Catching Up

We've hit the 150 mark and I'm assuming Transmission isn't doing one of his surveys this time around to see how we feel about the rest of the season. The Cubs will be eliminated from the NL Central race tonight with a Cardinal win and Cubs loss. The death magic number for the Cubs in the Wild Card is 5. Here's what you may have missed over the last few days.

- The team is 3-0 since Milton's suspension which is more likely coincidence than anything else, although WIttenmyer and Sullivan sure want you to think otherwise.

- According to Muskat, the resolution to the suspension and potential union grievance should be taken care of in the next few days.

- I haven't been able to watch the last two games, but it appears Tyler Colvin is making a good first impression including robbing a home run from everyone's least favorite Brewer. He's 2/6 with 2 BB's at the plate.

- Angel Guzman is done for the year with a strained shoulder.

- Derrek Lee set some sort of milestone with four straight months of 20 RBI's or more, and a career high in RBI's.

- Jeff Samardzija gets his second start of the season tonight for Ted Lilly, whose shoulder is acting up again.

That's all the news that's fit to print.

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What does any of this have to do with Milton Bradley?

If there's another "Ask Paul Sullivan" column this year, we should bombard his mailbox questioning his professionalism, which of course, he wouldn't have the sack to answer directly or at all.
Does Samaninja have a chance to win today?

I would put Samarjdizka's chance for a win at 4%. He may pitch tolerably well, but he would have to go five innings which is unlikely. The Cubs would have to score enough runs after doing so the previous two games, which is unlikely, and then the bullpen would have to hold the lead, which is unlikely.

Young players at a crossroads according to Crasnick

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?column...

Mentions Hermida, possible Cubs connection.

At the risk of turning this into a Bradley thread - what about Bradley for Dontrelle Willis?

LOL, but he's an African American, he'll get booed. But seriously, equally shitty players, would help clubhouse chemistry, really nice guy from what I have heard/seen. Maybe he can turn it around? I could deal with that.

You're right, I hadn't thought of that. I am sure whoever replaces the devil will get a standing ovation his first appearance at Wrigley.

Trade him for Ordonez. He's lighter skin then Zambrano and Bradley so he shouldn't get booed as much.

Bradley playing for Florida Marlin's management... interesting.

Detroit - who allegedly likes him. He came over in the Cabrera trade.

Oh, unless you meant for Hermidia? Don't think that would happen.

Neal--
Just noticed the Lou Reed-lyric signature. I like it.

Derek Lee is having the second best year of his career, even with the slow start.

The Crasnick article is very interesting. As much as we can complain about a dropoff in performance from our guys, the Brewers can complain about a dropoff from Hardy and some other guys. Some of the guys on Crasnick's list will have big years down the road. The problem is, you have a hard time figuring out who and when, and thus would have a hard time figuring out how much to pay for taking the risk. I would be very skeptical about the Cubs trying to take on Young, Hermida or Upton unless the price was cheap.

Dontrelle Willis is a good guy but gained weight due to a drinking problem. With the added weight, his delivery suffered mightily. He hasn't been able to adjust, plus he has some kind of anxiety disorder. While he might fit in well with some of the more disturbed fans, I don't think he's due right now for a rebirth. Unless of course, the Ned Flanders/Cards sign him.

http://valleysports.freedomblogging.com/2009/09/23...

Eric Byrnes and his one year/$10M contract plus $10M

plus he doubles as an XM talk show host

the trading bad contracts game might be fun...score additional points if the player involved is post-steroidal, drinky, fat, red assed, blind, psychotic or has leprosy.

i still don't see how trading away a guy who can hit for players that can barely play would work for the cubs.

milton's attitude is his barrier...not his ability to get on base, play the OF well, and hit with a bit of pop.

we subtract a guy who can hit and take on someone who can barely pitch or barely hit...i don't see the point.

trade him + money for kids...call it a day. fill the vacated role with someone who's not a "project."

i don't see a "win" in replacing a guy with skills for someone who's got issues playing the game to pacify the fact hendry screwed up and lou can't manage someone he's getting paid 4 million bucks to manage.

