A League of Her Own

Wherein I Defend NOT Trading Milton Bradley

miltyjump.jpg

Point 1: He can jump higher than the rest of our outfielders.

Have you ever had someone give you a gift card to a store? And like, you go to the store to pick something out, but everything is all picked over and sold out and you can't find anything you really want? But yet, you still feel obligated to pick out SOMETHING, just because you feel like you HAVE TO? So you pull through the clearance bin, trying desperately to find something, ANYTHING just so you can use the damn gift card, rather than waiting and getting something you really, really want?

If you understood that scenario, you understand my argument for keeping Milton Bradley.

Kids, the Cubs aren't exactly flush with cash right now. We aren't gonna go out and sign Matt Holiday or Ray Halladay. Or even Carlos Beltran.

To be honest, the names I've heard floated for a Bradley replacement so far are terrifying. Curis Granderson? Marlon Byrd? Pat Burrell? Luis Castillo? For the love of God, Scott Podsednik?!?!?!

Let's look at last year's lines from some of the candidates:

Milton Bradley:  .257/.378/.397/.775 (and that was with a HORRIBLE start)

Curtis Granderson: .249/.327/.453/.780

Pat Burrell (DH):  .221/.315/.367/.682

Marlon Byrd:       .283/.329/.479/.808

Scott Podsednik: .304/.353/.412/.764

Let's be honest. How do you feel about any of those sucks $13-15 million a year to play here? Because that's what it's going to cost us to trade Bradley AND pay his replacement. If Cubs fans want to win, it's time to stop thinking with your emotions and start thinking smart. Do you think Brian Cashman was going to trade ARod because he was all man-crushy and weepy over Jeter? No. Because it made no baseball sense. And trading Bradley doesn't, either. 

Do we really dislike Milton Bradley THAT much?

I don't.

I find the man to be narcissistic, paranoid, and difficult to get along with. I think he lives in his own little world and blames everyone else for his problems. I think he was raised to have a chip on his shoulder the size of Prince Fielder's pants.

But I'm really starting to not care.

Look, Jim Hendry signed the wrong guy last off-season. For those who said "no one could have predicted this," I say "poppycock." See, e.g., every diary I wrote about why we shouldn't trade Milton Bradley. EVERYONE predicted this. We just hoped it wouldn't happen. But it did, and now we have to figure out how to live with the consequences. But I can tell you one thing: replacing Milty with Scotty Pods or Marlon Byrd aren't going to solve our problems. That kind of move will only make this team worse.

If I'm Hendry, I tell the fans to lay off, Milton to suck it up and deal with it, and teams that have floated trades for Milty to go jump in a lake.

Oh, and while he's at it, he shoudl re-sign Reed Johnson.

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91 Comments

gravedigger said:

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finally. you make sense.

millertime said:

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Quick correction. You used Bradley's career numbers. His line from last season was:

.257 .378 .397 .775

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh blah.

I'll fix it.

millertime said:

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I swear I've had to look those numbers up SOOO many times. They're practically burned into my brain.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I can't believe they aren't burned into mine.

Also, I can't believe I wrote this diary. But the looming spectre of Scott Podsednik in CF will make a girl do crazy things.

Doc said:

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Julie, how disappointed I am in you.

Come May, if he is still on this team, you will regret this thinking this. I've stated my reasons before. This guy is a bad person to have on a ball team. Statistics be damned.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I agree. But Scott Podsednik is a worse person to have on a team.

Doc said:

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ok...you are correct there.

Doc said:

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And while I'm at it...

If you want to bring out statistics...here are two glaring stats...

Total RBI in 2009: 40
Percentage of Runners scored: 10% (which is horrible!)

It's easy to sit back and forget about the damage he caused now that it's been a 2 1/2 months since he played for the team.

And about about the statements that other players on the team have made. They don't want him back.

But if he isn't traded by the Cubs convention, the general reaction of the crowd at the show will basically force Jim Hendry to trade him no matter what.

