Q&a -- With Chad Bradford

February 18, 2007|By DAN CONNOLLY

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- After compiling one of the best ERAs among National League relievers in 2006, Chad Bradford, a former 13th-round draft pick, hit his big payday this winter when the Orioles signed him to a three-year, $10.5 million deal. The submarining right-hander from Mississippi left the New York Mets, a team that lost in the National League Championship Series, to join the Orioles in the tough American League East.

When did you start pitching submarine-style? -- It just kind of evolved. I dropped down when I was 15 years old, and ever since then I got a little lower and lower and lower.

Why sign with the Orioles when you likely could have returned to a contending Mets team? -- I am a believer in letting things happen instead of forcing something, and [the Orioles] came after me and were aggressive and were like, `We want you here.' And that kind of shows me that it was a good fit. You don't want to be somewhere where a team kind of needs you or maybe needs you. You want to be somewhere they really want you.

What was it like traveling to Philadelphia last summer with the outspoken Billy Wagner after he ripped his old organization and the Philly fans? -- We got absolutely crushed. I never heard the things come out of people's mouths like that. I can't tell you what they said. I thought New York was rough, Boston. Philly was the roughest. It was rough on all of us, but really on Billy. But he laughed it off.

What do you like to do away from baseball? -- Hunting, fishing, outdoors and just being out with the kids [12-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl]. And doing what they want to do. ... They love to be outdoors; they enjoy that. Of course, they like their video games. We try to limit that.

Does your son always choose to be you on his baseball video game? -- Well, I'm usually on his team, anyway.

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