Like Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue," Milton Bradley came into the world ready to defend himself over an unfortunate moniker provided by a stern father. And he's been fighting ever since.
And now, Milton's own mother is coming to defend her son against Chi-town.
According to his mother, Bradley's unhappiness in Chicago stems in part from racism that his 3-year-old son has faced at school.
"When racism hit his 3-year-old baby in school, he couldn't take that," Rector said in a radio interview earlier this week, according to the Sun-Times. "Parents, teachers and their kids called him the n-word. He didn't even know it was a bad word until his mom told him."
When asked why her son shared the information only with her this season, Rector said, "Milton is a quiet person. Stuff like that, he keeps to himself. He doesn't want to talk about that because he doesn't think anybody cares. It is a heartbreaking situation."
She believes it affected his play. Bradley struggled at the plate, batting .257 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs this season, and was booed vigorously by home fans at Wrigley Field.
"I watched his swing, and I could tell what was wrong," Rector told the Sun-Times. "His mind wasn't on baseball. He was thinking about all of these other things."
I once got called a smartass by a teacher, and I thought that was pretty bad. But it sounds like Milton Bradley's kid had a really tough go. Not that I'm a king of PR, but expressing to the media that his family was treated badly might have been a little smarter than saying he knows why they've been losers for a century. Now that he's got the time free, Bradley should visit his son's school and introduce them to his famous Sonny Corleone-esque temper.