People who think having Bradley on this team is better than not having him on the team are just flat out wrong. Period. Put Fuld out there. Put Baker out there. This guy's attitude affects the whole team.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Look, it's not like I'm DYING to keep Bradley on this team. But look at the alternative. You'd rather pay Marlon Byrd $15 million a year?

I wouldn't.

millertime said:

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"It's easy to sit back and forget about the damage he caused now that it's been a 2 1/2 months since he played for the team. "

What damage? What players had worse seasons soley because of having a guy like Bradley on the team? Lee, Zambrano, Lilly, Fukudome all had good seasons. Obviously Bradley didn't hurt their ability. Soriano and Ramirez were hurt. I don't think Bradley caused that. Soto had his own off-season problems. I have yet to see any evidence of Bradley's attitude affecting the team as much as normal slumps/streaks/injuries affected the team.

"And about the statements that other players on the team have made. They don't want him back."

I haven't heard anything like this. Players say all kinds of things. Derrek Lee says that he doesn't think about Bradley when Lee is in the Batter's box. Ryan Dempster says Bradley is a loner. I don't care what players say. Talk is cheap, and no single player speaks for the team.

I have no idea how you could think that putting Sam Fuld as a starter for an entire season would be better than Bradley.

Edelweiss said:

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Actually, none of his team mates really said they wanted Bradley gone. Saying a guy is a loner, or that they don't think about him is not the same. Most of the people who said they wanted him gone were the media. One thing sportswriters tend to do is put words into other people's mouths - words that indicate their own desires. If someone like Hendry or Piniella doesn't deny it outright, it is written as his own idea. As someone who knows a Cubs insider, let me tell you that the Cubs are exploring trading Bradley, mainly because he is unhappy here, but are not absolutely committed to it. The Cubs have no bench strength, and Bradley might fit in nicely. By not being a starter, he might try harder to win a starting spot. By the way, some of the players did get along with him.

Doc said:

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Now I have a new DAOTW...it was Tiger Woods before.

Doc said:

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You know...it seems to me I recall people going ape-shit when I said this team needed to dump Michael Barrett (and this was before he slugged it out with Zambrano).

You know what? While the Cubs didn't get the offensive production out the catcher position they had when Barrett was playing for them, when the Cubs dumped him, they turned around their season and won their division.

Statistics are not everything. And in the case of Milton Bradley, they are nothing!

JulieDiCaro said:

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If Milton can't make Z punch him in the face, he can't be that bad.

MikeMartin said:

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Your Barrett example is a cute "post hoc ergo propter hoc" argument, but that's all it is.

Fact is baseball is not a team sport in the strictest definition of the word. Except for pitchers and catchers or middle infielders, the whole notion of chemistry being important is a farce. A player is alone at bat. A player is alone in the field. Their success or failure rests entirely on what they do. So to say a single annoying player in the clubhouse can bother another professional baseball player, who is expected to zone out the jerk yelling his momma, so much as to degrade his performance is just dumb.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I do believe that chemistry counts for something (I know, I know, flame away), but I also think it's not unreasonable to tell professionals to get over it.

millertime said:

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FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE!

MikeMartin said:

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Disagreeing with me on your own blog?! WTF?!?!?!

Don't worry. I'm not a flamer. :)

JulieDiCaro said:

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I know I'm supposed to say that chemistry is overrated and a crock and all that, but I remember playing on club and school soccer team where one person made the whole team miserable and really DID affect the way we played.

And I know that, as an adult, one person can make your office a miserable place to be. So while I know players are supposed to be pros and block it all out and everything, I think you could say that about everyone who works in a professional capacity.

I don't think chemistry SHOULD matter. But I don't always think players are immune to it, either.

millertime said:

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Barret wasn't exactly tearing it up anyways that year. .734 OPS. Which the Cubs replaced with Kendall's .718 OPS. Although, the three years before Barret had an OPS of .826, .824, and .885. That's pretty good.

