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Kent, Bradley Reunited Tonight

DODGERS REPORT

June 16, 2006|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Jeff Kent chuckled at the thought. He wouldn't go out of his way to talk to Milton Bradley tonight, because, well, Bradley plays for the other team.

"Have you ever seen me jabber with anybody on the opposing team?" he said. "I'm not one for fraternizing."

The Dodgers will be reunited with Bradley tonight, sort of. Since they put the controversial outfielder on the disabled list last August -- and subsequently traded him to the Oakland Athletics -- their roster has undergone an extensive makeover.

Of the 25 players on the Dodgers' roster, 17 have not played with Bradley.

The general manager, manager and all but one coach are new too.

Kent is not, and the verbal battle between him and Bradley last summer provided an ugly window into clubhouse dynamics during a miserable season.

After a dispute between the two in August, Bradley said Kent "doesn't know how to deal with African American people," a charge Kent labeled "absolutely pathetic."

On Thursday, Kent said his past relationship with Bradley should remain in the past.

"I'm sure you guys might try to make a story out of it," Kent said, referring to the media. "There's no story there."

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Ned Colletti, the Dodgers' general manager, didn't have much leverage when trading Bradley. The A's were willing to give up no more than a minor league outfielder, and even then only if the Dodgers included infielder Antonio Perez as well.

So far, the trade is lopsided in favor of the Dodgers. Bradley spent six weeks on the disabled list and is batting .213 with three home runs. Perez is batting .054, with two hits in 38 at-bats.

Andre Ethier is batting .293, with four home runs and five doubles, since the Dodgers promoted him from triple-A Las Vegas last month.

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After the game, the Padres fired hitting coach Dave Magadan and replaced him with former hitting coach Merv Rettenmund. The Padres ranked 13th in the National League in runs scored last year and rank 14th this season, their third in spacious Petco Park.

"We weren't getting the results we were looking for," Padres General Manager Kevin Towers said. "A lot of that could be the ballpark. A lot of that could be the product. We're trying to find a way to jump-start the offense."

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With the Dodgers playing under American League rules, Manager Grady Little said he would use Olmedo Saenz at designated hitter tonight and could use Saenz, Ethier, J.D. Drew or Kenny Lofton on Saturday and Sunday.... Little on Matt Kemp, who has seven home runs in 48 at-bats: "It's really hard for me to write a lineup without his name in there."

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