Clubhouse. Cancer.

It's real.

bringing in someone who can't play well doesn't seem like proper chemo.

Saying that a hitter who has never driven in 80 runs in a year has "pop" doesn't seem right either.

if milton bradley surprises you when he hits doubles/homers i dunno what to say.

Yeah..those 12 HR and 17 doubles were pretty surprising...

So was a .200 BA with RISP.

if milton bradley surprises you when he hits doubles/homers i dunno what to say.

When Fukudoem outslugs you, you ain't got pop.

Sully ponders to suspend or not-suspend...and considers KC as a low key landing place

Here is a little ditty from the Bard, I'll direct to Mr Sullivan's attention:

To be, or not to be (suspended), that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of ($30M in) outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them....

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

Excerpts:

It's been four days since the Cubs sent Bradley home, and they still have not filed the paperwork to the Commissioner's office regarding Bradley's suspension.

General manager Jim Hendry said Tuesday the issue would be resolved soon, but declined to elaborate. According to one high-level baseball source, the Cubs don't have to file any petition at all, saving themselves of the headache of the Players Union filing a grievance.

The Florida Marlins did this in 2005 with pitcher A.J. Burnett, who was in his final days with the organization because of his impending free agency.

After a loss to Atlanta on Sept. 27, Burnett blasted the Marlins organization, saying: "We played scared. We managed scared. We coached scared. I'm sick of it, man. It's depressing around here. A 3-0 ballgame, I give up one run and leave guys on base, it's like they expect us to mess up. And when we do, they chew us out. There is no positive, nothing around here for anybody."

Florida general manager Larry Beinfest sent Burnett home for the final six games of the season, but they continued to pay him. The Marlins just wanted Burnett out of their hair, and since it was the Florida Marlins, no one paid much attention. When it's Milton Bradley, everyone pays attention.

...The Cubs don't have to file any paperwork if they intend on paying Bradley, just as the Marlins did with Burnett. It would not officially be a suspension, but would serve the same purpose. Despite a statement by Bradley's mom to the Sun-Times that he would be open to returning, there is no chance the Cubs will let that happen.

And there can be no grievance filed by the union if there is no official suspension, so Bradley can not fight it.
---
After Bradley's celebrated problems in Oakland, the A's tried to trade him to Kansas City in '06 for reliever Leo Nunez. But Bradley claimed he was injured, and the deal was nixed before the paperwork was official. Still, Kansas City appears to be a potential dumping ground for Bradley again, since the Royals upper management still likes his game and believe he can thrive in their low-key environment.

I like how, at the end of his blog post, Sullivan says:

Texas is still the best option because of Bradley's relationship with manager Ron Washington, though the sale of the Rangers to Dennis Gilbert could nix that idea.

If Sullivan did a little checking, he'd find out that, although Dennis Gilbert (a former agent and current employee of the White Sox) is interested in purchasing the team, he is not considered by MLB to be a serious bidder. As such, I don't think he'll have much to say about any personnel moves made by the Rangers.

Sullivan seems willing to write anything that comes into his mind, the facts be damned.

ron washington can manage milton...wow, he must make $10 million a year or something. neat.

Kansas City, hmmm, Milton has already tried to charge into their press box once for what their announcers said about him.

I had forgotten about this. I was thinking that Bradley was on his best behavior in Texas.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3438827

"I had forgotten about this. I was thinking that Bradley was on his best behavior in Texas."

____________________________

Perhaps that was his best behavior....

That's all the news that's fit to print.

Not hardly. Who could forget that the Chicago sports media reached an all-time low (not easy for them) by interviewing Milton Bradley's mother and then trying to call it "news"?

here is Sun-Times, Chris DeLuca's writeup on the interviews with Bradley's mom...it includes something about Jonathan Brandmeier doing a radio interview she claims that was just supposed to be a phone interview.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/deluca/1785487,CST-...