Most of your evidence for these moves are anecdotal. I could name several other reasons why the Cubs turned it around after Barret left. Maybe it was because I sent Lou that fan letter. Maybe they started winning cause I wore my lucky hat backwards on Tuesdays.

Like it or not, stats do mean something, regardless of how likable/unlikeable a player is. Ignoring them completely seems irrational.

summerguy said:

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The problem with Barrett was not his offense because, at the time, he was a pretty adequate offensive catcher. His main problem was his defensive skills which definitely caught up with him when his offense started to drag.

Fans can be blinded from poor defense when you have something to make up for it. The same can be said for Bradley. If he can find a way to do ANYTHING productive this year on the Cubs then I think the fans will not be as harsh.

Doc said:

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Dammit Julie...

You knew this would piss me off to no end....


URGH!!!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hee hee

Sorry.

JulieDiCaro said:

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@JimmyTraina: Dumbest Sports Story of the Day: Jets coach Rex Ryan has Joe Girardi come to practice to teach Mark Sanchez how to slide. Seriously

JulieDiCaro said:

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I hope this chick gets paid a lot of dough to wear this hat: http://www.tmz.com/2009/12/01/cops-tiger-woods-ticketed-over-the-crash/

gravedigger said:

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LOL awesome.

JulieDiCaro said:

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From mlbtr:

"Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the Cardinals, Phillies, Mets, and Giants as suitors for Mark DeRosa. ESPN's Buster Olney heard that a few teams are concerned with DeRosa's range at third base."

Uhhhh. . . have they ever SEEN him play 3B? Or am I thinking of SS?

millertime said:

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Is there a way to get this diary added to the "Hot Topics" list?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Uh. . . hope that the powers that be at CN notice it?

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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irrelivent bradly, cubs, RELEVANT, PHILLIES, WHO WILL THEY SIGN AS 3B DEROSA, BELTRE, FIGGONS, OR POLANCO, MY WISH SIGN BELTRE AS 3B AND DEROSA AS A ROUNDROBIN UTILITY GUY AS HE PLAYS ALL POSITIONS EXC CATCHER, THIS WAY HE CAN GIVE UTLEY,ROLLINS, VICTORINO,WERTH, BELTRE,AND HOWARD PROPER REST HEADING TO PLAYOFFS AND WORLDSERIES SOMETHING CUBS FANS NO ABSOLUTLY NOTHING ABOUT WHEN YOU SAY WORLDSERIES TO A CUBS FAN THEY THINK YOUR TALKING WORLDSERIES OF POKER SAD BUT TRUE P-H-I-L-L-I-E-S WORLD PHCKING CHAMPIONS 2008 AND 2010!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Security . . .

FrankS said:

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I thought the reason that everyone left Usenet for blogs was so that it would be easier to avoid trolls and spammers. Where's the killfile on this thing!!!

Maim said:

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YOU DON'T NO ANYTHING ABOUT SECURITY! YOUR TALKING SOMETHING SOMETHING!

MikeMartin said:

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Samuel L. Jackson? Is that you?

summerguy said:

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too bad they choked in the world series this year.

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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CHECK THIS OUT A CUBS FAN MENTIONIING THE WORD WORLD SERIES, DUDE THE CUBS HAVE NOT WON A WORLD SERIES SINCE 1908, THINK ABOUT THAT 1908 PROBABLY THE LAST TIME YOU TOUCHED A WOMAN!!! THE ONLY WORLD SERIES A CUB FAN CAN ASSOCIATE W/IS THE WORLD SERIES OF POKER ON ESPN, 1908 WHAT A COMPLETE JOKE!!!!!

