Every year since 2004, Major League Baseball celebrated the anniversary of Jackie Robinson making his MLB debut and breaking the league’s color barrier on April 15, 1947. And every year, clubs from across the league commemorate Jackie Robinson Day — on April 15 or 16, depending on off-days for teams — by discussing his influence, wearing his No. 42 or any number of other efforts.
Both players elected to donate their game salaries from Friday to The Players Alliance, which aims to make baseball more accessible and create more opportunities and resources for black communities. Bradley was one of more than 100 players included in an announcement from the organization on Wednesday, and the Alliance announced Cain’s pledge Friday morning.
“It’s special. They’re doing a lot of great things, and it encompasses all of baseball,” Bradley said. “The Players Alliance has taken the initiative in getting everybody together. They’re doing a lot of great work and I’m so glad to be a part of it, pushing to be a leader and help a lot of the young kids along the way.”
Milwaukee had an off-day on Thursday, so Friday was its chance to take part in Jackie Robinson Day. Manager Craig Counsell and multiple players appeared on Zoom calls with the media sporting T-shirts that read “Breaking Barriers” across the front.
It’s a message that not only refers to what Robinson did 74 years ago, but also to what groups like The Players Alliance continue to do today. The organization, which was formed in 2020, has donated roughly $41.7 million according to its website. Bradley said the work the group has already done, along with the continued celebration of Robinson’s influence, will create a lasting, tangible effect on the world.
“It’s such a fun thing to be a part of, knowing that what you’re doing and the time and the money that you’re donating is put to something that’s going to help grow the game, and help change people’s lives, as well,” Bradley said. “Jackie is a huge inspiration to not only me but to a lot of people across the world, whether they are African American, Latino, white or Caucasian people. The impact he’s made around the world is something that will never be forgotten.”
• Left fielder Christian Yelich was not in the lineup Friday for the fourth straight game since leaving Sunday’s matchup with the Cardinals in the second inning with back soreness. Counsell said it hasn’t been an injured-list situation for Yelich, and while Milwaukee is working him back in carefully, the outfielder has progressed towards a return over the past couple days.
“He came in yesterday and started some baseball activities. He did a little. He’s doing a little more today,” Counsell said. “We’re hitting, running, throwing. So we’re making progress, and that’s kind of where we’re at right now.”
• Brewers reliever Brent Suter likes Wendy’s, apparently. Outfielder Tyrone Taylor, recalled from the alternate training site Wednesday, revealed Friday that one of his first roommates after getting drafted in 2012 was Suter, and the then-18-year-old Taylor bought the apartment Wendy’s on the first night to win his roommates over.
Taylor was banged up at the end of Spring Training after colliding with Dustin Peterson while running for a pop up on March 27. Taylor said he was surprised to be called up so soon considering the crowded outfield in Milwaukee, but with Yelich and Cain currently dealing with injuries, Taylor is back with the Brewers to provide some outfield depth.
• The Brewers (sort of) reacted to Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera’s admission that he threw at Milwaukee pitcher Brandon Woodruff on Tuesday. Counsell said he doesn’t think the punishments handed down by MLB serve as much of a deterrent to intentionally throwing at batters, but declined to comment on what better solutions could be.
Bradley hadn’t heard Tepera’s comments prior to his pregame press conference, and though he seemed surprised, he didn’t go too far into his thoughts on Tepera’s admission.
“Well, he didn’t stand in the box. B-Wood did,” Bradley said. “So, say what you mean and mean what you say. If he admitted it, that’s on him, but I’m sure things will have its resolve.”