A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Tuesday Headlines

miltonrun.jpg

Now you've done it, Billy.

Cubs great Billy Williams has angered the mouth-breathing masses by having the nerve, nay, the unmitigated GALL, to suggest that jettisoning a player in a bad trade just to please the offended portion of the fan base might not be the best idea:

"But Billy Williams, the Cubs Hall of Fame outfielder, former coach and current senior adviser, says he is not ready to give up hope that Bradley could become a productive player for the team.

"If we could sort of salvage something here and get a good ballplayer after what has happened, it would be a good thing," Williams said Monday. "I am going to continue to try to talk to him and give my opinion. I know that he listens, and he will tell me a lot of things. I can get in touch with him."

Good. Great. Keep trying. If Bradley can come back, stay focused on baseball, and keep his big trap shut, I'm all for it. This is a better team with him in the lineup. Like it or not, there it is.

Bily is not unaware of Milton's . . . issues:

Could Bradley return to the Cubs and help the team?

"I would like to think yes," Williams said. "It's not a matter of just playing the game because I know he can play the game. He is concerned about everything on the outskirts of baseball instead of concentrating on those three hours to make himself a better ballplayer and get along with the players."

Williams, 71, was one of the few people who maintained a steady dialogue with Bradley last season.

"One conversation I had with him was after he had the problem with the umpire (and was suspended)," Williams said. "And the next time was when he was complaining about the people in right field with the name-calling and all of that stuff."

Of course, pioneering black players such as Williams had to tolerate a great deal of name-calling and other racial indignities during their era.

"That was in the '50s and '60s," Williams said. "The players now are a little sensitive toward that kind of thing and don't go for that. When you talk to (today's players), they should know the history of the game and know what players of the past went through."

Williams recalls one lengthy conversation with Bradley.

"I remember going into the clubhouse one particular day, and all of the other guys were in the other part of the clubhouse," Williams said. "I walked into the training room, and he was sitting on one of the training tables, eating his food. That just showed the isolation that he had from the ballclub. That is not good.

 

Get that guy into counseling and let's move on.

Speaking of Milton, remember that 3-way deal that would have sent Milton to Toronto and (shudder) brought Luis Castillo to Chicago? Well now Paul Sullivan poo-poos:

9:01pm: The Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan is reporting that Toronto "wants no part of Milton Bradley." Meanwhile, Cubs GM Jim Hendry said that Chicago hasn't given up on Bradley, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin. Of course, Hendry has to say that until the moment Bradley is traded.

Toronto not wanting Milton seems like it would through a monkey wrench into the Milton-to-Toronto rumor. Just as well, because the last thing this team needs is Lius Castillo. Might as well just go get DeRosa again.

mlbtraderumors.com has its annual "Top 50 Free Agents" predictions out, and guess what? According to Tim, all we're getting for Christmas is Billy Wagner and a lump of coal:

37.  Billy Wagner - Cubs.  The Cubs don't have much payroll space, and they may prefer to go with Carlos Marmol as their closer.  Then again, they wouldn't do so a year ago when Marmol was coming off a good season.  The Cubs could offer Wagner a chance to close, as could the Orioles, Rays, Tigers, Angels, and Braves.  Even Wagner's old teams, the Phillies and Astros, have back-end bullpen concerns.

This is the kind of thing that could drive me to celebrating Kwanzaa.

Bruce Miles has good news on the Z front:

Also ran into Barry Praver, the agent for Carlos Zambrano and now for Carlos Marmol, who is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time. And just so the speculation doesn't start, Praver said the Cubs and Big Z have not discussed Big Z waiving his no-trade clause. "It's a non-story," Praver said. In other words, the Cubs are not trading Zambrano this winter.

That's all I have this morning. Of course, we'll update the rumors as Phil Rogers thinks of them. 

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54 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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And with that, I'm off to Costa Rica until next week. The rest of LOHO's intrepid staff will get you through the next 7 days. As always, no parties while I'm gone, and for the love of God, don't break the internet tubes!

flyball said:

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have fun!

secdelahc said:

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Have tons of fun!

