Entries Tagged as 'Milton Bradley'

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.

Milton Bradley: getting bad vibes, great obp

Say what you want about Milton Bradley but it doesn’t look like he’s having a good time in right field.  According to beat writer Carrie Muskat, Bradley’s enduring a fair amount of “hatred” during games courtesy of Cub fans.

Bradley doesn’t hold back:

"All I’m saying is I pray the game is nine innings, so I can go out there the least amount of time possible and go home."

Wow.  Good natured ribbing or fan abuse?  Or just a over-sensitive rightfielder?

Either way, maybe the fans are targeting the wrong guy.  It’s easy to look at Bradley’s season batting average of .259 and think he’s not pulling his weight.  But look at his stats in the last 20 days.  In that period, he’s batting .306 with a nifty .411 OBP (and that’s not including tonight’s game when he hit a homerun). 

Since he’s moved to the second spot, the Cubs have leveraged his on base potential the best that a team in their position can.  MB has had two 4-hit games in that same period. 

So Cub fans, go easy on the guy.  Pick on the beer vendor. 

Cubs show reason not to give up

The Cubs managed to avoid a sweep and more embarrassment as Rich Harden pitched a gem of a game against the Padres.  Harden only allowed a hit in seven frames. 

The best part of it is that Cubs came through with some offense too.  Milton Bradley and Aramis Ramirez both banged out homers for the good guys. 

Bradley, though he gets a lot of flack, has improved over the season.  His second half number are looking a whole lot better.  Since the All-Star break, he’s hitting .301 and perhaps more importantly, his OBP is .431. 

Wednesday’s win is just one game, yes, but I think if it was a loss, we’d be seeing a whole lot more about the Cubs in today’s sport columns.  And it wouldn’t be a fun read.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been calls already by the sports media for this season’s demise for the Cubs .  Some of it probably fueled by GM Jim Hendry’s statement to the press that sounded almost apologetic:

”If things don’t go well, certainly it’s my responsibility.  ‘That being said, we’ve got a real good team. We just haven’t played up to our capabilities. It’s kind of a mystery to all of us. We’ve got a lot of guys that have hit their whole lives who haven’t hit. We’ve done a very, very poor job all year of hitting with men on base. So it’s frustrating.

Before Cub fans start pushing the panic button, they should consider this:

  • The Cubs have a winning record in the second half of 2009 UNLIKE the first half.
  • It was not two weeks ago that the Cubs finished their best run of the season when they went 14-6.
  • The Cubs remaining schedule is full of teams they can beat up on.  Washington, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St Louis (yeah, I said it, St Louis)

Right now though, the Cubs need to focus on the here and now.  And the here and now is the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Tom Gorzelanny will be facing Jeff Weaver tonight. 

Interesting pre-game stat:  Aaron Miles is 6 for 15 lifetime against Weaver. 

Go Cubs!

Injuries abound early in 2009

Every year it’s the same but more.  Earlier and earlier, injuries are taking their toll on the players.  Reading the baseball news is like a who’s who in the injury report.  Santana, Wood, Bonderman, the list goes on…

Now we hear Boof Bonser is out for 2009. 

Milton Bradley barely made it out of the dugout in the first game before coming out because of tightness in his quad.  (To add insult to injury, Mark DeRosa is off to a good start, with a homerun under his belt).

Granted, some of these are not serious and for the most part precautionary moves to prevent something that would impact their teams down the road.  That said, playing these kind of games this early in the (pre-) season doesn’t bode well for any (ok, most) teams who have to deal with this.

Query:  How much does steroids (or maybe, the withdrawal of steroids) have to do with increase of injuries in the MLB right now?

Bradley being Mr Nice Guy

Not only did Milton Bradley show up to camp two days early (something I always like to see) but he had some good things to say about us Cub fans:

He called the Cubs Convention a “nice fest,” and added: “It helps the transition for me when you’re dealing with people that are nice and appreciative and always in your corner. It hasn’t always been that way for me.”

Is this a turn for the mean ol’ Milton Bradley?  He went on about why he was so happy joining the Chicago Cubs:

“It’s the Cubs,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to play for the Cubs? Wrigley Field, already have a great team in place. … I’ll come in and just try to add something to that mix.

