Milton Bradley

Although there was a slight incident preceding Cub right fielder, Milton Bradley's calf MRI, it apparently showed he has a mild calf muscle strain.

The patient in the MRI tube before Cubs right fielder Milton Bradley's appointment Wednesday broke the machine in a claustrophobic fit, forcing Bradley's test into the late afternoon.

Fortunately it wasn't Mr. Bradley that had the claustrobic meltdown. It would be interesting if it was one of the mlb umpires that are targeting him for his history of histrionics.

Milton was the talk of the town last night with the moonshot to replace all moonshots...one of the farthest non-steroid enhanced home runs I've ever seen. You can see the video at MLB.com. The story coming out this morning was that he may have been jawing with some of the fans in the on-deck circle and right at the end of the clip you can see him put his hand to his ear as if to say, "oh now you love me".  Bradley may have been addressing it to the whole crowd,  but with the little head nod at the end accompanied by the "we'll shut up now" looks on the faces of the clowns with the good seats, it looks more like a little give and take with the Wrigley faithful. Screen grabs after the jump....

On the 39th anniversary of Ernie Banks' 500th home run, Milton Bradley hit a titanic, two-run blast in the sixth inning to lead the Cubs and RIch Harden past Jake Peavy and the Padres.

In the first inning, Harden gave up a leadoff double to Brian Giles and one out later, a two-run homer to Adrian Gonzalez. He limited the Pads to just two more hits and held them scoreless over the remainder of his six innings, at one point retiring 13 San Diego hitters consecutively.

In Houston, Ted Lilly straightened himself out after a ragged beginning—four-pitch leadoff walk to Kaz Matsui, gopher ball to Miguel Tejada; Miggy's first home run in 116 at-bats this season—as the Cubs beat the Astros, 8-5, to sweep the two-game series at Minute Maid Park.

The Cubs have now won six of seven and have climbed to four games above .500 for the second time this year, heading into a weekend series in Milwaukee.

A somewhat-weekly tour of Cubs' related links...

- Reader Virginia Phil spotted that infielder Justin Sellers was now with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A quick peak at Baseball America shows that he was dealt for a player to be named later a few weeks back. Sellers along with Richie Robnett were acquired for Michael "2.35 ERA, Hasn't walked a guy in 7.2 IP" Wuertz over the offseason (I'll work on the nickname).

- Some video and amateur scouting of Cubs' prospects down in Peoria including Josh Vitters and Ryan Flaherty at The Hardball Times courtesy of Colin Wyers.

-  Harry at Cubs F/x graphs the loss of velocity over the last few seasons by Rich Harden. 

This afternoon at Wrigley, when Rich Harden goes up against former teammate Jason Marquis, Geo Soto will make his first start since last Tuesday in Houston, and while Lou Piniella says Aramis Ramirez's back is getting better, he adds "one more day [of rest] won't do any harm."

As for Milton Bradley, Paul Sullivan reports:

Bradley is still projected back by the weekend,
though Piniella said Bradley told him he's feeling better, "though he
still feels (the groin strain) somewhat."

On the anniversary of Jackie Robinson's Major League debut 62 years ago, Bradley is also the subject of a long piece by Gordon Wittenmyer about the sad history of race-baiting by Cubs fans.

Highlights, lowlights and other observations from the Cubs' 8-5 win over the Brewers Sunday night in Milwaukee, a victory that leaves the Cubs at 4-2 as they return home for the Wrigley Field opener on Monday afternoon.

"We've Seen This Movie Before" Moment of the Night:

In his first at-bat since beating the Brewers with a dramatic, ninth-inning home run on Saturday, Alfonso Soriano crushed Jeff Suppan's first pitch of the game over the centerfield wall, his fourth HR in the young season.

Play of the Night:
Reed Johnson's leaping catch to rob Prince Fielder of what would have been a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the fifth. Instead Fielder wound up with a sac fly and a reason to tip his helmet to Reed Johnson.

