Milton Bradley: Foot Meet Mouth

(Hat tip to MLBTR for the link)

This article will do Milton Bradley no favors with the fans or the press that is already trying to poke him with a stick like 10-year olds at a zoo trying to wake up a sleeping lion.

"My agent was saying that Jon Daniels was telling him, 'There are
days when he doesn’t want to play because of his health,’ " Bradley
said.

"Well, you can get a healthy guy to go out there and play 162 games, but he won’t do what I did in 120."

A bit self-serving as the article notes, but rather perceptive as well for a major league player. But unfortunately he goes on...

"If I’m being paid, and I’ve got the commitment to me that I give to
them, you make more of an effort to be out there every day," he said.

"When
you’re on one-year deals constantly, you’ve got to put up as good
numbers as you can. When you have days where you’re not feeling like
you can contribute, you’re not going to go out there, because you’re
not going to want your numbers to suck.

"So, if you’re in a
situation like I am now, if they want me to go out there when I’m
feeling a little banged up, I’ve got no problem doing that because
they’ve made the commitment to me."

I imagine there are a lot of baseball players that feel that way and Milton sure isn't worried about what people think of him. But that just isn't going to go over well in a new city and a new fanbase that he's trying to win over. We as fans tend to romanticize the game of baseball and ignore that it's a business and job for the players, but on the other hand, Milton should have probably left that unsaid. And you know the Chicago press will be all over him for that one. The article also mentions...

.... Bradley was prone to
sporadically calling in sick, including missing 10 of 11 games in early
August as the Rangers lapsed from wild-card contenders to pretenders.

Plus,
at the same time when Bradley was randomly removing himself from
lineups, Michael Young was playing nearly every day despite having
broken fingers on both hands.

Young never complained about Milton. That’s not Michael’s style. But his teammates certainly noticed.

No good shall come of this...

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Comments

He might be trying to say he'll actually be more willing to struggle through injuries now that he has the security of a long-term deal.

Of course he will during the first year to try to get the third year to vest.

If he dogs it the third year, it's the kind of shit to shove back in his face and yell, "Get your ass on the field."

But, in March 2009, I actually find this refreshing, as I take it to mean he's here to play baseball and put the team above himself.

Of course, Rob is right about one thing - the Chicago media can't wait to sink their teeth into it.

He might be trying to say he'll actually be more willing to struggle
through injuries now that he has the security of a long-term deal.

yeah, that's exactly what he's trying to say, but it's going to come off as he just cares about making money. And if he is on the DL all year and not going to make his option, is he going to keep sitting himself out?

The answer is of course not, but that's kind of what it sounds like. And you know, fans and the press in general just don't take kindly to guys saying they won't play through anything. Shall we not forget Mark Prior's vagina for not pitching through a shoulder tear?

yeah, it's gonna be interesting to see how cubs fans at large react to this.

"yeah, it's gonna be interesting to see how cubs fans at large react to this."

I'll tell you how they'll react. Hit and put up numbers, no one will care. Alfonso is usually misses 10-40 games a year, but when he's in there he's stroking the ball (when not K-ing)...and it's okay with Cubs fans.

Mayhap, but I'm not sure that he's specifically talking about money. I think he was trying to say that teams haven't shown loyalty or commitment to him in the past (only giving 1-year deals), but the Cubs have given him a multiple year deal which he sees as a commitment to him, and thus he's more willing to play through pain for the sake of the team.

That's how I took it, too.

Bradley could have been talking about how he's sworn a Wookie oath to Hendry and the Cubs, but throwing out phrases like "If I’m being paid" and "you’re not going to go out there, because you’re
not going to want your numbers to suck."
is going to get picked apart...

 

Perhaps Milton should just have kept his mouth shut?

Story of his life.

