Milton doesn't fear surroundings

CINCINNATI – Eric Milton could have made it easy on himself and chronicled his personal history by slapping stickers on a steamer trunk, the way the old vaudeville troupers once did.

Instead, he turned himself into a human road map. Milton's body is adorned with tattoos from the University of Maryland and the New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies. And after the Reds signed him to a three-year, $25.5 million deal in December, he paid tribute to his new club by having a red Cincinnati "C'' inscribed on his left ankle.

Some labels stick no matter how hard you work to shed them. Milton's admirers point to his 72-57 career record as evidence that he knows how to win games. Teammates, managers and coaches respect him for his work ethic, businesslike demeanor and refusal to whine even when he's giving up 330-foot homers in a bandbox.