09/25/07 2:10 AM ET
Bradley to miss remainder of season
Outfielder tears knee ligament after ejection on Sunday
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
Somehow, Monday actually seemed worse.
Left fielder Milton Bradley had an MRI that revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, an injury that will not only sideline him for the rest of the season but will keep him from playing for up to nine months.
Bradley's injury coupled with the news that Mike Cameron suffered an injury to his right thumb that will sideline him for the remainder of the season certainly wasn't received too well, though the Padres insist their playoff hopes were not dashed with the news that two of their top offensive players are done.
"You can't put your head down and say 'wow look at this bad luck.' Nobody's going to care," Padres closer Trevor Hoffman said flatly.
But the reality for the Padres -- who started a season-ending, seven-game road trip with a loss to the Giants on Monday -- is that the prospect of not having Bradley and Cameron the rest of the season is, well, a daunting proposition.
"We're going to try and rally around the fact that the odds are stacked against us," Padres pitcher Jake Peavy said. "We'll go out and play hard. We're certainly going to miss Mike and Milton and what they bring to the team, offense, defense ... everything."
Bradley was ejected from the Padres' 7-3 loss to the Rockies on Sunday after an eighth-inning confrontation with first base umpire Mike Winters that had its origins to a fifth-inning at-bat.
Bradley had to be restrained by first-base coach Bobby Meacham and then manager Bud Black, who then pulled Bradley away from Winters. As Black spun Bradley away from Winters, the left fielder fell to the grass and grabbed his right knee.
According to the Associated Press, the Commissioner's Office is investigating whether Bradley was baited by Winters -- a claim the Padres asserted after the game.
Michael Weiner, the players union general counsel, told the AP that the association is waiting to see whether Major League Baseball does something before deciding whether to take action.
"I know there will be a thorough investigation of the dialogue between Milton and Mike Winters," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said. "I have a lot of confidence there will be due process and it will be handled well. For Milton's sake, he certainly has the support of our ballclub."
The incident on Sunday was witnessed by Padres CEO Sandy Alderson, who told the Associated Press that "umpires are not supposed to react as emotionally as the players. They are there to control and manage the game. They are not the game.
"The only thing we can do is make sure the league takes a look at this and makes sure it was handled appropriately."
Peavy said more needs to be done to hold umpires accountable for their actions.
"I think the umpires need to have some accountability. If they're good or bad, it doesn't matter," he said. "There have been a few instances this year where they can do or say whatever they want."
Now the Padres must traverse a tricky stretch of the schedule - two more games against the Giants, followed by four in Milwaukee -- to reach the postseason for the third time in as many years.
After being obtained by the Padres from the A's on June 29, Bradley hit .313 and led the Padres in on-base percentage (.414) and slugging percentage (.590) in 42 games. He hit 11 home runs and had 30 RBIs after the trade.
Bradley also missed significant time with a hamstring and oblique injury and was just in his third game back in the lineup after missing 12 games with the oblique injury.
"It's unfortunate what happened. It certainly wasn't a good day. We need to put all that behind us," Towers said. "We've got seven days to win some ballgames. It's unfortunate we won't have Cameron or Milton the rest of the year but we can't hang our heads."
The Padres will likely see Winters during their four-game series against the Brewers in Milwaukee beginning Thursday.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.