by Andy Paschen
Ah, Milton Bradley, you poor sonofabitch. You signed with the Cubs what seems like an eternity ago, and the fans were excited that somehow your on-base percentage would be the missing link to that shiny ring.
Well. That didn’t quite go according to plan.
Now that the year is pretty much over for the boys in blue, Milton Bradley and the media have gone into full controversy mode. First, Bradley says Cubs fans are being an eensy bit racist towards him. Now there’s been a lot of skepticism toward that comment, most notably the “I’m not calling Milty a liar but I’m calling Milty a liar” blog post by longtime Tribune curmudgeon Steve Rosenbloom.
Devoted Midwest Swing readers, also known as Mom, might remember that I did forewarn this problem back in, oh I don’t know April … or something (I just spent a half-hour looking for where I wrote that if Milton Bradley doesn’t perform that the fans might get an eensy bit racist – If you find the link you get a free MWS hug) … well anyway, its there somewhere.
He gets a pass from me for that comment. Why? Because knowing the kind of world-beaters that get loaded in the bleachers (read: white suburban yuppies who have never spoken to more than twp black people at once unless they count yelling at the TV during a Bulls game), people probably do yell some racist shit at him. Jacque Jones said that. LaTroy Hawkins said that. We believed them, why shouldn’t we believe Milty?
But the Meth Bear didn’t make it any easier for himself, because he dropped this little nugget on the media,
“All I’m saying is I just pray the game is nine innings, so I can be out there the least amount of time as possible and go home.”
Clearly Milton Bradley did not read How to Win Friends and Influence People. Lou Piniella didn’t take too kindly to that remark (no shit).
Now, the Milton Bradley question has come to a head highlighted by the headline on the FRONT PAGE OF THE ENTIRE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: “What to do with Milton Bradley?” Phil Rogers says cut ’em loose. He makes some pretty good points too. Honestly, Sam Fuld could be a poor man’s Jacoby Ellsbury and Kosuke Fukudome could just slide right over to right field.
I think one thing Cubs fans need to remember is that Milton Bradley was never supposed to be this team’s savior. This was a near 100-game winner last year, a team that could put up runs as fast as Joey Chesnut could put down frankfurters. Milton Bradley’s failure was compounded by Alfonso Soriano‘s failure, Geovany Soto‘s failure, Aramis Ramirez‘s injury and Mike Fontenot‘s failure.
Personally, I feel bad for the ol’ Meth Bear. But I won’t weep if I never see him in Cubbie blue again.