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.
The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.
I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.