I had pretty much closed the book on the Cubs' worst signing of the last 20 years, and one of the worst in franchise history after Milton Bradley was traded away last December. However, I feel compelled to address the ridiculous garbage that spewed out of his mouth in an interview with ESPN's Colleen Dominguez at spring training. In the interview
he basically blames everyone but himself for his awful 2009 performance, both on and off the field, even going so far as to wonder if Cubs personnel were sending him hate mail.
Let's go through his thoughts here and dissect how deranged this person really is. Here is Bradley on if Chicago is a tough place to play if you are African-American: "Well, I mean unless you go out there and you're Superman -- you're
Andre Dawson, you're Ernie Banks, you're in the Hall of Fame -- then
it's going to be tough," Bradley said. "People are just the way they
Are you kidding me? Have you ever heard of Derrek Lee? Lee is well liked and respected and loves playing in Chicago. So much so that he stated a couple of weeks back when I interviewed him at spring training that he wants to retire as a Cub. Want a less successful player who is African-American and was well liked and loved playing here? What about Doug Glanville? He was a solid, but unspectacular player who had two tours of duty with the Cubs and now makes his home in the Chicago area.
Fans want players who play hard, are reasonably successful, and represent the team positively. Milton did none of that. He made no effort to fit in with his teammates, he was distant with the media from day one, and he was a lousy baseball player. He claims that he was told he had to hit 30 home runs, but I can tell you that was never expected from him. The Cubs wanted him to get on base, drive in runs because he he would have opportunities hitting in the middle of the lineup, and they wanted him to play a decent right field.
Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry met with the media on Wednesday in Mesa, AZ and here is what he had to say about Bradley's latest comments.
Hendry has consistently taken the blame for the signing, repeatedly characterizing the acquisition as a complete and total mistake. However, after trading Bradley so he and the Cubs could get a fresh start, Bradley just can't keep his mouth shut. Hendry finally had enough of Bradley firing on the organization and met with the media in Mesa. "We're
all brought up in life to accept responsibility when we fail, and to
judge people by how they act and how they carry themselves when things
don't go well," Hendry said.
Bradley told ESPN some of the hate mail he received had no postage, suggesting it could've been sent in-house.
that couldn't be further from the truth," Hendry said. "I think maybe
it's time Milton looks at himself in the mirror. It is what it is. He
just didn't swing the bat. He didn't get the job done. His production,
or lack of (production), was the only negative."
As for the hate mail that Bradley claims he received without a postmark, Hendry
said people drop off mail at the front desk at Wrigley Field, which
could explain why there was no postage on the alleged hate mail. He
added that Bradley never mentioned the claim to anyone in the
organization, and that the Cubs said the organization "couldn't have
bent over backward any more than they did for the entire season, before
(the suspension) in St. Louis."
Milton Bradley has no one to blame but himself for his poor performance in 2009. He was given the first multi-year contract of his career and he failed miserably. He was a sullen, moody person to deal with and never did anything, or made any attempt, to fit into the community or the locker room.
Could someone have said something racially motivated to him? Absolutely, however the rantings of a few lunatics were not the reason that Bradley had such a terrible experience in our city. He failed to produce on the field and continues to make excuses for his poor play. Milton Bradley, you need to look at yourself, not everyone else, when you try to figure out why the Cubs were so desperate to rid get rid of you.