Not to mention Beyonce had the best video...

cubs vs lefty...per Wittenmeyer

Theriot, Colvin (CF), DLee, ARam, Fox (LF), Baker, Johnson (RF), Soto and Shark

Where's Bradley?

Our clutch-hitting, switch-hitting misunderstood $30 million investment, a huge series against the Brewers and he's not even in the damn lineup?

*sob*

screw that...where's scales?

Finally, the outfield I have been waiting all year for.

Rosenthal reports MB to apologize tomorrow...

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10114796/Source...

The Cubs have reached a temporary resolution with suspended outfielder Milton Bradley. The final resolution only will come if they trade Bradley this offseason.

Bradley will be paid during his suspension for the final two weeks of the season, major-league sources say, and the Major League Baseball Players Association will not file a grievance on his behalf.

The Cubs also will not place Bradley on the disabled list, and the outfielder plans to issue an apology to the team Wednesday.

...The Cubs will attempt to trade Bradley, sources say, preferably exchanging his contract for another of similar value. Club officials, working through an ownership transition, do not know whether they can pay a significant portion of the $21 million on the final two years of Bradley's contract to facilitate a deal.

Bradley ideally will land in a smaller market with less fan and media scrutiny and a less volatile manager than Lou Piniella.

Apology:

"Dear Cubs and fans:

I'm sorry, but you can all go fuck yourselves.

Sincerely,

MB"

That just tickled me.

"The Cubs will attempt to trade Bradley, sources say, preferably exchanging his contract for another of similar value. Club officials, working through an ownership transition, do not know whether they can pay a significant portion of the $21 million on the final two years of Bradley's contract to facilitate a deal."

jesus f'n christ.

what are multi-million dollar managers for if they can't handle crap like this? hendry screwed up, lou can't handle it, and now we get to see if the club can find a reclaimation project from some other club because they can't afford to give loot and trade him for a desirable package.

so we're gonna get rid of a .370 ob% hitter with pop to take on someone who most likely can't even come close to that upside because of a babysitter (lou) who can't babysit. this guy gets the big bucks for what now?

multi-million dollar superstar managers are such wastes of f'n money...

"multi-million dollar superstar managers are such wastes of f'n money..."

Really? Do tell. Oh, wait. You have.

Why do you keep blaming Lou for Bradley's problems? If Lou's such a problem, why aren't there 24 other guys who act the way Bradley does? I certainly don't condone Lou calling him a piece of shit, but come on...that wasn't an out-of-the-blue reaction to a one-time Bradley misstep.

bradley's problem?

this is the cubs problem. a manager's #1 job is to manage the people and their attitudes in the clubhouse. the clubhouse isn't all Cal Ripkens...you got many different kinds of people. failure to manage this leads to "cancer." there's not a single player-leader in that clubhouse. not dlee, not aram, not Z, not dumpster...not anyone, it seems.

hendry and lou brought bradley on board. lou has shown no ability to manage him through-out this season. lou "you're a piece of shit" pinella's decision to just "leave him alone" was a bunch of shit.

lou's a guy you show up for and play...he's not a guy who's gonna hold your hand and walk you through things while giving you support. guess what, milton needs that. that's no mystery to anyone...or shouldn't be.

i'm a lot more upset about the news that the money is going to be very tight and the team is now looking for a clunker contract to trade off for their attitude problem they signed themselves up for.

Effing unbelievable Crunch!

This is Bradley's 7th team in 11 seasons. Yeah...but it's all Lou's fault. Ok. Please let me know what color the sky is in your world.

Crunch -- I know you don't like high priced managers and you think Lou did a crappy job with Bradley, but in all fairness, he's not the first manager to have problems with Bradley. I can't remember the chrononlogy or exact facts (and I'm too lazy to look it up), but wasn't Bradley basically kicked out of LA (Dodgers), Cleveland, Oakland, and now Chicago? Not a great track record.

