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.