I hope MB and the Cubs tear up the league so badly that he can sit the whole month of September and pretend he is shutting it down. Milton strikes me as a no bullshit kind of a guy, and I can appreciate his brutal honesty. He might need to watch how things come across a bit better, but he obviously doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

Think about it - Fuku stunk for the last 4 months of last season, DLee was very average on offense, and the Cubs have majorly upgraded a position with Bradley. If Soto and Theriot don't come crashing back to earth, the Cubs offense should be better than last season, with no real holes to speak of (unless Miles gets 400 ABs, of course). I think we could average about 6 runs per game, if all cylinders are clicking and no one breaks down...

Speaking of broke, has anyone heard how Scott Eyre is doing financially?

The Cubs will not be better offensively this season barring some minor miracles...

On paper, they have improved offense output at 2B (if Fontenot starts) and RF, and no one else has really changed with the switch to move Fuku to CF instead of right. I also think DLee and Fuku will be better than last year, so how is that not improved? I don't think it will take miracles to be better than last year, unless you consider Bradley staying healthy being one...

"no one else has really changed with the switch to move Fuku to CF instead of right."

The offense might be significantly weaker in CF -- Edmonds slugged .568 and had an OPS+ of 136 for the Cubs. That won't be easy for Fukudome to duplicate (he slugged .379 with a 90 OPS+).

D Lee hitting better constitutes a "minor miracle", imo. The trend for him has been in the other direction.

The offense is weaker this year. I hope the contenders in the division are also weak. I hope Harden stays relatively healthy (20+ starts). And I hope Demp continues to defy logic. If those things happen and with a little luck it will be a decent year and we should see some Oct. ball again.

You guys have a Kool Aid Morphine drip if you think the Cubs have somehow "upgraded" this offseason. This team is an 85-88 win club as it sits.

Im sure that some people will think that I;m being negative. I would counter that you would be a farking pollyanna.

The cubs have really missed a golden opportunity this offseason.

your points are very convincing.

i wasn't sold on your view, but now i am. i like the part about the golden opportunity the best because it reminds me of that charlie and the chocolate factory movie. that was awesome.

I assume by "you guys" you meant the one person who said it....

I think the offense will fall back a bit, the pitching should be about the same, possibly better depending on a potential full season of Harden and the new 5th starter, even accounting for Dempster regressing somewhat.

I'd be surprised if they don't win 90.

Who is the breakout candidate this year?

Harden
Fukudome
Fontenot

If 2 of those guys have HUGE breakout type seasons, then we might be as good as last year. However I just don't see any evidence that Fontenot and Fukudome will be upgrades over DeRosa and Edmonds? I hope it's the case, but to expect it seems wishful at best.

odd math and combo of players you're counting on...especially since m.bradley is missing from that math.

it's not a far stretch to believe fontenot can do what derosa did...

f'n noone knows what to expect from the fuku, but ob% aside it's gonna be hard to do much worse.

harden in, marquis out...heilman or marshall "backing up"...

As luck would have it, Fukudome doesn't have to be an upgrade over Edmonds. He just has to be an upgrade over Fukudome. Bradley has to be an upgrade over Edmonds.

Miles has to be an upgrade over Cedeno on defense and at bat, and Gathright has to replace Cedeno in pinch-running assignments. Both quite doable.

Edmonds is the laundry in "rooting for laundry."

Huh?

If Marshall is in the #5 slot, and Harden throws 20+ starts in the #4 slot, and Z, Lilly, and Dempster combine to give the same production as last year, the rotation is better than last year.

Fontenot has a very good chance of being at least as good as DeRosa.

And Fukudome does not have to be an upgrade over Edmonds. Bradley does. Johnson/Fukudome need to be as good or better than Johnson/Fukudome were last year.

Of course, you already know that, but it just doesn't fit within your argument as well.

why does anyone have to break out? the only breakout players last year were DeRosa and Theriot and I guess Soto. Well Edmonds was a huge surprise, but Bradley should come pretty close to that even in a down year for him. If they keep Reed hitting against lefties, he should do about the same. So the offense I think will give back a little, but they were easily the best in the league last year, so now they may be second. Probably not a big difference...