Doc said:

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I'll make sure I begin my evil plan of bringing down this great empire.

AndCounting said:

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Tonight @ 8, my place: Internet Tube-Breaking Party, woo hoo! Have fun in that most Rica of Costas, Julie.

JulieDiCaro said:

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D'oh.

Of course, MLBTR gets up a "Cubs" post as soon as I finish the headlines:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/11/cubs-rumors-harden-grabow-zambrano.html

flyball said:

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Rich likes us!

(yeah, I'm totally reading into a 1 line story, whatever)

AndCounting said:

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Personally, I think all the rumors about the Cubs having no interest in retaining Rich Harden are complete garbage. There is absolutely no reason for a GM to express interest through the media about a free agent. None. That Chicago journalists read into that and assume Harden's not coming back is a testament to their lobotomization. And the fact that so many people accept it just shows how difficult it is to find the needle of truth in the haystack of Chicago journalism. (The sarcastic air quotes are implied.)

Hendry got exactly what he wanted. Harden is pursuing the Cubs, and you can practically hear his asking price dropping.

If anyone is betting on this, my money is on a Cubs rotation of Zambrano, Dempster, Lilly, Harden, and Wells for the better part of the season. If Hendry doesn't want that rotation, I'd be shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

millertime said:

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I'm totally going to throw a party and break shit. And then throw a second, even bigger party, to pay for all the shit that gets broken at the first party.

secdelahc said:

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Which will, no doubt, break more shit, thus making you have a third party. It's a vicious cycle.

flyball said:

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that explains a lot about the house that was across the street from where I lived in college

a lot

millertime said:

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Yeah, funny how that stuff works out. You throw a party, it gets busted, the house gets $3000 dollars worth of fine. So to pay the fine, you throw more house parties. And sell crack. Oh those crazy Delta Chi's.

I'm not joking, they got kicked off of campus for selling drugs out of their chapter house. The sold drugs to an undercover cop. Twice.

Just another case of the System causing more harm than good.

gravedigger said:

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LOL @ your last line there.

millertime said:

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Someone should nudge Paul Sullivan on the shoulder and say "Shhhhh! Stop making Bradley look so untradeable, reporter jerk!"

What we need to do is start focusing on all the good things he does, and how LOTS of teams are interested in him, thus increasing his value.

1. He comes out on top. Always.
2. He tears it up in spring training
3. He can speak in sign language to fans.
4. He is fan friendly, giving out souvenirs even at a cost to his own team.
5. He loves his family so much, he wants the game to go only 9 innings so he can get back to them. Strong family values.
6. He is a scholar of baseball history, having figured out the various reasons the Cubs haven't won a world series in quite some time.
7. Civil rights are very important to him.
8. His biggest weakness is that he cares toooooooooo much.

I heard the Yankees were considering trading 2 of their former world series titles, Babe Ruth's Hall of Fame entry, and Nick Swisher for Bradley.

AndCounting said:

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9. He's a great teammate. He won't ever interrupt a clubhouse conversation. Ever.

Yeah, Sullivan's most recent article starts out saying, "Jim Hendry hopes he can unload outfielder Milton Bradley in quick fashion." He doesn't say that Hendry said that. He's not referencing a quote. He just decides it's cool to print because, hey, that must be true. Dumb ass.

flyball said:

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maybe Sullivan actually likes Bradley, and dislikes Hendry and this is all a big elaborate scheme to make him look bad

maybe its a really intricate devious plot

millertime said:

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The only way this idea backfires is that Jim Hendry somehow convinces himself that maybe Bradley actually IS that valuable, and decides to keep him.

Which is actually what I want to have happen all along, I just need a way to trick the angry mob into wanting to keep Bradley instead of trading him. I shall watch Young Frankenstein for ideas.

Question #1 for Milton Bradley: "How well can you tap dance? And what is your reaction to fire?"

AndCounting said:

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The similarities between Milton Bradley and Frankenstein's monster are well worth exploring.

Umbra said:

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Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me Man, did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?

Taken from the epigraph of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, it is a quote from Paradise Lost, which was written by......

Milton!

