Bradley's Error Will Live On in Cub Lore Forever...or Maybe Not
Though we're in early June, the Cubs are still very much in the thick of the division race (mathematically, at least), and Milton Bradley's bone-headed play in right field didn't cost the Cubs a victory on Friday or even a single run, the symbolic potential of this play is truly awesome.
It is a lightning rod for everyone who:
- Hates the fact that Milton Bradley is on this team, and/or...
- Hates the fact Mark DeRosa is not on this team, and/or...
- Feels that Jim Hendry shouldn't have taken such a heavy hand to overhauling a 97-win team, and/or...
- Thinks Lou Piniella is coddling these underachievers too much and isn't publicly calling them out enough, and/or...
- Is just sick and tired of all these decades of Cub bumbling and fumbling, regardless of who is the Bumbler of the Moment.
(By the way, count me among the last group.)
Of course, the Cubs could still turn this season around and then "Milton's Mistake" ("Bradley's Boner"?) would just become a humorous footnote when the story of 2009 is finally written.
Right now, nobody in Cubdom is laughing.
Pragmatically speaking, our own Arizona Phil, in a response to The E-Man in the comments following the previous post, pointed out the following:
Milton Bradley's automatic "no
trade" (the one he got as an Article XX MLB FA who signed
a major league contract after the end of the Free-Agency Filing Period)
runs through this coming Monday.
So if Hendry were so inclined, he could trade Bradley (without having
to get Bradley's approval and without any restrictions) starting on
Tuesday. And with the Rangers having lost Josh Hamilton for a while,
they might possibly be interested in reacquirng Milton, bringing him
back to the place where he had his best year and seemed the most at
ease, and where he can DH full-time. Of course the Cubs would have to
eat some of his salary or take back a similar contract, but so it
Now, Aaron Miles has not and does not have a "no trade," so it's just a
matter of finding a taker (ANY taker) for him, even if it's the
Cardinals or the Brewers. Of course that still won't bring DeRosa back,
but sometimes there's something called "addition by subtraction."
Back in the early 1990's the Cubs signed free-agents Danny Jackson
and Candy Maldonado, and both were lemons. But the Cubs were able to
make a little bit o' lemonade out of it, by trading Maldonado to
Cleveland for Glenallen Hill and Jackson to Pittsburgh for Steve
Buechele, and both deals actually filled needs and made the Cubs a
better club. So all is not lost.Yet.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?