Mark DeRosa drove in four runs with two long home runs and a sacrifice fly and scored another run after reaching base on a double, as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Cubs 7-5 before 13,097 fans at sunny and breezy Dwight Patterson Field at Ho Ho Kam Park in Mesa this afternoon.

box score

Alfonso Soriano drove in two runs and reached base four times on two singles and two wallks, Milton Bradley had three hits including a double and a solo home run, and Geovany Soto drove in two runs with a double and a sacrifice fly, leading the Cubs to a hard-fought 9-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies this afternoon in front of a record Ho Ho Kam Park crowd of 13,298.

box score

Jake Fox had three hits and drove in five runs with a two-run double and a three-run homer, Milton Bradley drove in three runs with a two-run home run and an RBI single, Alfonso Soriano drove in two runs with a solo HR and an RBI single, and Sean Marshall started the game and pitched five strong innings (getting ten ground balls), as the Cubs drubbed the White Sox 13-2 in Cactus League action at Camelback Ranch this afternoon

box score  

(Hat tip to MLBTR for the link)

This article will do Milton Bradley no favors with the fans or the press that is already trying to poke him with a stick like 10-year olds at a zoo trying to wake up a sleeping lion.

Gordon Wittenmyer in his Sunday Sun-Times article extolled the virtues of Cubs trainer, Mark O'Neal. It's a really nice piece explaining how valuable an athletic trainer can be to the ballclub. Beyond the obvious treating of injured athletes, the job involves organizing effective treatment protocols, reviewing medical histories and records and something as simple as honest communication of his medical opinions to both the athlete and management after assessing all this medical input. It took some time but he's created a sense of trust of his judgement from athletes and management.

The line between keeping the manager and GM fully informed and not betraying a player's confidence is not a tough one to walk, O'Neal said, as long as it comes with honesty, straight talk and the confidence he and his staff know what they're doing.

I did the bulk of the research for this article with the idea this would be a preview on whom the Cubs should prefer as their new right fielder. Then the signing became imminent and eventually a reality, so I decided to turn this into an analysis of the newest Cub outfielder, Milton Bradley. You've probably already seen a lot of these numbers in one way or another, but why let the work go to waste?

Let's start with a look at their offensive numbers...in beautiful table form. Their ages are their 2009 baseball ages, in other words using the July 1st cutoff for their birthday. The 3-year WARP averages are a simple average, just taking the last three seasons and dividing by three, rather than weighting it by games played or anything like that. Considering it's a cumulative stat, I actually believe that's kosher.  I went with 2009 Bill James projections, but you can find MARCEL or CHONE on their fangraphs pages. Bold indicates the leader in that category.

Jon Heyman at SI claims to have seen Milton Bradley's contract, and says the clause that would automatically kick-in the third year is that he needs to spend fewer than 75 days on the disabled list in 2009 to guarantee the full amount.

When it was first reported, Wittenmyer said it was a multilayered set of clauses, so I'm guessing the wording and legalese is a little more complicated than just spending less than those 75 days, maybe there's something about it not being due to a specific injury.

We finally get word on the specifics of Milton Bradley's contract from the Sun-Times:

The contract pays $5 million in base salary in 2009 and $9 million in
2010 -- with a $4 million signing bonus split over the two seasons --
with $12 million due in 2011. But a multilayered set of clauses turns
the final year into a team option (with a $2 million buyout) if
Bradley's health becomes a serious problem this season.

So $7M for 2009, $11M for 2010 and $12M in 2011 with a $2M buyout team option in 2011 if the mysterious clauses kick-in.


And looks like I missed the top 10 prospects from Scout.com, they posted them before Christmas...silly me.

  1. Josh Vitters
  2. Jeff Samardzija
  3. Andrew Cashner
  4. Welington Castillo
  5. Jay Jackson
  6. Ryan Flaherty
  7. Mitch Atkins
  8. Tyler Colvin
  9. Kevin Hart
  10. Micah Hoffpauir
  11. Esmailin Caridad
  12. Brandn Guyer
  13. Marcos Mateo
  14. Jovan Rosa
  15. James Russell
  16. Dan McDaniel
  17. Chris Carpenter
  18. Aaron Shafer
  19. Ryan Acosta
  20. Matt Cerda

 

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