Eric Byrnes Weighs in on Bradley, Baseball and Life
May 5, 2010, 5:31 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:55 pm
by Jessamyn McIntyre
Eric Byrnes, a regular fan favorite, was kind enough to join The Kevin Calabro Show today. He discussed his time with the team, wishes nothing but the best for the Mariners and is taking up a new endeavor, beer-league softball.
However, some of the best insight he gave was into Milton Bradley’s situation with the team. Check it out:
What are we to think about Milton Bradley?
“You know what, he’s a good guy. That’s I can really say about him. I think he definitely has some issues . He’s very complex. He’s very, very emotional.
“But you have to understand that that’s what you were getting in Seattle. If you’re Jack Zduriencik, and you’re bringing in Milton Bradley, you know what you’re going to get. You guys just said it: 8 teams in 10 years-obviously there’s been some sort of issues there. I think the only way to deal with Milton is to kinda let him be Milton. He’s 32 years old. He’s a grown man. At this point, how much is he really going to change?
“So you let Milton be Milton and do his thing and you take the negatives along with the positives, and the positives are that he’s really talented baseball player that also can be a very, very good guy and a very good teammate. But there’s times where he just gets so emotional out there that it’s a detriment, and it’s a detriment obviously to him and to the team.”
How do teammates treat something like someone walking out during a game?
“I’ve never heard of it. Soâ€¦I guess I can say I’m glad I’m not there because that’s just not a good situation when you take off like that. I know if I ever were to say, do something like that, you gotta be ready for the repercussions.”
How much does it alienate teammates when you do something like that?
“Probably a lot . I mean, that’s a real forgiving clubhouse; it’s a real good group of guys. And it’s so early to even-if you’re a Seattle Mariners fan-to even give up on the year. That Mariners group is such a great group of guys that play with this passion, play with this energy too, that I think eventually everything’s going to turn around, but the only issue-look, like I said before, if you’re taking on Milton, who has been with so many teams-you gotta, kinda deal with Milton. That even means if you’re a teammate, you gotta deal with Milton Bradley as a teammate.
“I think when I was there – which was two days ago – everybody understood that. So if Milton was going to go into a tirade or have one of his temper tantrums, you let him do it. It’s not personal, so I think the only way to look at the situation as far as last night is it’s not personal. Then again, guys, I wasn’t there. I don’t know what went down. But I do know that that Mariners clubhouse is a group of really good guys and they’re obviously very forgiving too.”
Does Wakamatsu have a different set of rules for Milton Bradley than he does for the rest of the players?
“That’s a problem, because he almost has to , I believe, if you want to get the best out of Milton. Just like I said, you’ve played for 8 teams in 10 years, there’s obviously a reason that’s happening. But to get the best out of Milton-if I’m the Seattle Mariners right now, I just want the best out of him any way I can get it. So you see what you can do as far as coddling him to a point, but even as another player, I would understand that. There’s some guys that need to kicked in the ass and some guys that need to be coddled!
“I think the best managers I’ve played for over the years were the managers that knew the players’ personalities. You wanna know who you can be assertive with and you wanna know who you can’t be. In some ways, the old school philosophy is, ‘OK, that’s BS. Everyone needs to be treated the same.’ But, you know what, I think that’s also outdated-everyone doesn’t need to be treated the same. You need to treat certain guys certain ways. I mean, that’s just human nature. You don’t talk to your mother the same way you talk to your best friend the same way you talk to your best friend the same way you’re going to talk to a 5-year-old child. You deal with different people in different ways.”
Based on the team’s current state and needs, would you trot Milton Bradley out there again tonight?
“I think that just depends on what the communication has been since last night, and I don’t know what communication has been. I mean, if things have been cleared up and everything’s good, and Milton’s feeling ready to get back out there and they’ve put their differences behind them.
“I will say that Don Wakamatsu is one of the best managers I’ve ever played forâ€¦I think Wak’s the man you want leading that team right now because he doesn’t panic. He has such a cool demeanor; I couldn’t think of anybody else who I would rather have else managing that team and that group of guys.”
The entire interview is available here – and it’s worth the listen, especially towards the end where he talks about his beer league softball team that now has two former major leaguers on it.
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