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.
Theo inks five year extension
PC tonite at PNC
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.