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Milton Bradley Leaves Indians’ Camp

April 1, 2004

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) _ Milton Bradley abruptly left Cleveland’s training camp Thursday, one day after he was pulled from an exhibition game for not running out a pop fly.

The center fielder drove out of Chain of Lakes Park in the morning. His name was not on the lineup card for Thursday’s game against Detroit.

Indians manager Eric Wedge had no comment when asked about Bradley’s status. General manager Mark Shapiro was in a meeting and unavailable.

Bradley’s agent, Seth Levinson, said the player left with the ``understanding and agreement of the front office″ so the sides could weigh their options.

Bradley has a history of transgressions on and off the field, and this one may lead the Indians to cut ties with him. He signed a one-year $1.73 million contract in November.

On Wednesday, Bradley was removed from the game against Houston by Wedge for not running hard on a second-inning pop-up that dropped for a single.

Bradley didn’t comment before leaving in a cab before the game ended, but he said through the team he had a tight groin. He was pulled from a game last season for failing to run out a ball. He also angered some opponents by showboating.

The Indians were counting on Bradley this year to bat cleanup and be a productive everyday player. He was having a solid 2003 season before hurting his back and missing the final six weeks.

Bradley had been a model citizen all spring, promising he had changed and would not be a distraction. In February, he was sentenced to three days in jail for driving away from police after being stopped for speeding.

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