Sunday, September 20, 2009

Milton Bradley Screws Himself Over Again

Must be what the kids call a "character flaw" or something:
Milton Bradley's season is finished. Perhaps his days with the Chicago Cubs are, too.

The Cubs suspended their volatile outfielder for the rest of the season Sunday, one day after he criticized the team in a newspaper interview.

Bradley was disciplined for conduct detrimental to the team. General manager Jim Hendry said he decided to send Bradley home after learning of the player's remarks in the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald of Illinois. Bradley, scratched from Saturday's lineup with a sore left knee, was quoted as saying "you understand why they haven't won in 100 years here."

Bradley has two years remaining on a three-year, $30 million contract that he signed as a free agent last offseason. Hendry said he doesn't know if the relationship can be salvaged.

"The last few days became too much for me to tolerate," Hendry said. "I just decided late last night that's what I was going to do, and I didn't give it a lot of thought what's going to transpire moving forward."

There's nothing wrong with going out and paying too much money for a head case--Manny Ramirez suddenly felt a breeze on his shoulder and when he reached up to touch his ear, he drew his hand back immediately, feeling the hot burn of being mentioned by the one millionth sports fan/blogger/lameass who notes his tendency to be an overpaid head case from time to time. You have to try to get one who will help your team. That's the tricky part, and there are a lot of teams who would have pulled the trigger on Bradley, hence his ridiculous salary.

A large part of the problem stems from the fact that Bradley cannot cope with being a professional baseball player:
In the newspaper story, Bradley also was quoted as saying the team did not have a "positive environment." He said he didn't know if he'd be back next season.

"I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment," Bradley told the newspaper. "There's too many people everywhere in your face with a microphone asking the same questions repeatedly.

"Everything is just bashing you. It's just negativity."

It's as if he's a babe in the woods, isn't it? He needs to be coddled and kissed and treated like something he is not, which is valuable and essential for a team to win. The Cubs are, pretty much, done for the season anyway. They are 8.5 back in the wild card and are looking up at the Cardinals, who have a commanding 11 game lead in the division.

Bradley was a piece that didn't fit. But for a few business moves here and there, he'd be imploding somewhere else. The Cubs will be fine--the best thing they can do is hang on to Lou Piniella. Any manager that can get to September with Milton Bradley without killing him outright is a man who can handle the game of baseball.

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