“He’s very intelligent beyond his years, but you know he’s 19. He might have problems at the office. He’ll always have someone there, his brothers, that he can vent to,” Bobby Beal said. “It’s just as much for us, as it is for him. He could go astray easily. Somebody come up to him or they might say something or try to get him to do this or do that. He probably could do it on his own. If they hadn’t done it, I would’ve gone up there.”
Beal didn’t feel he needed the assistance, having already handled himself well in his one season at Florida. But he has found some comfort in returning from his 15-minute drive from Verizon Center to his apartment, and having someone around to watch game film or to play video games. They keep the place clean, make sure the refrigerator is stocked — and Beal is where he needs to be on time.
Brandon, 26, is a manager at an area gym and works most of the time, but he is around when the brothers go to the movies or eat at Hooters, Buffalo Wild Wings or Bradley’s personal favorite, Friday’s. Bruce is home most of the time, sometimes taking Bradley to practice or the airport.
When Bradley is on the road, he’ll often text Bruce pictures before making purchases, waiting for his approval.
“I can’t complain, honestly,” Beal said. “They don’t really want to shadow me or be a chaperon. They don’t want to crowd. They give me my personal space or whatever. We all figure we’re going to be fine on our own, but there are going to be times when you’re going to need help. I knew I just couldn’t sit here all day by myself. That would be terrible.”
Earlier this month, when the Nationals suffered a heartbreaking loss to his hometown St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, Beal wrote a congratulatory comment for the Cardinals on his Twitter account and caught an immediate backlash. A few upset Nationals fans made threats warning him to watch his back and asking if he could get traded. Beal shrugged off the reaction, but Bruce said the incident let him know “I was here for a reason.”
“I wouldn’t let anybody get that close to him,” Bruce Beal said. “I don’t see why it’s a problem for him to root for the Cardinals and he’s fresh out of St. Louis. He likes the Nationals. He bought a Nationals hat.”
‘I have to beat them’
Beal had never visited Washington before his workout last June but before leaving, Beal sat down with team President Ernie Grunfeld and Coach Randy Wittman and said, “I just hope you pick me.”