Pitching-wise, and it's a big if, you 've got Harden for a full season, and you've possibly upgraded from Marquis with Marshall or Heilman. That should easily offset anything Dempster gives back and possibly be a gain. I don't really think Z or Lilly are going to be that much different, although it would never suprise me if Z puts up a monster year.

I think the bench and bullpen are a bit weaker, but it's minor. Bullpens are tough to predict as is...

And I'm not predicting 97 wins like last year, but around the 90 mark.

You guys are falling in the trap of thinking this season will be a video game. To repeat last season we are having to hope that

1. Milton Bradley plays more than 90 games
2. Rich Harden stays relativly healthy
3. Ryan Dempster defies all evidence and is the Demp of 2008
4. Lee,Aramis and Soriano all avoid the injury bug again
5. Lilly or Z stay healthy as well
6. Miles and Fontenot equal Mark DeRosa
7. Reed Johnson and Fukudome can replace both Edmonds and the 70-100 games that Milton Bradley misses

I'm not saying that none of these will happen. But to think they all will is a little bit wishful.

well yes to repeat 97 wins, then all of those have to happen. Actually if all of those happen, they'll probably top 100 wins since they'll have Harden for a full season and Bradley healthy for most of the year.

Since I said I think they'll win around 90 games, I'm not expecting them all to happen. 7 less wins is pretty significant, it's just the Cubs have a huge cushion.

I hope its the case. I'm just ready for this team to be in the series. I just wish they made some different moves this offseason.

I wish they would've gone back in time and signed Baby Ruth to play right field. Then, I wish for the gift of song. Then, I wish for 3 more wishes.
Wash...rinse...repeat...

I wish I was a little bit taller. I wish I was a baller.

Do you think that Fontenot > DeRosa at 2b?

if bradley's gonna be that brutally honest about something so stupid why wouldn't he follow through on not "calling it in"? he could have avoided it totally, but owned up to it and laid out his plan for the future.

don't make it cool...or take away from the fact he now has a "history" of doing it...or make him a warmer/fuzzier classic cubbie scrapper...but the guy just put his own neck on the line.

i just hope it doesn't turn into some "thing" the first time he's being held out more than 1 game for rest/minor-injury. that should be interesting.

i just hope it doesn't turn into some "thing" the first time he's being
held out more than 1 game for rest/minor-injury. that should be
interesting.

that's exactly what it's going to turn into...

although I never really followed WSux uproars, this reminds me of Frank Thomas who also was reknown by putting his foot in his mouth on several occasions. Frank never could avoid saying stupid stuff to the Chicago media.

It's not like Bradley really meant to create an uproar. I'm sure if he realized the implications of how he was answering the question he could have worded things more pc.

Explanation #1: He probably wants more "respect" than he's ever got before. I'm not sure MB even knows what that really means although $$ certainly is a part of the equation. So these one year deals, year after year, especially knowing that many of these years ended badly with injuries. This has made him somewhat of a vagabond...hopefully, until now. And as a one year hire and knowing his history of fragility, he probably was nervous every time his body acted up and instinctively went into cautious mode.

Note that the last paragraph is chock full of bullshit. I'll leave it up to someone else to provide a better politically correct explanation.

Dan Hampton he's not.

wtf is with the netherlands team...they're in the 7th with a 0-0 game.

they keep marching out crappy pitching and shutting teams down that should be plowing through them.

Bottom 9 now - still scoreless.

Dominicans started Ubaldo Jiminez. 4IP 2H 0R 10K. He faced 13 batters and struck out 10 of them.

yeah, the hitting is basically randall simon and...

...umm

uh...

can someone tell exactly why DER NEDERLANDS BORK BORK BORK and it's territories have 6 baseball academies? hehe...

i also think it's rad one of their pitchers looks like the blond nerd from Revenge of the Nerds (that ER show doctor dude later in life).