Dun Dun DUUUUUUUUNNNN!

AndCounting said:

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Holy crap, that's awesome.

millertime said:

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SEDA-GIVE!?!

Umbra said:

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You need to make Milton Bradley appealing to men and women.

Women: Milton Bradley's interests include being a vampire and playing the piano.

Men: Milton Bradley's interests include violence against people you don't like, agreeing with you.

flyball said:

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vampires were better back when it was Angel and Spike, not the current teen angst emo version

Umbra said:

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Of all the books sold in the first quarter of 2009, Stephenie Meyer took the top 4 spots. She wrote the most popular book of Q1 2009. And the second-most popular. And the third-most popular. And the fourth-most!

Those four books comprise 16% of all the books sold in every bookstore in the country.

I used to just dismiss these books as empty (even mildly threatening) wish fulfillment, but I'm starting to think that this thing has legs.

flyball said:

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that may be true, and I'm all for people reading, but Spike is still cooler than the guy from the first movie

vampire baseball was ok though, they get points for that

baturkey said:

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Spike got pretty angsty after the second season.

flyball said:

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he did get a bit whiney for while, but then he saved the world

and Angel started out a little annoying, but he got better too

I'm resting my entire opinion of the Twilight series on what the werewolf is like, he better be cool

secdelahc said:

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But Spike was super hit. And he was really only whiny in season 6. He was a total badass in the beginning, though.

MN Pat said:

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You're all forgetting about the original sexy vampire trend, which came from Anne Rice. Bless her, she's now crazy, but Louis had to be the source of all contemporary emo vampires, and Lestat is the same for the bad boys. I'll never forgive them for the casting of that movie. Outside of Kirsten Dunst every character in that film was miscast.

Doc said:

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So the reason the Cubs haven't made it to the world series is because of Paul Sullivan.

It all makes sense now.

millertime said:

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I have no idea where you got that idea from. Nothing in my rambling suggests that.

However.

Listening to any advice that Paul Sullivan offers probably doesn't help. If Sullivan was GM, this team would be in shambles. I have more faith in Jim Hendry writing a good sports column.

I think reasons they haven't won is poor luck, bad farm system, small payroll(in the past), and poor baseball moves that make the team worse. One such move would be trading a talented RF because of the RF's poor media relations and one bad year, a trade that guarantees that the team will be worse off.

I also think that many fans don't understand the nature of "good" moves and "bad" moves, how to assign value to players, account for uncertainties involving baseball moves, and differentiate between made up "intangible" value versus "real" value. Many people seem to have problems seperating the team's performance from individual player performance. They also judge moves soley on results that take place after the move, which isn't always the best way to decide "good" and "bad" moves. This causes knee-jerk reactions, and ends up with a GM who feels pressured to appease the fans, and then we trade Greg Maddux for Izturis, sign Juan Pierre, and trade for Jason Kendall.

Umbra said:

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Shaaaaam-bles! Shaaaaam-bles! Shaaaaam-bles!

Doc said:

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I agree with most of what you are saying...that was more a rip on the stupidity of Paul Sullivan...

I think the only thing I agree with him on is the trading of Bradley. But one of my reasons for wanting to trade him is because the Chicago media has people like Paul Sullivan.

Doc said:

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I really hope the Cubs can trade Milton soon...because I'm sick of talking about him.

That being said, I think it is possible the Cubs might be starting to manipulate the media a bit to try to increase Bradley's trade value.

secdelahc said:

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But I think that everyone can see through this. At least, I suspect the other GMs can. But I hope that the Pirates or Orioles are dumb enough that they don't get it.

Dmband said:

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I guess my take on this is, if we all "wouldnt be surprised with the amount of interest in Milton", cant we do better than Luis Castillo? Also, I feel the farther we are from the end of the season, the more teams will forget just how bad it got here, thus, hopefully, increasing his value as well. I dont really see any advantage to rushing into this move...

baturkey said:

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I think Billy Williams is lulling MB into a false sense of security because he wants to encase Bradley in carbonite.

