Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Get Lost

Milton, I think this is the end of a rotten relationship.And thus, the Milton Bradley experiment ends the way it began: Suspensions to bookend the season. In his Wrigley Field debut, Bradley was ejected for arguing balls and strikes and suspended. At the end, he was suspended for being a prick that wasn’t good enough at his job to make everyone deal with his prickishness.

What's interesting about the End of Bradley were the comments from his teammates. In short, they said, "Go away. Quickly."

"Sometimes you have to look in the mirror and realize maybe the biggest part of the problem is yourself and wanting to be here every day and wanting to have fun. It didn't seem like he wanted to have very much fun, from spring training." – Ryan Dempster

"If a guy gets suspended, I'm sure he did something to deserve it," – Derrek Lee

"If you don't want to be here, send him home." - Aramis Ramirez

But, perhaps the most interesting comment came from Reed Johnson:

Bradley told the Tribune in June he felt "isolated" in the clubhouse. Johnson, Dempster and others disputed that comment.

"From our standpoint, nobody was making an effort to isolate him from groups," Johnson said. "For the most part, that was his choice."

What makes this so interesting is something Bradley said back in April:

"I never had a problem in my life until I started playing baseball. All of a sudden, there are all these things. I just want to be me. I just want to be that guy who plays baseball and enjoys his teammates and has a good time. That's what I do."

Bradley wants to enjoy his teammates, but he doesn’t actually spend time with them. He was isolated from them but the teammates didn’t do the isolating.

Baseball teams will endure all types of players under one condition: They are good at baseball. The better the player is at baseball, the more the team will endure. Just look at the allowances made for the previous right fielder wearing #21, Sammy Sosa.

Milton Bradley was not good enough at baseball for the Cubs to endure his lunacy. Looking back, 6 other teams made the same determination. But the 6 other teams also were smarter about Milton Bradley than the Cubs were in one key point: They never gave Bradley a multi-year deal.

There are only 2 remaining angles to the Milton Bradley story: What percentage of $23 million will the Cubs spend to rid themselves of the guy and will there be any repercussions within the Cubs management ranks for wasting this much money. There should be, and not for Milton's money alone. The wastes of money in terms of contract length on Alfonso Soriano, Neifi Perez, Aaron Miles, and Jason Marquis should be taken into account as well.

This will be the story of the Cubs from now until the Winter Meetings.

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