Someone needs to tell the Domini's that they are playing the Dutch.

this game is crazy...

top 11, DOM scores a run...

marmol pitching in the bottom 11th...gives up a leadoff double to durdur ver derkdur

and we have a tie game...double, advancing groundout, single...

marmol throws it away on a pickoff...winning run on 3rd, 1 out...

strikeout (on a guy with 3 already in the game), 2 out...

IBB randall "hotdog killah" simon...

I forgot Dutch are home team, I saw DR score I thought it was over on computer.

Hopefully dutch win so Marmol gets back.

dutch are the home team.

single wins it.

wow.

Hit 30 hrs and knock in 100, he can kill kittens between innings for all I care.

DUTCH WIN
DUTCH WIN
DUTCH WIN

WOW!

HOLY SHIT

What's with the wierd phantom of the opera music?

Eyebar should have caught that.

Oh Geez... Marmol to be a headcase for the next couple months...

Hmmm... I was thinking the opposite: Good, now the DR is out, Marmol can get back into camp and focus on the real season.

Everyone say congrats to the new Papa!!!!

you had sex! aweeeeeeeeeeeeeeesome!!!!!!

congrats on the kid.

wow, sex...neat. *childish giggling and snorting*

WTF was that slide into first?

that was a 17th century beating

Old World style.

It's amazing what playing good baseball will do for you at Wrigley. Look at what happened to Jim Edmonds, largely considered a huge douche until he started belting XBH & HR and played a decent CF.

Like jacos said (or eluded to), I don't think what Bradley says is as important as what he does.

I think that it is "alluded" but I like "eluded" much more.

I also regularly mix up "beseech" and "behoove".

Piniella said he plans to skip his fifth starter (probably Sean Marshall) the first time through the rotation because of a day off between the first two series. That means Zambrano and Dempster will pitch in that early Milwaukee series.

bet you it's Rich Harden that is getting skipped...

I'm sure the Chicago media (and national, probably ESPN) will be all over this and BCB-type Cubs "fans" might be pissed, but honestly, who cares? If you haven't figured out these guys are in it for the money (at least partly) and value their own worth based on how much they're getting paid, you're not paying attention. As someone said, this is at least honest and thus a little refreshing.

Keep your head on straight, Milton, keep your ass on the field, and things will go swimmingly.

Who would've thought a team full of windmill-style pitchers could beat the Dominicans?

So here's the formula for underdog success in international competition: clogs instead of spikes, pot instead of steroids, and the most famous player should be best known for a hit on an Italian sausage.

If MB has his career year with the Cubs, he can personally get in my face and call me a pansy loser secret Cardinals fan, for all I care -- I'll still have a man crush on the guy.

Well those quotes pretty much sum up what i have said about Bradley. Biggest fucking pussy in baseball.

The very fact that he thinks he is more valuable over 120 games than someone who plays 162 shows how stupid, lazy, and full of crap he is.

The very fact that he thinks he is more valuable over 120 games than someone who plays 162 shows how stupid, lazy, and full of crap he is.

Sure... except for the fact that he WAS more valuable in 120 games than the vast majority of players who played in more games last year.

But other than the facts, sure, he is full of crap.

Last I checked the season doesn't end after 120 games, baseball is played over a 162 games. There is nothing valuable about a guy who is slated as a starter and only "feels" like playing 120 games. Hell he didn't even have to play defense in Texas and still he wasn't up to playing. What is it going to be like when he actually has to carry his lazy ass to the OF each half inning? You might be lucky if he gets 300 AB's.

you gotta balance your prediction with the fact the guy just came out and offered all of this up.

no, it's not patting on the head for telling the truth, so it's not about that...

he had no reason to go in the direction he went in, no reason to offer up that wealth of information about the situation, or even "come clean" about anything. he just gave up what was his truth (like it or not) and proclaimed his own view and resolution. he kinda "dropped a bomb" vs. what many many many others would say in his situation and it's not like if he didn't say anything players and GMs were lining up to call him out.

it don't make everything fine, but it is what it is...

