Who better to call a Dodgers team meeting than veteran leaders like Milton Bradley and Jeff Kent?
Actually, everyone from Pedro Guerrero to Steve Sax to the late Tommy Lasorda Jr. come to mind, but since none of them were available, the LA Times’ Steve Henson can fill you in on what happened.
Jeff Kent planted the seed, mentioning to Milton Bradley that a players-only meeting might be beneficial. Bradley made it happen, closing the clubhouse doors Tuesday and speaking about leadership, chemistry and breaking spring training with a unified purpose.
The Dodgers have so many new players that Bradley, in his second year, is almost an elder statesman. Among regulars, only shortstop Cesar Izturis has been with the team longer.
“Sometimes you can sense something in the air,” Bradley said. “We’ve had a quiet clubhouse. That’s OK. Every team has its own identity. But it seemed to Jeff and I that we all needed to make sure we were on the same page before we went to Los Angeles.”
Jayson Werth, who like Bradley is in his second season with the team, spoke next. Then Eric Gagne, the senior Dodger, had something to say. Finally, Kent stepped forward and talked about what he believes is necessary to win.
“It’s important for us to communicate with one another, for anybody to feel comfortable talking if they have something to say,” Bradley said. “We made it clear to younger and newer guys that anybody can say anything. Don’t be shy.”