Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley answered questions from fans during an online chat on dodgers.com. Bradley, who finished last season with career-highs in home runs (19), RBIs (67), runs (72) and hits (138), talked about the team's chemistry, improvements to Dodger Stadium and some of his favorite things.
Bradley: Hey everyone, it's Milton. Thanks for taking the time to be online today. Let's go ahead and get started.
Base_Ball: You are my favorite baseball player and I love the Dodgers. How did you get in the Majors?
Bradley: I got drafted out of high school by the Expos in 1996.
mlb_com_member_2: Do you see yourself as the leader of the Dodgers?
Bradley: I see myself as a Dodger and if leadership is called upon, then I'm able to do that.
jvargie: At what point in the early part of the season do you really feel like you're comfortable with playing regularly again and to your full potential after the long winter break?
Bradley: Probably about a month into Spring Training is when I feel ready to go. It seems like toward the end it gets a little redundant, but all Spring Training, all you want to do is stay healthy, get some at-bats and be ready for the start of the season and Opening Day.
Ismar_Ardon: Hi Milton. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day as you prepare to play the Diamondbacks later on today. I was wondering how the club's mind set has been since you guys have been struggling these last five games?
Bradley: We take good at-bats up there and it's been a lot of one inning that the other team puts up, and it's been costing us. The pitchers have been shutting the team down for the rest of the game, but we haven't been able to come back, so it's just unfortunate. We're in the same mind set we were last week. It's early. We didn't expect to win nine in a row and never lose. We're just as positive as ever.
protz82: Hey Milt, good goin' so far. When the games are over and you guys have time to yourselves, who are the people on the team you spend the most time with?
Bradley: Probably Jeff Weaver and Jayson Werth because they live close to me and that's just how it is. It's pretty convenient.
etennyson: What is the team's chemistry like given all the changes between last July and now?
Bradley: Better than ever. We brought in guys who are able to adapt to whatever and just want to play ball. We're not too concerned with the other stuff. We're focused and prepared.
cashinhand: You're striking out a lot less than last year. Why?
Bradley: It's just part of getting comfortable. When you come over to a new league, you don't know how you're going to be pitched. You start feeling better and I'm just not missing pitches as much.
kenx818: Do you still live in Harbor City?
Bradley: I never actually lived there. I was just born there. I grew up in Long Beach and live in Manhattan Beach.
therev998: What is your favorite restaurant?
Bradley: Wow, that's a tough one. Probably Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles.
mlb_com_member_2: Is there one pitcher in the league today you do not want to face?
Bradley: There's nobody I don't want to face. I want to face the best. But, I've had a lot of difficulty with Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson, guys like that. But I look forward to the opportunity to face them and gauge where I'm at.
alxcora5: Do you enjoy the new dirt warning track compared to the synthetic track last year?
Bradley: I think it's a lot safer and the ball plays more true. It doesn't just bounce over the fence now.
elan_stark: I am an Israeli kid who follows Dodgers baseball. How does it feel to be able to play baseball almost every day?
Bradley: It's a blessing and a privilege to have God-given talents and work hard to bring that talent out and be able to show it to the world.
mlb_com_member_2: Do you think this Dodgers team can go deep into the playoffs?
Bradley: I think the sky is the limit. It's all about catching breaks and staying hot. If we continue to go out there every night and play for 27 outs, there's no telling where we can end up.
mlb_com_member_4: Who is the clubhouse joker?
Bradley: We don't really have any. It's whoever it is on that given day. It's always somebody new.
lablue88: Just wanted to say that I'm very happy to see your game rising to a new level this year. You've dealt with all the negativity that the media has brought on you and shown them who you truly are -- a man and a baseball player with heart.
Bradley: Thank you. I appreciate that a lot.
Base_Ball: How did it feel when you hit the game-winning hit against San Francisco?
Bradley: It's a good feeling any time you come up in a clutch situation. You want to come through and have everybody come up before me have good, quality at-bats. It's a good feeling to have a good team win.
mlb_com_member_4: What do you listen to before games?
Bradley: Pretty much whatever's on in the clubhouse. I put on hip hop or something that gets the blood going a little bit. But I'll listen to country, rock, whatever's going on.
fisch69: Hi Milton. It seems like you are getting along with Hee-Seop Choi. What's he like?
