Kent tells his side of incident

Kent tells his side of incident

MIAMI -- Jeff Kent on Sunday gave his version of Saturday night's post-game confrontation with Milton Bradley, saying it was not a personal attack, but "a veteran player policing the clubhouse."

According to witnesses, Kent confronted Bradley about his hustle, specifically pertaining to Bradley not attempting to score from first base on Kent's seventh-inning double in a rally that led to an 11-6 victory.

Bradley provided an emotional defense of his play in post-game comments Saturday night, after Kent had left the clubhouse. Kent said he spoke up for more reasons than just one play.

"That's unfair to [Bradley] to single out one incident; I won't do that," said Kent. "It's been a buildup of frustration of the season. It isn't pinned at Milton. It's a clarification of what the team needs to do if it wants to win."

Kent said "clubhouse etiquette" prevented him from revealing all that was said in the 20-minute meeting, but he offered no apologies and, rather, insisted he was carrying on a baseball tradition.

"Being one of the veteran players, sometimes things happen and sometimes things need to be said," Kent said. "I'm not one to hold back. How other players respond is something I can't control. I expect ballplayers on any team to be on the same page, and if they're not on the same page and not playing the game for the right reasons, that's where a veteran player needs to step in and make a statement and make the adjustment to motivate and to drive and to push. If you don't have that player, then you've got guys shooting from the hip and not playing for a championship."

Kent, who generally keeps to himself in the clubhouse, said incidents like the one on Saturday night "happen all the time -- veteran players policing the clubhouse, although I hate to say it that way.

"Veteran players do more leading by example and on the field, versus having everyday conversation with 25 guys. It's not my job to police the area, it's my job to play baseball and try to win, but every now and then there's a need for something to be said, and I say it. It isn't something I just learned. It was taught to me by great veteran players that this is the way you act."

Kent said he had no regrets.

"If I did, I wouldn't have said anything," he said. "I'm in it for more than to just get by. I'm in it to win. If I feel something needs to be said, I say it. Understand this: as a player and a veteran, all I want is to see a guy achieving his very best. That's what the coaches want and what the fans want to see. This isn't pointing the finger at one person. We want to see the young players do the best they can.

"On this team, it's been difficult. We've got a lot of young kids and guys trying to feel their way. We don't have the veteran influence that exists on the majority of other teams. I play baseball and I play it well, and I play it to be a champion and play it with respect. If you're comfortable with that and with what you do, it doesn't matter what other people say about it."

Manager Jim Tracy, who met with Bradley following the confrontation, said the situation is over, as far as he's concerned.

"When you're involved in situations where things are at stake, and get beyond the record and knowing we're five games out of first place and playing as well as any time since early April, emotions run very high," Tracy said. "To be in a clubhouse where you see people care a lot, and sometimes it's portrayed into a way that not everybody thinks it should have been drawn up, it comes with the territory with a lot at stake. I'd rather have that than having a clubhouse of complete apathy. I don't want any clubhouse like that. Apathy is not something we have in this clubhouse."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.