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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BRADLEY AND CUTLER ARE EXACTLY THE SAME MOLD CRYBABY, MISSYFITS, LOSERS !!!! THE GOOD NEWS IS PHILLIES SIGNED BRIAN SNYDER BAK UP CATCHER FOR RUIZ 2 YEAR 3 MILLION DOLLAR DEAL, GREAT SIGNING!!!!!!!!

gravedigger said:

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STOP YELLING AT ME!!!1

JulieDiCaro said:

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hee hee hee

JulieDiCaro said:

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Brewers decline to offer arbitration to all 5 of their type B free ageents: Cameron, Kendall, Lopez, Looper and Weathers.

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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BRADLEY NEEDS TO GO, ON THE UPSIDE IVERSON WILL MAKE 76ERS DEBUT ON MONDAY AGAINST DENVER, ANY THOUGHTS OUT THERE OR IS CHI TOWN SLEEPING OUT THERE ??????

JulieDiCaro said:

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We're not sleeping, we're terrified of you.

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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are you scared of the boogy man, is the sky always falling, are ya always living in fear instead of enjoying life, you neeed deep therapy, as you you have deep deep issues, either that or your just a retard!!!

JulieDiCaro said:

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And you have serious issues with grammar and punctuation.

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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oh my god issues w/grammar and punctuation, wow i better go to therapy soon thats much more serious than being paranoid every hour every day, thinking the sky is falling, come on you can do better than that cant ya?????????????

JulieDiCaro said:

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okay well, i didn't want to be rude, but your more serious issues are that you come to a Cubs blog, start screaming about the Phillies, 76ers, and God knows what else, and then start calling people offensive names.

you're more than welcome to post here--all are welcome, but dude, dial it back a bit.

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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cubs blog, the cubs, is that the team that has not won a ws since 1908, why would there be a blog about a bunch of losers that have not won since 1908, atleast the whitesox won in 2006, talk about them i can understand that 1908 wow what a joke, p-h-i-l-l-i-e-s

summerguy said:

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dude, its almost Christmas... don't you have a Santa Claus somewhere to boo at?

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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SHOULD YOU NOT BE ATTENDING YOUR CHRISTMASS GHETTO PARTY YOU KNOW THE WINE W/NO CORK , WHEN ANYONE THINKS OF THE WORD GHETTO, CHICAGO AWAYS COMES TO MIND FIRST!

millertime said:

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It's like talking to Lennie Small. Except a Phillies fan version.

Phillies fans are passionate fans, they gotta hammer something. That's why they built the secret tunnle under the Holiday Inn so other teams can get into the stadium without getting hammered.

Phillies fans are brutal.

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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another word for chicago is ghetto!!!!

JulieDiCaro said:

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MLBTR:

"Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports are reporting that Boston is "serious about pursuing" free agent starter Rich Harden. The Canadian right-hander had been rumored to be a target of the Red Sox given --- as Rosenthal and Morosi note --- the club's recent strategy of signing proven pitchers with health issues to short-term deals in an attempt to find a bargain. Unlike Boston's signings last season (John Smoltz and Brad Penny), Harden has proven that he can pitch well in the American League, which makes him particularly attractive to the BoSox.

Harden is a Type B free agent who was not offered arbitration by his previous team, the Cubs, earlier today. Rosenthal and Morosi were told by a source that Boston has yet to formally offer Harden a contract."

Doc said:

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Look, I my opinion, this is the last real year of opportunity for the core group of guys that is Soriano, Lee, and Ramirez (and Fukudome if you really want to count him). These guys are getting old and their skills are going to deteriorate.

I'm not willing to risk having Bradley on this team again next season.

And again I'll state these glaring stats...

40 RBI
10% of base runners scored.

berselius said:

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quick note: the reason why it's the last year is because Lee and Ramirez will be gone after 2010.

Maim said:

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I don't want him, but I'm not a GM, and enjoying the freedom of NOT being a GM, I don't have to think about the money and the contracts and the blow jobs and whatever else GMs have to think about. But as a girl who works at a brewery who likes to look at and/or listen to baseball games when they are happening, I don't think I much want him around.