I've been critical of some of the moves Piniella has made this year, but his track record is pretty stout. It's hard to get down on a guy like Piniella who has had success in the past (including the past two years with the Cubs), when the guy he failed to control couldn't be controlled by other managers either.

then why get him?

if the guy is worth his 3-4m and his word, then put some f'n work into your job.

you know pinella rarely comes in the clubhouse? that's his "style"...you see him on the field and when he's calling you into his office.

i cannot believe they signed themselves up for a dose of milton and decided to see if it would work just letting it run it's course.

Crunch -- You and I had a very similar conversation a few years ago regarding Dusty. At the time, I was critical of him for not motivating his players and holding them accountable. As I recall, you disagreed saying that the manager's job is to fill out the line up card and he's not in a position to motivate millionaire professional athletes. It appears that our roles have been reversed on Piniella. Let me explain why my position has changed in this case.

Contrary to what Neal might think, the difference between Piniella and Dusty in my mind is not just their skin color. I don't care about that. What I care about is what the person has done in the past, particularly in a Cubs uniform.

Piniella has a track record as a winner. Even in Tampa Bay, the team's record improved under him (although I wasn't crazy about the way he left the team). He won a ring with Cincinnati, set a record for wins in a season with Seattle, and took the Cubs to back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since the early 1900's. He's built up some bank with me.

So when Bradley does the type of things he has done this year, I have to believe that Piniella got involved initially and only later determined that the best thing to do with Bradley was to give him his space. Obviously, I don't know what went on behind closed doors, but I do know that Piniella worked with Bradley on his hitting when Gerald Perry couldn't get the results they all wanted. So on some level, Piniella was involved with Bradley.

My point is that Piniella has had success with his other teams and his other players, including his other players with the Cubs. He's proven that he can control his locker room and lead his players. Unfortunately, in Bradley, he ran up against a guy that many managers, regardless of how much they are paid, have not been able to handle. And for that, I blame Bradley much more for this fiasco than Piniella.

motivating players?

we're on our 2nd player being traded away because of lockerroom stuff in milton and barrett.

holding people accountable? that's something i don't care about. milton bradley isn't/wasn't/shouldn't expect to act like cal ripken jr or anything similar...unless earl weaver is similar.

Crunch -- I think you may have missed my point (or I did a poor job of making it). When we were discussing Dusty previously, I was upset with him because he did such a poor job of motivating the team and he didn't hold anyone accountable. You said, IIRC, that it wasn't the manager's job to motivate high priced athletes. Now, you seem to be holding Piniella to a different standard than the one you held Dusty to. I explained why I look at Piniella differently than Dusty, but I'm not sure why you do. At the moment, it just seems like a double standard. Am I misreading it?

i don't know what you mean by "motivate" evidently.

was this about winter conditioning or something? or people sitting on the bench rather than being up on the rail?

either way, milton's problem wasn't motivation in my eye...and if you want to tie it into dusty then where i see a comparison point is how dustbag treated every player differently in order to get what he needed to across to them. like that "spacey" stuff he talked to prior about that wood had no idea what the reporter was talking about when questioned about it...cuz wood gets different kind of treatment cuz wood is hardnose...

Crunch -- I see a similarity to things we've discussed in the past re: Dusty, but I'm beginning to see that it isn't an apples-to-apples comparison.

I guess the only thing I can say is that I blame Bradley for Bradley's actions. Could Lou have done more? Yeah, maybe. I'm not sure what their relationship was like at the beginning and how it changed over time, if it changed at all. But hindsight being 20-20, he probably could have done more.

I just see a guy in Bradley that is apparently so unstable that no one can control him or pacify him. He's had issues everywhere he has gone (or almost everywhere), so it is hard for me to pin any of the blame on anyone but Bradley. To blamne anyone else (including Lou) for Bradley's actions is to assume it is possible to control/pacify Bradley. History would suggest that it isn't possible.