AndCounting said:

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Here's what Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman had to tweet about the Milton Bradley sitch:

some of these milton bradley rumors are wild. but he has to go somewhere. word is, many #cubs stars wont even talk to him.

AndCounting said:

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And word 'round the campfire is it was on account of Marsellus Wallace's wife.

gravedigger said:

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I ain't sayin' it's right. But you're sayin' a foot massage don't mean nothing, and I'm saying it does. Now look, I've given a million ladies a million foot massages, and they all meant something. We act like they don't, but they do, and that's what's so fucking cool about them. There's a sensuous thing going on where you don't talk about it, but you know it, she knows it, fucking Marsellus knew it, and Antoine should have fucking better known better. I mean, that's his fucking wife, man, he can't be expected to have a sense of humor about that shit. You know what I'm saying?

AndCounting said:

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That's an interesting point.

AndCounting said:

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Seriously, though, I think that may have been a reaction to the Billy Williams article mentioned above:

"I remember going into the clubhouse one particular day, and all of the other guys were in the other part of the clubhouse," Williams said. "I walked into the training room, and he was sitting on one of the training tables, eating his food. That just showed the isolation that he had from the ballclub. That is not good."

Umbra said:

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Best example of the eroding journalistic standards created by instant technology ever? My vote is "yes"!

gravedigger said:

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me too.

Umbra said:

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Wasn't there a guy who said the Ayatollah was dead over Twitter? And Zach Braff was dead, according to Twitter. Let's add this to the list.

1. Milton Bradley.
2. Braff.
3. Ayatollah.

AndCounting said:

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My vote would still be for the infamous Stone/Kaplan MB-to-Detroit Twitter rumor that began with Stoney reporting that there were rumors Detroit was interested (there were none) and Kaplan echoing the sentiment without attributing the rumor to his source (Stone). Created quite the hubbub and there was nothing to it. Stone eventually squashed his own rumor by talking to Dave Dombrowski.

Dmband said:

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Nice work on the Pulp Fiction rant...

Man...when you actually read some of those scenes in text form..the writing is even more amazing.

Regarding MB, look I know the guy can play, no doubt about that, but there comes a point where chemistry does become a factor...sometimes, very positive, sometimes negative. But its a real thing...its not ALL about the #'s....that being said, there is no reason why we should just GIVE him away, with the apparent level of interest. The only good thing is that Hendry knows whatever happens with MB, is going to have significant implications on who else he can sign, money wise, so its quite possible he NEEDS to get this done first...

AndCounting said:

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From Bruce Miles's blog, which includes some crappy realities about the number of arbitration-eligible Cubs and the payroll-inflation destined to take place, here are his thoughts on the middle infield as it stands:

"I'm very happy with Ryan. Theriot's a winning-type player. He didn't play quite as well late when we were out of it as he did the previous year, but he gives you 110 (percent) every day. You win a lot of baseball games with him. I thought Baker did a really good job after we got him. He gives you a lot of protection. He plays well at second. I think Mike Fontenot was a guy, he'd be the first to tell you, that he had a disappointing year. We certainly need him to bounce back. We've got (Andres) Blanco, who's a great defender. It's no secret that (Aaron) Miles had just a tremendous hiccup and a poor year after two really good years at St. Louis."

So Milton Bradley and Aaron Miles were just hiccups last year? I believe the home remedy for that kind of hiccup is to plug your nose, cover your ears, and drink until you pass out.

AndCounting said:

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Sorry, here's the link to the Miles blog:

Tuesday at O'Hare

Doc said:

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I agree that Bradley was a hiccup....

But his Attitude was no hiccup.

Miles, on the other hand...and Fontenot...I think the'll be hiccuping a lot more this coming season.

AndCounting said:

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Will hiccup become the new suck? All I know is, if any of the Cubs' hope is being placed in the improvement of Aaron Miles, this team is going to hiccup ass in 2010.

AndCounting said:

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Jon Heyman just posted a more extended story on the Milton Bradley kerfuffle.

The long and crappy of it is, there's absolutely no way the Cubs don't deal him.

Doc said:

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dammit...he's ruining the stategy...

Screw you Jon Heyman!

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