Milton Bradley's Losing Friends
A few stories have popped up since I wrote the last one, so let me update.
"I told him to take his uniform off," Lou said. "He threw his helmet
and smashed a water cooler, water flying all over. I just told him to
take his uniform off and go home. I followed him up into the clubhouse,
and we exchanged some words."
Lou added that he had seen enough and that he'd talk more with Milton tomorrow.
Apparently, the Cubs feel that Bradley is acting selfishly. GM Jim
Hendry talked with us in the runway after the game and said he wanted
players to be "all in."
I pressed him on that, and he said that "all in" means all for the
team. Some of Bradley's teammates also are beginning to wonder.
Alright, so we know for sure Lou sent him home. The "acting selfishly" perked up my ears though and that teammates are beginning to wonder. That led me to this gem from Alfonso Soriano courtesy of Muskat.
Alfonso Soriano said he'd never seen a player and manager fight the way Piniella and Bradley did.
"I hope he comes back and he can help the team to win," Soriano said
of Bradley. "If he's not that way, we don't need him. We have 25
players, we have to be on the same page. If he's not 100 percent to
help the team to win, we don't need him. If he's 100 percent and he
comes and wants to play, he's more than welcome."
Hey pot, meet the kettle. Let's start with Soriano refusing to move to left field a few years back for the Nationals before finally relenting... a real team player moment. Next there's Soriano's loose insistence on batting leadoff. Oh sure, he's stated in public he doesn't care where he bats as long as he stays in the same place but there's certainly some resistance on Soriano's part to get moved. If he was 100% on helping the team win, he'd stop trying to hit a home run every at-bat and would have asked long ago to get dropped to the bottom of the order to stop taking precious at-bats while he swings at everything that's pitched to him. There's also the part where he's worked on his defense so much that he's making Adam Dunn look like a good idea.
Moving back to Bradley, Lou's press conference highlights via Cubs.com can be seen here. Piniella indicates it's been a "common occurrence", although it's not clear whether he's suggesting it's common with just Bradley or the entire team, but it seems more like it's directed right at Bradley and he's been throwing these fits for awhile (most likely down in the clubhouse away from the cameras).
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.
First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.
Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.
Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.
"Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."
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