LOS ANGELES — Dodgers star Milton Bradley allegedly called a reporter an "Uncle Tom" after the outfielder was asked how he was treated by St. Louis fans following his season-ending suspension for throwing a bottle into the stands.
The confrontation occurred in the clubhouse after batting practice during an off-day in the Los Angeles-St. Louis playoff series. Bradley fielded a question from Los Angeles Times reporter Jason Reid regarding fans during the Cardinals' 8-3 win in Game 1.
It was the first game for Bradley since he was suspended for the final five games of the regular season by Major League Baseball after a bottle-throwing tantrum during a win over Colorado in Los Angeles. Bradley was thrown out of that game after a fan threw a plastic bottle at him shortly after he made a costly error that allowed two runs to score.
Bill Dwyre, sports editor for the Times, said that various reporters who were in the Dodgers clubhouse said that Bradley didn't like Reid's question and allegedly called him an "Uncle Tom." Reid, who is black, took offense at the insult and began yelling at Bradley, who also is black, Dwyre said.
"We're terribly unhappy on how and why this happened," Dwyre said in a statement. "We back our reporter from every angle of this. We also agree with the Dodgers in the sense that this is something that can, and will be worked out between these two people."
A call left late Wednesday for the Dodgers was not immediately returned.
Bradley last week apologized for the bottle-throwing incident and said he would seek help for his anger problems.
He was suspended for four games earlier this season after throwing a bag of balls onto the field following an ejection.
Bradley hit .267 with 19 homers and 67 RBIs during the 2004 season. He went 1-for-3 in Game 1.