Bradley eases doubts about playing for Wedge

Bradley eases doubts about playing for Wedge

Bradley eases doubts about playing for Wedge
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Milton Bradley has raised plenty of questions over the years. But the veteran outfielder provided some answers on Tuesday, as he continued his hot start to Cactus League play with a 3-for-3 day against his former Texas team.

Bradley is 4-for-6 in two games with three RBIs this spring, and any doubt about his ability to play for Eric Wedge -- his former manager in Cleveland -- appear to be diminishing.

"Wedge will get the most out of everybody on this team," Bradley told reporters after the game. "He'll get the most from me. He's constantly communicating, constantly teaching. When we were together before, I didn't want to hear it. Now, I hear it and I know it's not personal, even if he gets in your face. He's trying to make you better."

Wedge, who ran into problems with Bradley in their previous time together in 2003-04, said the 32-year-old is working hard and doing well with everything, so far.

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"I think he's having a good time," Wedge said. "He's enjoying himself, he's enjoying his teammates. I love his work ethic. His approach has been good. I just want him to sustain that."

Bradley, who hit just .205 last year before his season ended on July 31 with a knee problem, seems to have tuned out the distractions, for now.

"For me here, it needs to be about baseball," he said. "Baseball is what I do best. I'm 100 percent focused."

Even when the occasional leather-lunged fan zeroes in on him. Bradley said he has heard a couple of hecklers in Peoria, but isn't letting them bother him.

"I heard one guy [boo in the opener] and no one joined him," he said. "Today, there was one guy in the outfield yelling 'Drop the ball' and 'nice base running.' I figure I had one guy like that and a stadium full of people behind me.

"When self doubt creeps in, you hear those voices a little more loudly. The key is not to let them in."

Wedge, who would love to have a productive Bradley bat to help out the middle of his order, had him hitting third and playing left field on Tuesday. His only issue was getting caught off second base in the third inning, but he came back with a run-scoring double in the fifth for his third hit of the game.

"He looked good," Wedge said. "He's really been working hard. With his batting practice and his approach, he's a veteran guy and you know it's going to leak into his game. It's nice to see it already getting that way. It was nice to get him out in the field, as well. So, yeah, a good day.

"He just needs to be patient and let the game come to him, and that's what I think you're seeing."