Can we get that nice Mark DeRosa back, though?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Dear Flyball,

Please don't make fun of me when IU gets killed by your Terps tonight.

Love, Julie

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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If it gets really bad we can hold each other while rocking back and forth and crying.

gravedigger said:

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did you guys both study journalism there?

JulieDiCaro said:

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no, we both studied boys.

gravedigger said:

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Shenanigans. If that was a real degree concentration, I also would have attended IU.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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French here. Though I did take one journalism class.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hey--me too!

Did we know this?

flyball said:

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they played pretty well for the first half the game was good (although the Terps were a bit off) it wasn't til the last 10 minutes or so when the game got a little one sided

IU is going to have a fun team to watch, I like Tom Crean, and clearly the young guys are playing with all heart which is why I love college hoops in the first place, they aren't going to be a really good team or anything, but fun


gravedigger said:

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BTW I did not get your gift card analogy at all, Julie.

AndCounting said:

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Basically, if Milton can't come back to the Cubs, he is like a gift card that the Cubs can only use at a bad store (i.e. the trade market)--they don't really like what they can get for him, but they can't use him for anything else (as opposed to a label maker, which the Cubs could either use for themselves, take back for cash, or regift).

JulieDiCaro said:

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Not to mention the baby label maker junior.

gravedigger said:

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I love my bunchie icon so much. Every time I see it -- I mean every SINGLE time I see it -- it makes me happy.

CubsColts2010 said:

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millertime.. are you serious.. soriano, zambrano, and fukudome had good seasons..LOL WOW!! not quite. not for what they are getting paid. Soriano is getting paid WAY to much for the numbers he puts up..or dont put up if you will. Fukudome needs RUDY's help.. hopefully he can turn these hitters around .. as far as big Z goes.. he ADMITTED he was lazy at times .. i dont see roy halladay, Tim Lincecum etc being lazy.. big z is a lot better then what he has been. and for what they are being paid. they all need to report to jim hendry and tom ricketts and say, im sorry, you are paying me to much and you need to cut my yearly salary in half so we can get players in here that actually want to play and work hard instead of just get paid. And then maybe .. MAYBE we will win at least one playoff game..

AndCounting said:

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Z said he was lazy with his ab workouts. I can see just about any baseball player being lazy with his ab workouts. Or, in Lincecum's case, with observing the laws on illegal substances. Please stop using that quote out of context to call Z lazy in general.

millertime said:

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1. Soriano was hurt. I never said he had a good season.
2. Fukudome had an OPS of .792. Not great, but not terrible. Especially for an NL CF.
3. Zambrano had his best season in ERA and WHIP and other measures in quite a few seasons. He wasn't lights out, but he had a very good season.


These guys haven't been lights out MVP/Cy Young great. But they've all been very good.

CubsColts2010 said:

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and cubbiejulie i agree. he obviously hit very well with rudy last year. and he is coming in this year. people need to quit hating and give milton bradley a chance. what if i told you he was my favorite cubs player. does that mean im not a true cubs fan? (says the man with a cubs C and MLB Logo tattoo'd on his chest) He will be great. Soriano, Fukudome, Zambrano have been less than great. but they get loved daily.. Oh, its funny too..when bradley gets on a HOT STREAK everyone loves him. Keep Bradley. Hell, Keep the same line-up just toss Marshall.. He needs to go. and Samardzija.. they can go be good elsewhere because it will never happen here lol..

JulieDiCaro said:

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well, he's had plenty of chances, let's not overdo it. if you want to see all his "second chances" enumerated, you should look for a diary i wrote right after he got suspended. bradley has had issues everywhere he's gone since he was in the minors.

and soriano, fukudome, and zambrano haven't committed the cardinal sin of blaming the fans for their poor play.

that said, i still want to keep him. make him deal with all the crap he's contributed to. if he can fight through it and have a good season, we'll be a better team and he'll be a better person.

millertime said:

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I agree that Bradley should have a better season next year. And with a healthy Ramirez and Soriano, the Cubs should win a lot of games. And everyone will talk about how wonderful a job Rudy did with Bradley.