Calling out Milton Bradley, a player that hasn't had an at bat? Is someone seeking a scape goat for the DeRosa trade? I live in DFW area and attended several Rangers games. The Rangers were in the Wild card until late August due to all the freakin' runs they could score. Bradley was very much a part of that as any TR last year. The losing streak that got them out of contention was due to injuries to Blalock and Kinsler at key times that were blamed for the collapse, that plus the season long lack of pitching. While I'm sure Bradley got tired of losing 12-8 after leading 7-2, etc. Losing like that became an every day experience, and Ron Washington was in great danger of losing his job. The Rangers (read: Nolan Ryan) now are paying Mike Maddox (former Brewer) a lot of money to turn the staff around and that's where the major changes have been made. Nobody is calling out Bradley for last year. Nobody. Bradley is still liked here and for the most part fans and media wish he would have stayed. The only other thing that prevented him from a monster season here, IMO, is the stupid, idiotic, dumb, horrendous, stinko DH rule in the American league, altho (to his credit) it gave him a paycheck while his knee was healing. So he's giving an honest answer as to why he had 200 less AB's than Hamilton. So what? Everyone else did too, except Young.

He's gonna have a good year, and D Lee will respond with one of his best, and Aramis will be MVP...put that in your archives and smoke it.

Now, let's give Aaron Miles a chance, too, shall we?

I'm having trouble following this logic. If it weren't for the DH, Bradley wouldn't have played in that high total of 126 games, right? If he HAD to play the OF, would he have sucked it up and done so? Judging by his comments, doesn't seem likely. More likely, he would've "earned" his paycheck by continuing to call in sick.

This is a great quote because at one point it makes the arguement when the going gets tough, Milton Bradley goes into "Operation Shutdown." When his team was dealing with serious injuries Bradley could have stepped up and played instead he called in sick with the sniffles or whatever.

People are missing one major factor of his contract. I keep hearing over and over that he needs to play to get his vesting 3rd year option. Mmmmmm no he doesn't. His contract 3rd year kicks in only if he spends less than 75 days on the DL. But for people that don't know a thing about Bradley is that he has made a career of going weeks without stepping on the field and not going on the DL. He is a master of the "day to day" injury.

Remember he missed 42 games last year with only 1 short DL stint in April(i think). The rest of the games he missed he was never placed on the DL. He can easily come in under the 75 days on the DL in the 2 years and still only get 300-400 AB's a year.

He is gonna get his $30 million and he is going to do it by playing the least amount of games he possibly can. You can pretty much bank on that, that is what his entire career has centered around. Getting paid by doing the least amount of work and effort to get it.

I'm with you on this, artskoe...

Let's not throw everyone under the bus before the season even kicks off!

Bradley will be an upgrade over Edmonds (IMO)
Fontenot will be an upgrade over DeRosa (IMO)

All the other 6 starting positions are the same guys as last year, so assuming the 6 as whole play as well as last year (some guys better, some guys worse), you lose nothing there. Hoffpauir is an upgrade over Ward. Miles is serviceable. Gathright is not an offensive juggernaut, but he would be the same as Pie (defense, PR, bunting). Backup C is worse, but who gives a shit?

Keep in mind that the division as a whole is worse than last season, with no Sheets and CC, so MY OPINION is that we'll be as good offensively against lesser opponents as we were last year. No one can predict injuries or how long/hard a guy is going to play, so this is all semantics anyways.

We may not win 97 games again because we could (if things go well) be resting a lot of guys come September. Let's see how it all plays out, shall we?