Who IS this guy?  Give me the old MB back.  I want the Milton Bradley with an edge to him.  The aggressive one.  The MEAN one.  Ok, maybe take that last one back.  Maybe.

I’m sure the Milton Bradley we all know and love will return.  Give him time.

By the way, it wasn’t so much that I was against the Cubs getting Milton Bradley this off-season but that I felt the media was portraying Bradley as this savior that was going to lead our Cubbies to the promised land ala the World Series.  There’s no doubt Bradley is talented but there’s no excuse for exaggerating reality. 

2009 Cubs Convention Attendees list

Here’s the updated schedule for the 2009 Cubs Convention this weekend.  This time it’s complete with an attendees list.

And it comes with one glaring addition… Milton Bradley.  Since his signing he’s been added to the list.

Be gentle with him, Cub fans.  He’s a tad delicate.

Here’s the full list of attendees:

  • Ernie Banks
  • Darwin Barney
  • Glenn Beckert
  • Milton Bradley
  • Bob Brenly
  • Bill Buckner
  • Randy Bush
  • Jose Cardenal
  • Neal Cotts
  • Doug Dascenzo
  • Jody Davis
  • Ryan Dempster
  • Bob Dernier
  • Ivan DeJesus
  • Leon Durham
  • Oneri Fleita
  • Mike Fontenot
  • Joey Gathright
  • Doug Glanville
  • Kevin Gregg
  • Brandon Guyer
  • Rich Harden
  • Kevin Hart
  • Jim Hendry
  • Koyie Hill
  • Micah Hoffpauir
  • Pat Hughes
  • Randy Hundley
  • Ferguson Jenkins
  • Len Kasper
  • Crane Kenney
  • Derrek Lee
  • Reed Johnson
  • Ted Lilly
  • Carlos Marmol
  • Sean Marshall
  • Aaron Miles
  • Keith Moreland
  • Gerald Perry
  • Lou Piniella
  • Larry Rothschild
  • Rick Reuschel
  • Mike Quade
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Ryne Sandberg
  • Scott Sanderson
  • Ron Santo
  • Matt Sinatro
  • Lee Smith
  • Alfonso Soriano
  • Geovany Soto
  • Tim Stoddard
  • Lester Strode
  • Rick Sutcliffe
  • Ryan Theriot
  • Alan Trammell
  • Steve Trout
  • Tim Wilken
  • Billy Williams
  • Carlos Zambrano

Let’s Play the Game of Baseball

milton_bradley Old Faithful hasn’t erupted as regularly as Bradley, which explains why Chicago is his seventh organization in nine seasons, following stays with Montreal (where he was suspended for spitting gum at an umpire); Cleveland (where he battled with Manager Eric Wedge); the Dodgers (where he threw a water bottle at fans, was investigated for domestic violence three times and was arrested for disorderly conduct); Oakland; San Diego (where he tore a knee while being restrained from charging an umpire); and Texas he tried to confront a TV announcer who had some unflattering things to say about him. In fairness to Bradley, though, it hasn’t always been his fault. In Los Angeles, for example, a fan threw the water bottle first, and no charges were filed in any of the domestic violence calls. And in the incident when he was with the Padres, it was umpire Mike Winters who was suspended for baiting Bradley.

The Cubs got him for his bat, not to win a Miss Congeniality award. Bradley achieved career high in batting average .321, homers 22, RBIs 77, runs scored 78, and walks 80, in only 126 games with the Rangers last year. Chicago felt their lineup needed better representation from the leftside of the plate, hence the Bradley signing. I’m wondering how he’ll react when the rightfield bleacher bums come down on him for his bonehead defense, he only played 20 games in the outfield last year in Texas, making 3 errors & picking up 3 assists, he played in 126 games, 97 as a designated hitter, something not featured in the National League.

I don’t really see where the Cubs picked up that much in Bradley & Miles over DeRosa & Fukudome. I know it might’ve cost a little more, but they would have been much better off picking up Bobby Abreu to play rightfield, a better all around player than Bradley, without all the baggage, who shows up to play everyday. Abreu has driven in 100 runs, seven different times, and has scored 100 runs, eight times, and two other seasons he just missed the century mark with 99 & 98. But, it’s not my money, and who knows? Look what happened when the White Sox brought in malcontent Carl Everett, but just because a guy’s a goofball, doesn’t make him a clubhouse leader.