Bradley: Everybody's good people. Chop is one of the guys that's been looked upon to produce and he's had his struggles like myself, but I just try to keep him confident and let him know he's got a friend.
kjelle: Hi Milton. Do you feel you have an advantage being a switch-hitter?
Bradley: It's a gift and a curse. It's hard to try and keep two swings right at the same time, but it can be a lot easier to try and hit when a curveball's not starting right at you and breaking right over the plate. It's good and bad.
mlb_com_member_4: Does Eric Gagne's hat smell as bad as it looks?
Bradley: I wouldn't know. I don't put my nose in it! But I know mine stinks bad.
saosinh: When did you first realize that you had talent in baseball?
Bradley: I thought I was pretty good when I was a freshman in high school, but I didn't make the varsity team. Then I just kept working at it and probably my junior year, when I made it to the varsity team, it was the biggest thing in the world for me and I just took it from there.
danny05: What is the hardest pitch for you to hit?
Bradley: Any pitch that you swing at that's not a strike! There's not a pitch I don't like. If you throw a strike, I'll hit it.
three3: What do you do before a game to relax?
Bradley: Listen to music. Watch TV that isn't related to baseball. Read up on pitchers that I'm going to face so that I can be prepared.
etennyson: What is the best moment you have experienced in your career?
Bradley: Probably just making the playoffs last year and being a part of a NL West pennant celebration and all the blood, sweat and tears we put into it.
smurfsam5: Who is your favorite baseball player?
Bradley: Ken Griffey Jr.
endeavor88: What is your favorite food?
Bradley: Fried chicken.
pavillionguy: Who are you listening to on your CD player right now?
Bradley: 50 Cent. Snoop. Amerie.
daryleward: How did you choose your number?
Bradley: I wanted something that would have something to do with Jackie Robinson. I always wore 24 because it was the reverse of 42. But, since it was retired, I took 21 because it was half of 42.
endeavor88: Is there anyone in the ballclub who is really superstitious?
Bradley: Not that I know of.
goinallway: Milton, I really think you are the best outfielder in baseball -- some of the plays you have made are just mind-boggling. Do you take extra pride in your defense?
Bradley: Thank you for that. I definitely take pride in my defense because it's an important part of the game. I think a lot of people overlook defense, but I work hard at it every day.
Alonso_Ramirez: My class wants to know -- who was your role model?
Bradley: My mom. She's the strongest person I know.
leche1983: I heard you say in an interview that you have always wanted to play for the Dodgers. How did it feel when you heard that you were traded to the Dodgers?
Bradley: It was a good day. I jumped on the first flight to LA and got there as fast as I could.
mlb_com_member_3: With the game on the line, would you rather be batting right or left handed? Or does it even matter?
Bradley: Whatever side is doing good for me that day, but it doesn't really matter.
d_spe: Are you angered by what the media says about you?
Bradley: I used to be, but I know that there's a bunch of people on the outside looking in that don't know me and they know a reputation. They write what's easy to write instead of taking the time to get to know someone. My character has never changed, but my reputation might.
cashinhand: What's your best compliment and worst criticism of Dodgers fans?
Bradley: Booing Dodgers players. If you're a Dodgers player, you should be cheered just for making the effort. The best thing is just having our LA fans. They're LA.
boooyaa66: How has your faith helped you succeed in the game of baseball?
Bradley: It's everything. It's the thing that keeps me strong despite all the negativity that comes about. I know God has something bigger and better in store for me, so I just stay positive.
ibleadbloo: Is it more exciting to get the game-winning hit or make a game-saving catch?
Bradley: Definitely a catch.
dodgerfaninpdx: What is you favorite ballpark to play in and why?
Bradley: Until I became a Dodger, it was Angel Stadium. Now it's Dodger Stadium.
Amy_Pidancet: Do you ever get nervous before a game?
Bradley: If we're facing a big-time pitcher, a Hall of Famer, yeah. But, I get more nervous in a Spring Training game than I do in a regular season game.
pavillionguy: During the offseason, did you lift a lot of weights?
Bradley: I don't lift a lot, but I am just growing into my body. Good genes, I guess.
mlb_com_member_4: Will you ever do a running diary for the Dodgers like you did for Cleveland?
Bradley: If they ever asked me, I'd do it. I liked doing it. It was a good way to have a conversation with the fans about things they might not know about and give them a little insight into how things are in the big leagues.
Bradley: Thanks for taking part in this today. I've got to go get ready for tonight's game. Come check us out at Dodger Stadium!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.