Rosenthal says:

1) The Cubs will pay Bradley during his suspension
2) The MLBPA will not file a grievance
3) Bradley will issue an apology for his remarks

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10114796/Source...

-edit- Oops...Sorry for the 3/44. I even refreshed my browser before I posted, but the new comments did not show. Oh well...

Dear Cubs Fans

Dear Jim Hendry

Dear Media Reporters

Dear Teammates

I apologize, want a do-over, another chance

I really want to play for the Cubs

My mom made me write this.

Crumple…

Yes, Bradley's problem. He's clearly got issues. So Lou seems to be doing a decent job over the last few seasons, and his career, managing his clubhouse. (Maybe the fight with Dibble is a notable exception.)

My point is that Bradley brought this on himself with his actions. You seem to be excusing him because of your disdain for Lou's style and the fact that he makes $4 million a year and social experience and Soriano shouldn't lead off.

If I'm not reading you properly, my fault. But you seem more upset with Lou than with Bradley, and that just seems off to me.

i'm not excusing bradley for anything.

you know what you have there. leaving it alone and letting it do what it wants isn't what you do. letting the clubhouse rot isn't what you do.

this is a 140 million team and if a single 10 million player can screw it...what is the 3-4m manager doing anyway?

bradley is a big f'n baby who needs his hand held and constant positive feedback. either give it to him, get someone who's gonna do it, or don't get involved with the guy to begin with.

Bradley exhibited me-first tendencies from day one and didn't really try to ingratiate himself to his teammates.

Is that Lou's fault, too?

for not doing anything about it...yes.

he's a...manager. you find a way to get it done or have everyone know how the baby should be dealt with.

"Milton, change your attitude."

"OK, Skip."

Is that how it would've gone?

you ever been in charge of people?

you expect everyone to follow your command the 1st time or talk to everyone the same way expecting a singular outcome?

it's a bit more complex than even words...much less those words.

Yes, I have been in charge of people.

I was attempting a joke on the subject of Bradley taking heed of Lou's attempt to manage him.

Thanks for the leadership tip, though.

no problem...and don't be so snarky or i'll send Z over to knock out people in your organization you'll have to trade away after their asskickings.

Z's good with the social experience.

I do have to agree with crunch somewhat on this one. You know what you're getting into signing Bradley and you have to know that you just can't treat him like everyone else. It sure sounds like they signed Bradley and then just threw him out there thinking he'll be one of the guys. Yes, the ultimate responsibility is on Bradley, but damn, EVERYONE knew Bradley's past and persona. If you're going to make a 3-yr committment to the guy, you got to take the steps to treat him a little different and make sure he's comfortable.

This is as much on Lou and Hendry as Bradley imo.

I didn't like the damn signing from the beginning. I said last January I felt this team became weaker during the off season. But, despite myself around March... April I decided I was going to be a Milton Bradley fan and give him a chance anyways.

F MB and all his excuses. Same shit, different year.

I have no clue how anyone can blame Lou for this.

He was given a child to manage, he can't change Milton, no one can. It was an impossible situation from the start.

You can't let Milton go rogue in the clubhouse and do nothing about it. There are team rules and standards of behavior that everyone need to follow including Milton Bradley. He isn't special, he deserves no special treatment, he isn't above the rest of the team.

At what point is Milton held accountable? Why is it on Lou to change who Milton is if Milton is unwilling to change? Its a really idiotic stance to blame Lou for Miltons whole life.

At what point is Milton held accountable? Why is it on Lou to change
who Milton is if Milton is unwilling to change? Its a really idiotic
stance to blame Lou for Miltons whole life.

That's truly incredible you came out with that conclusion from what I wrote.

Let's make it simple:

I blame Lou and Hendry and the Cubs for not knowing what they're getting into. Cause if they thought they could just treat Milton the same way they treat everyone, they weren't paying attention.  I blame Milton for being a insane jack-ass and for not hitting for more power this year.

