SEATTLE -- In a move that might reduce some of the self-imposed pressure Milton Bradley has been experiencing, manager Don Wakamatsu dropped the struggling switch-hitter down a few notches in the lineup for Monday afternoon's regular-season home opener against the Athletics.
After 17 at-bats as the cleanup hitter and four in the fifth spot, Bradley batted sixth in his first home game with the Mariners.
He went 1-for-21 during the Mariners' season-opening road trip to Oakland and Texas and received rude "welcomes" from fans in both cities despite having played well for both American League West teams.
Bradley became so incensed in Texas that he made an obscene gesture during Friday night's game.
"We talked about it and he was remorseful in our conversation," Wakamatsu said. "There are going to be people looking for him and I understand that. We talked about not fueling the fire and rely on teammates to help him out."
Wakamatsu thinks Bradley is trying too hard, putting pressure on himself to carry the team, which lost five of the seven games on the road trip.
"We talked a lot about him relying on us to alleviate some of that pressure he's putting himself," Wakamatsu said. "I think he is starting to trust people in this clubhouse and he'll be fine."