A lot of fans are fair weather.

Doc said:

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Better or not, it is likely he will not have as healthy of a season as 2009.

AndCounting said:

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If the Cubs are going to enjoy the majority of their time at Wrigley, they need Milton Bradley gone. And if most Cub fans are going to enjoy watching the Cubs next season, they probably need Bradley gone, too. But I don't think personal enjoyment and happiness necessarily lead to better baseball. Most fans would like to say that they'd rather see their team win angry than see them lose merrily. The stink of it is in the odds.

If the Cubs keep Bradley instead of swapping him for lesser players and/or worse contracts, there's a good probability it will help the Cubs' chances of winning . . . but it might not.

But if the Cubs keep Bradley, there's pretty much an absolute certainty that all the extracurricular crap with the media and fans will repeat itself in all its unwatchable glory. And it could get worse. At some point you just have to ask yourself, which odds do you like better? I'm at the point where I no longer need it to be all that fun to watch. I'd rather take my chances with a better yet cranky team. But I understand the people who don't feel that way.

millertime said:

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This thread is starting to make my head hurt. What have you done Julie? Talk about opening Pandora's box. You better come up with a fun, kickass thread tomorrow. I don't know. Maybe some Rallymals?

phillies80-08wschamps said:

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dude whatcha speaking martian, you need 2 lay off that chicago ghetto crack!!!!!!! p-h-i-l-l-i-e-s

AndCounting said:

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Man, Chip Caray is kind of a mean drunk.

summerguy said:

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HAHAHAHA... it all makes sense now.

Doc said:

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"Fisted!"

JulieDiCaro said:

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Post of the day.

millertime said:

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Great. I just missed the Victoria's Secret 2009 Fashion Show. Totally thought it was tomorrow night. I hope they rebroadcast it.

Doc said:

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Ok...one more point I want to make about getting rid of Bradley...

If the Cubs do keep bradley, they will still need a center fielder. Fukudome is not an option to play in center field. He was bad out there last year. He'll be bad out there next year.

If Bradley stays, Fukudome needs to be traded. Personally, I'd rather keep Fukudome.

for more: go here

Ok, I'm done with this. Tomorrow's diary had better be about something pleasant, like butterflies or puppy dogs.

FrankS said:

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Only the Cubs and Cubs fans. The Cubs make the mistake of signing a volatile and injury-prone player to a lengthy contract. A good number Cub fans predicted that Bradley would create some sort of incident that would make everyone regret the signing. And of course, Bradley obliges by insulting the fans and his teammates on several occasions, finally getting himself suspended for the final two weeks of the season. Cubs management then goes into overdrive to bury him in the doghouse of public opinion and several of his teammates throw him under the bus. And now Cub fans are starting to tell us that the Cubs should keep this jaggerass. Only the Cubs.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Only because the alternative is so much worse. Effectively paying a worse hitter more money just to get rid of Bradley. Bad business.

FrankS said:

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I think that Doc and I will continue to disagree.

Cookie1981 said:

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CJ: Excellent article and I agree completely. Perhaps if Milton gets his head out of his @@@ and decides to play in 2010 it might make it easier to move him before the trading deadline if his value is up or at the end of next year. Also if he continues to get worse or shows no sign of improvement why not drop him to the minors for a few weeks just to have him understand that he is not held above anyone else in the organization. I think it would also be a daily reminder to Jim Hendry to consult with a doctor before signing players with behavioural issues. Apparently Jim had a brain fart that day. Perhaps a Doctor could have detected it.

CN71 said:

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Can I get that 5 minutes of reading about Michael Barrett back please???

flyball said:

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nope, they're gone

although maybe you could trade them in for 5 minutes of watching Michael Barrett play baseball

Adolfo Soriano said:

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Cubbiejulie,

Find a new hobby.

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