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).
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.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.