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A Brief History Of Mariners With Clubhouse Concerns

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Ken Griffey Jr.: Remember the stories going around back before he was traded a decade ago? Junior, from the sounds of things, got to be a real pain. Then time passed, he aged by ten years, his career aged by fifty, and he became arguably one of the best clubhouse influences in the world.

Miguel Batista: Issues developed as a Mariner, and he never quite fit in, particularly with the 2009 team. Had no negative impact, at least off the field.

Carlos Silva: Issues developed shortly before becoming a Mariner and carried over into 2008. Appeared to have been a factor in the clubhouse mess that year, but he wasn't the biggest one, and once the team got a complete overhaul, it seemed like he didn't do anything but kiss people.

Ichiro: Ichiro kind of always did his own thing and never quite fit in from the beginning. Like everything else, his habits because a source of some resentment and frustration in 2008, but the team has been able to win with him, and 2009 saw him become a different person around his teammates through Griffey's influence.

Carl Everett: Brought in more for his fire than for his bat, Everett provided little fire, less bat, and was gone by July with nary a whimper.

Jose Guillen: Perhaps the most batshit player the Mariners have ever had, Guillen's influence on the 2007 clubhouse was considered by most parties involved to be nothing but positive, and he was very nearly brought back. Biggest controversy was his support of playing veterans over young guys down the stretch, but that was not a sentiment unique to Guillen.

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To be sure, the Mariners have never had a guy quite like Milton Bradley. His personality seems to be among the most volatile in the league. But what we've been able to observe in the past is that, sure enough, clubhouse issues tend to be at their most negative when you're losing and at their most positive when you're winning, and the 2010 Seattle Mariners are being built to win, and win a lot. That's what Bradley wants. He wants to play on a good team. One should note that he has been on playoff teams before, so it's not like his acquisition precludes success. He just needs to be watched, and we have the support system in place to take care of him. He says it's "surreal" that he gets to play with Junior. That can only work to our benefit.

Bradley is, of course, a constant risk to get ejected if something goes against him on the field. A Google search for '"Milton Bradley" ejected' turns up more than 10,000 results, and everyone remembers what happened to him in San Diego. But Ichiro got ejected too, and the occasional early exit from a game isn't that big of a deal. Being argumentative on the field isn't the same as being difficult off of it, and besides, given Wak's whole spiel about trying to go a whole year without getting a player or coach kicked out, that may be a thing of the past anyway. What really matters here is that, even with Bradley's history, there's no guarantee that his personality is going to be a problem in 2010. We don't have Lou Piniella and dumbass alcoholics in the bleachers. We have Don Wakamatsu and soccer moms. I mean it when I say that this is literally the best place for a player like Bradley to land, and that's why this makes me so excited.