him to single out one incident," Kent said. "It has been a buildup of the frustration of our season. This isn't pinned at Milton. Please understand that." Bradley accused Kent of caring too much about personal statistics and securing his likely place in the Hall of Fame. Kent wouldn't address those charges directly. "If everyone is not on the same page, it's going to be difficult," Kent said.
Edwin Jackson Recalled To Join L.A. Rotation
Right-hander Edwin Jackson will be recalled from Double-A Jacksonville to start Monday at Florida in place of ailing left-handed pitcher Odalis Perez, manager Jim Tracy said. Perez (strained right oblique) returned to Los Angeles and is scheduled to be examined Monday by Dr. Frank Jobe. Jackson was 3-7 with an 8.62 ERA in Triple-A Las Vegas and 6-4 with a 3.48 ERA for Jacksonville.
Weaver's Extension Talks Hit Snag
Dodgers pitcher Jeff Weaver said Wednesday he still hopes to reach an agreement on a new contract with the club and avoid becoming a free agent after the season. He seemed resigned to the idea it probably won't happen. "I have made the effort to try to get something going, but it doesn't seem like they're in any rush to get something done at this point and time," said Weaver, who will start tonight against Atlanta. "I'll just continue to try to make some calls and see how they want to approach it. I can say I would definitely like to get something done before the end of the year." Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta said two weeks ago that talks with Weaver's agent, Scott Boras, had been ongoing for about a month and would continue. At the time, the issue didn't seem terribly urgent to DePodesta, who pointed out that the Dodgers could still negotiate with Weaver even if he does become a free agent.