I can pretty much get on board with this. Had Hendry not screwed up, Bradley would have never been on the team. If Bradley hadn't acted like a jackass, we wouldn't be talking about his suspension. I'm not sure what Piniella did wrong, but it seems like he could have handled the situation better.

In the end, I'm big into personal responsibility. I don't blame anything that Bradley did on anyone but Bradley. Whether Bradley's bad behavior was handled correctly or not is another issue.

I think Lou is a pretty good psychologist but he just has trouble with people who can't hit and can't pitch.

The Cubs thought they were getting a big bat, and they would have to put up with the antics. Over time, they got the antics but the bat was missing. You have to play your expensive mistakes, so it just kept getting worse, until it finally had to end.

I thought it was important when the Cubs fired Bradley's old Oakland buddy and enabler, Perry--the only people who speak highly of Bradley (Perry, Macha, Washington) are old A's people, because it's an OBP shop--and gave the job of assessing Bradley's problems from the left side to Von Joshua. Joshua dissected Bradley's swing and said: "You can't hit like that." So now they have to take a highly uncoachable veteran player and make his swing over. Joshua tried. Next, you'll recall, Lou tried. And then they stopped trying. No more trying.

We all know Lou is old school and probably not that adaptable at this stage. OK. But what we don't know is exactly what their interactions have been. There could've been effort on Lou's part; maybe there wasn't.

Given Bradley's attitude and seeming lack of interest in melding in well with his teammates, I'm inclined to pin more of it on him.

But overall, yeah, bad fit no matter how you slice it.

If Bradley apologizes, then I think Hendry should apologize for the shit he took in the GM's position this off-season.

What's fair is fair.

Hendry, however, is only accountable when the team does well.

Bradley and Hendry have both been large piles of turd this year. Neither exempts the other.

Again going to disagree with you Crunch. To integrate with the team there needs to be moves on both sides in order for it be a success. The manager just can't demand it and expect it to happen.

We read the comments from the other players and they all reached out to Bradley at some point or another and Bradley basically shunned them. He had no real relationship with anyone on the team and thats on Bradley and Bradley alone.

You can't help someone unless they begin to help themselves. Its much like a drug addict or an alcholoic. And I don't think Bradley is ready to admit he is the problem.

Yes the Cubs knew his past, yes they said they talked to people that knew him, they should have known what they were getting into. But that doesn't excuse Bradley at all. We accepted him to not do what he did in his past, not continue it. It was on Bradley to not be the most insufferable teammate ever, not Lou or anyone else.

if hendry/lou weren't prepared for this they shouldn't have gotten involved.

this isn't about all milton not pulling his weight. he's a baby. he's not the people who decided to adopt this baby, though.

I agree crunch. THe Cubs should have never got involved.

Muskat tweet...

Milton Bradley issued apology, saying he regrets the way he handled things in first season with cubs

oh cool, everything's fine now. awesome.

woo!

hehe...

Glad to see an apology is in the works. My guess is MB and his agent both know damn well he probably won't be able to suit up as a Cub at Wrigley field ever again unless you want to see mass ugliness. So an apology, even if insincere, is his only hope of building up some "tradability".

Reed Johnson is back in the lineup tonight, but I don't know anything else.

No word on what kind of shape his goatee is in?

re your sig: "the glory days of Ed Lynch"????!

Sorry. I know u must be kidding. But, Ed Lynch was one of the worst GM's in Cubs history.

Ed Lynch was a human vacuum cleaner.

Hott.

I've read some details about MB and I think he just doesn't have the capability to be happy.

His story is not an easy, American rags to riches life.

He never really got credit for who he is, or what he could have accomplished.

I can back this up.

http://www.biographybase.com/biography/Bradley_Mil...

Abe Lincoln lost, like what 8 elections or something?

Hang in there, Milt!!!

Lincoln's OPS was inflated by his high BABIP.

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