Milton is Now a Mariner

CHAPMAN_CUBS_24.JPG2004: Dugout confrontation with Indians manager Eric Wedge in spring training before getting traded to the Dodgers.

Slammed a plastic bottle at the feet of a fan in the right-field seats at Dodger Stadium after someone threw it onto the field. Bradley drew a five-game suspension. Also received four-game suspension for tossing a bag of balls onto the field after an ejection.

2005: Feuded with infielder Jeff Kent, accusing him of being a racist, and prompted Dodgers to trade him that winter.

2007: Bitter public disagreement with A’s general manager Billy Beane. After trade to Padres and in thick of pennant race, tore ACL in his right knee when he was spun to the ground by Padres manager Bud Black, who was trying to keep him from umpire Mike Winters. Bradley claimed he had been baited by Winters, who was suspended for the final five days of the regular season.

2008: According to Dallas Morning News, Bradley attempted to confront Royals television announcer Ryan Lefebvre in the press box after a game due to what he believed were unfair comments made on the air. Texas manager Ron Washington and GM Jon Daniels chased after him and stopped Bradley before he got to Lefebvre.

January 6, 2009: The Cubs will be the seventh team for Milton Bradley, who has a history of behavioral issues during nine seasons in the majors.

April 16, 2009: Milton Bradley’s suspension was reduced from two games to one by Major League Baseball on Thursday, but that didn’t make him any happier.  The Chicago Cubs outfielder still feels he was a victim of his reputation as a hothead.  “It figures,” he said after MLB announced its decision regarding the April 16 incident.  “I never get treated fairly.  This is me. This is exactly what I expected.  “I’m Milton Bradley, you know what I’m saying?  You expect me to be crazy and throw stuff and do whatever.”  Bradley didn’t throw anything after umpire Larry Vanover called him out on strikes with the bases loaded.  But the famously volatile ballplayer did get in Vanover’s face and the umpiring crew contended that Bradley’s hat made slight contact with Vanover.  It was Bradley’s first Wrigley Field at-bat after he had signed a $30 million contract during the offseason.

June 12, 2009: Milton forgot how many outs there were in a game at Wrigley Field, after catching a fly ball, he turned, and tossed the baseball to a fan in the rightfield bleachers, but there were only two outs, there were two runners on base.  The error didn’t cost the Cubs, as there were runners on 1st & 3rd, the runner on 3rd would’ve scored on the sac fly and the other runner was stranded after moving from first to third.  Here’s what Bradley had to say about the incident.  “I wasn’t embarrassed.  I’ve done a whole lot of things to be embarrassed about,” Bradley said.  “My heart was in the right place. I tried to give a souvenir.  It was messed up.”  “We talked about it today, just have fun and relax,” Bradley said.  “It’s hard to get me to smile on a baseball field, but I had to smile today.  You can’t just keep taking yourself too seriously.  You have to chill out, have fun.  If we do that, we’ll be all right.”

September, 2009: Here’s what Cubs GM Jim Hendry had to say after suspending Bradley in September for the rest of the season.  “Recently, it’s become intolerable to hear Milton talk about our great fans the way he has,” Hendry said. “We pride ourselves on having the greatest fans in baseball, so at this time we felt it was best to send him home for the rest of the season.”

All of this should come as no surprise, it’s been with Milton Bradley, pretty much, his whole life.  Here is a recap of a situation involving Milton when he was a minor leaguer with the Montreal Expos, he even was suspended one game from his high school baseball team.  Bradley’s anger grew to the point where would explode at authority figures left and right, particularly umpires: He poked one in the mask and later spit his gum at another, earning him a seven-game suspension and the worst reputation in the minor leagues.  “It wasn’t violent,” Bradley explains.  “It was something I shouldn’t have done.  You can’t touch the umpire.  You can’t spit on the umpire.  I know that. But you just get to the point where you’re just, ‘There, I got that off my chest.’ ”

I remember following this talented switch-hitting kid way back when, when he was in the minors with Montreal, the kid with the board game company name, and his birthday being April 15th, an Aries, my birthday’s the 14th & my brother’s is the 16th, so I was intrigued, but after the spitting incident I decided to strike him from my list.

I just can’t see how so many major league teams have fallen for his B.S.  Certainly he is a talented hitter, but he can’t field any more, he once was fleet-footed, but after knee surgeries, those days are long gone.  So I can’t see what the attraction is, other than his bat, he is a cancer in the clubhouse, and basically, can’t get along with anyone.  Bradley never seems able to accept responsibility for his actions and always comes off playing the victim.

I knew where this was going when the Cubs signed him to that big contract before this past season, why didn’t Jim Hendry?  Now Hendry is looking like the hero, finding a new home for Milton & his baggage in the Pacific Northwest with the Seattle Mariners.  The Cubs got starting righthanded pitcher Carlos Silva from Seattle, he’s the Mariners version of a mistake signing, $25 million over the next two years.  Since signing his lucrative contract the injured hurler has posted a record of 5-17 over the past two seasons, perhaps a change of scenery will do him good, but don’t count on it.

Getting back to the lame excuse Hendry gave for bringing Bradley to the Northside of Chicago in the first place, the team needed a lefthanded bat to balance out their lineup, after getting swept by the Dodgers following a 1st place finish a couple of years ago.  There were some very high quality alternatives to Milton, Raul Ibanez (a lefthanded hitter & one of the nicest guys in baseball) signed with the Phillies and Bobby Abreu (a lefthanded hitter, with a long career of solid numbers, & a decent rightfielder) signed with the Angels, both for less than Bradley’s contract.

Milton Bradley will probably do pretty well as Seattle’s regular DH in 2010, but most certainly it won’t last.  The Mariners will be his eighth team in ten years.  How many bridges must a man burn before there are none left to cross?

Dugout confrontation with Indians manager Eric Wedge in spring training before getting traded to the Dodgers.

3 Responses to “Milton is Now a Mariner”

  1. The Mariners are loading up.

    I like Carlos Silva. He was OK for about four years with the Twins. Not much the last couple of years in Seattle.

    I’ll say this for him: The S.O.B. THROWS STRIKES. He takes some brutal beatings, but he always comes back for more. And he doesn’t pitch around ANYBODY. I’ll tell you this: He THROWS STRIKES. I think you Cub fans are going to like this guy.

    The guy in my sports life who resembles your “cancer” (Milton Bradley) is Kobe. I didn’t “have a hard time rooting for a team he is on” because I just quit rooting for the Lakers. What’s it gonna be? Him or me? After the Denver hotel room, either that guy is gone, or I am.

    Kobe dropped 40+ (surprised I can find the + sign, aren’t you?) on the Bulls Tuesday night. I watched off and on with little emotion. When it was over, I shrugged my shoulders, shut the lights off & went to bed.

    Words of Wisdom: The opposite of love is not “hate.” The opposite of love is “indifference.”

    DonS.

  2. The closest thing to Kobe Bryant in my life is Woody Allen. I always thought Woody Allen was extremely funny, laugh out loud funny! But ever since he left his wife Mia Farrow for their adopted daughter, that was it. Never watch him anymore, lost all respect for him, and will never watch him again. In my book, he doesn’t exist.

    Albert Belle would be the closest guy I can think of to Milton Bradley, but Albert could really mash!

  3. Last week, our group was in Peoria (Arizona) for the Texas-Seattle game on St. Patrick’s Day. Milton was called out on strikes for the second time in 2 at bats that night (seemingly the only guy making any outs). He yelled something at the umpire and was ejected.

    Tossed from a practice game. NICE.

    I learned from Tedd Mallasch: Guys don’t change.

    DonS.

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