I like discussing different points of view without being called a 'tard, so thanks to those of you who can control yourselves...

but he would be the same as Pie (defense, PR, bunting)

FWIW, Gathright does not half of the defensive ability that Pie has.

FWIW Joey Gathright is going to be the savior of this team. Mark it down, prediction of the year.

So we really have people here who think Fontenot can approach DeRo's 2008 season? Or are we talking about his 2007 and previous years? Because I don't see any way Fontenot approaches the DeRo of last year, and I like the guy.

15-20 homers, 30+ doubles, .285/.370 avg/ob% isn't that high of a bar for fontenot, imo.

the ob% part might be a little tricky, but he's got the pop and contact skills for the rest of it if he can keep it together all season.

Agreed. Fontenot, I think, could approach the numbers of DeRosa from 2008, but he probably won't. Of course, neither will DeRosa.

If Fontenot can put up nearly the same numbers as DeRo, but do it batting left handed, doesn't that actually make him better than DeRosa? I mean, from the left side of the plate. Come on. DeRo can't do that.

ps. Actually a big Fontenot supporter. He'll do just fine. The offense will be just fine regardless of where Lee hits, too. It's all going to come down to how many healthy starts the team gets from Z, Lilly, Dempster, Marshall, Harden, and Heilman, and how few starts they need Gaudin, Atkins, Wells, Guzman, and miscellaneous others to make. 87 wins takes the division (it would be fewer, except everyone gets to play the Pirates).

I do hope you're right Crunch, and I'm pulling for Fontenot.

However, if he can hit over a full season, .285, hit 15-20 HR's...etc...why hasn't he been a 2B in the bigs yet? He'll be 29 in June, it's not like he's some kid player.

Because of the Cub's top of the line, all-star caliber, 2B's blocking the way.

Todd Walker
Mark Grudzelanek
Delino Deshields
Eric Young
Micky Morindini

I know I'm going before his time, but it's killing time at work.

Lol...funny... Delino...AUUUUGH!!!

Were Grudz and Walker really that bad though?

Walker: .289/.348/.435
Grudz:.290/.332/.395

Admittedly. Grudz couldn't stay healthy his second season in Chicago, and has not much power. He must do something right to play long enough to get 2000 hits.

if grudz and walker didnt spend every other week being injured for 2-3 days at a time it would have been nice...but they were the least of the club's issues with player talent.

fontenot is/was a 1-position (2nd) guy with a "boring" middle IF bat with developing power. he puts the ball in play and doesn't take a lot of walks.

granted, his power probably taps out around the 20HR area, but 2nd base hasn't been an issue the past few years so he's been lingering in pinch hit and AAA/majors roles.

he's nothing special...not trash. he's added more muscle to his frame the past 2 years, too, fwiw.

Don't get me wrong, I'm pulling for Fontenot. If for no other reason, than to NOT see Aaron Miles much.

I just think people are being a little hasty to anoint him as anything yet. Let's see how he does getting 450-550 at bats first, not just as a part-time player.

Bradley was prone to sporadically regularly calling in sick

There, that's fixed.

I'm a proud Dutch-American today...go Big Orange.

Also, sorry to be slightly OT, but so much of this thread reminds me of some Seinfeld dialogue:

FG: They still have no pitching. Gooden's a question mark. ...You don't recover from those rotator cuffs so fast.

JS: I'm not worried about their best pitching. They got pitching. ...They got no hitting.

FG: No hitting? They got hitting! Bonilla, Murray. ...They got no defense.

JS: Defense? Please. ...They need speed.

FG: Speed? They got Coleman. ...They need a bullpen.

JS: Franco's no good? ...They got no team leaders.

FG: They got Franco! ...What they need is a front office.

JS: But you gotta like their chances.

FG: I LUV their chances.

phil, if the cubs win the pennant, i'll ride the bart with you naked.

lol Chad..."Bryn Mawr, no smoking, eating, or loud radio playing on the train. Let the people off".

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