Desperate to score runs and willing to take a chance, the Los Angeles Dodgers got troubled outfielder Milton Bradley from the Cleveland Indians in a trade yesterday for minor league outfielder Franklin Gutierrez and a player to be named.
The deal capped a tumultuous week for the ex-Indians cleanup hitter. He was pulled from an exhibition game Wednesday by manager Eric Wedge for failing to run out a pop fly that dropped, barred from training camp the next day, and later sent to the minors.
Bradley is expected to start in center field today when Los Angeles opens at home against San Diego.
"I think Milton's gotten a bad rap to this point," Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta said. "I actually talked to him this morning and he said that this was the best thing he could have possibly hoped for."
The Dodgers' 574 runs were the fewest in the majors last season. Gutierrez was the Dodgers' minor league player of the year in 2003. Bradley hit .321 with 10 homers and 56 RBIs and stole a team-leading 17 bases. He did it while missing the final six weeks because of a lower back injury. In all, he was sidelined for 61 games.
Barry Bonds's lawyer believes the federal government is singling out the San Francisco Giants slugger in the Bay Area steroids scandal.
Michael Rains told The New York Times that the federal government appears intent on trying to set a perjury trap for Bonds.
"I think they're trying to make an example out of him," Rains told The Times.
Bonds's personal trainer, Greg Anderson, was among four men indicted last month on charges of illegally supplying performance-enhancing drugs from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.
All four pleaded innocent. Bonds has denied that he used steroids, an assertion his lawyer made again to The Times.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that urine samples given last season by seven major leaguers for testing were being sought by a federal grand jury examining the BALCO case.
Previously, the paper reported, it was not known whether actual samples, or the written results, remained from last season's tests.
That would allow investigators to determine whether the players used THG, which was allegedly given to athletes by BALCO.
He's a rocket scientist and a righthander. Jason Szuminski is the first MIT graduate to reach the major leagues after the San Diego Padres told him late Saturday night he'd made their 25-man roster. "I want to do more than just make it. I want to be able to pitch well and contribute to the team," said Szuminski. He earned a degree in aerospace engineering in 2000 from MIT, which is much better known for brainpower than ballplayers. He's a first lieutenant in the Air Force and has worked on satellite programs. Tomorrow, a day after the Padres open the season at Los Angeles, he'll switch over to the active reserve . . . The Oakland Athletics agreed to a contract with veteran utilityman Mark McLemore to boost their ailing infield. A's second baseman Mark Ellis is expected to be out at least two months with a dislocated right shoulder, and backup infielder Frank Menechino is sidelined with a strained right calf . . . Jose Reyes's strained right hamstring will prevent him from starting the season with the New York Mets, who placed the second baseman on the 15-day disabled list . . . The Texas Rangers traded catcher Einar Diaz to the Montreal Expos . . . Seattle Mariners closer Eddie Guardado was forced out of yesterday's exhibition finale against San Diego because of a stiff shoulder . . . The Arizona Diambondbacks placed ex-Red Sox lefthander Casey Fossum on the 15-day disabled list.