Milton Bradley is Finally Asking for Help

Seattle Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley has long been an LBS favorite because of his entertaining personality. But this time, there’s not much reason to bash Bradley; he’s actually acting like a man. We knew something was different when instead of yelling and screaming after being taken out of Tuesday’s game in the 6th inning, he just walked into the clubhouse and didn’t come back. I think this may have stunned Bradley watchers more than any freak out he’s had in the past.

Is M.B. finally growing up? Shockingly, that’s what appears to be happening. Not too long ago he was proclaiming himself the bad boy of baseball, but that was before the start of a pretty good season for him in Seattle. The Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said that Bradley is currently dealing with some “personal issues” and that Bradley came up to him and said “I need your help”.

I hope that this is the start of a more professional Milton Bradley. Don’t get me wrong — I will miss his little tantrums and trash talking, but I think it’s for the best. I’m not holding my breath because I know that Bradley loves being in the spotlight, but for a man who has been on eight teams in 10 years, Bradley might be ready to settle down and call Seattle home.

Bradley dealing with “Emotional Stress” [ESPN]

More Milton Bradley Drama

Milton Bradley has been hitting the ball well lately for the Seattle Mariners.  Since returning from a calf injury, Bradley was 8-for-25 with three doubles going into last night’s game against the Rays.  Lately, he seems to be one of the lone bright spots on what has been a pretty stale Mariners offense.  Apparently that’s not good enough for Bradley, who has of course been known for being a complete hot head in the past and someone who can’t seem to control his emotions.  He’s a bomb waiting to go off, and he was detonated once again last night, albeit in a quiet manner.

After Bradley struck out in the 6th inning, he supposedly headed back to the dugout and said something to Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu that was along the lines of, “I’m done; I’m not helping the team.”  Bradley then reportedly walked toward the clubhouse, where teammate Ryan Langerhans attempted to talk to him to get him to cool down a bit.  When Bradley started back toward the dugout to find out Langerhans had replaced him in left field, he headed to the locker room, packed up his things, and left the ballpark.

This wasn’t the usual blow up on an umpire and get ejected that we’ve grown used to seeing from Bradley.  In fact, it’s probably worse.  I don’t know whether he’s putting too much pressure on himself to carry the offense in Seattle or what, but you can’t just up and leave your team during a game ever —  let alone in a game where you’re only trailing by two runs.  This can’t sit well with the Mariners front office.  Bradley’s been hitting well, but it’ll be interesting to see how this is handled.  Back in December, we asked your opinion on how long Milton would last in Seattle.  I’m not sure how this tips the odds, but it certainly shouldn’t be something his coaches and teammates turn their cheeks to.  It’s an insult to them and a slap in the face.

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Milton Bradley packed up, left stadium during game after being benched [Seattle Times Blog]

Milton Bradley Flips Off Rangers Fans

That didn’t take long. Two weeks after proclaiming himself baseball’s bad guy, Milton Bradley had his first “incident” as a Seattle Mariner. The upside is that he didn’t direct his anger towards any broadcasters or umpires this time. The bad news is he decided to get pissed at the fans and his actions were caught on TV. Check out this picture of Milton Bradley flipping off Rangers fans giving them the middle finger (uncensored version below):

My man Todd Wright who precedes my show on Sporting News Radio mentioned the story of Milton’s middle finger after he was tipped off by Evan Grant’s blog post on The Dallas Morning News site. Turns out that the answer to Grant’s question was yes, Bradley did indeed flip off the fans. I’m sure a fine and possibly a suspension will be forthcoming. And it looks like option D from the how long will Milton Bradley last in Seattle pool might be your winner. Uncensored version of the photo below.

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Milton Bradley: Baseball’s Bad Guy

Will it ever stop? Only a year ago Milton Bradley was declaring himself the reason the Cubs would win the NL Central. After antics like throwing balls into the stands with only two outs and having an all-around disappointing season, Milton was finally cut loose and traded to Seattle. Milton Bradley started blaming Chicago for his failures last season and continued to feel sorry for himself in his latest comments to the AP:

If I was a musician, I’d be Kanye West. If I was in the NBA, I’d be Ron Artest.  In baseball, they’ve got Milton Bradley. I’m that guy. You need people like me, so you can point your finger and go, ‘There goes the bad guy.”

Can I point my finger and say there goes the cry baby? Kanye West should be insulted that Milton made that comparison. Sure, West has been known to do some rude things, but at least he is great at what he does. Bradley has had two pretty good years in 2004 and 2008. In 2004 with the Dodgers he had 67 RBIs and 19 home runs, in 2008 with the Rangers he had 77 RBIs with 22 homers — both pretty great years.  West, like I said can be rude at times, but he has won 47 awards for his work so I see no comparison.

I really don’t know what satisfaction Bradley gets out of saying this outside of putting himself in a victim’s role. Does he just want to stay in the spotlight for as long as he can? As far as I’m concerned, Bradley’s light bulb has burned out — now it’s time for him to move on and focus on a new season with his team instead of dwelling on the past.

Milton Bradley says he’s the bad guy in baseball, a la Kanye West [USA Today]

The ‘How Long will Milton Bradley Last in Seattle?’ Pool

In a mere matter of weeks, the Seattle Mariners have gone from pretty good team to legit AL West contender. First they signed Chone Figgins to play third base over Adrian Beltre, which is an even stronger addition considering they plucked him from the defending division champion Angels. Next, Seattle came out of nowhere to acquire Cliff Lee from the Phillies for prospects. Their latest impressive move came on Friday when they shipped useless Carlos Silva and the remaining $25 million on his contract to the Cubs for disgruntled outfielder Milton Bradley and the remaining $21 million on his deal. The Cubs really screwed themselves on this one because they overpaid for Bradley and were stuck with his deal. Even if Milton’s a headache, at least he’s a much better player than Silva and he can help your team win. Or, as LBS contributor Alan said, “At worst, say Bradley kills Ichiro, they cut Milton and send him to jail BUT wouldn’t lose any more money than having Silva on the roster.” Exactly. Seattle can’t lose with this because they already wasted the money on Silva. So … the million dollar question is: how long will Milton last in Seattle?

    a) Both years and he’ll play like the All-Star he was in Texas
    b) Both years but he’ll be limited by injuries like usual
    c) One year but the team won’t want him around next year
    d) Injury or bonehead move knocks him out midseason
    e) He murders Ichiro prior to Opening Day and goes to jail

Just remember, the fun part is there is no right or wrong answer!

Who Actually Thought the Milton Bradley Signing Would End Well?

If you had to break down worst baseball signings in the past 10 years or so, the contract the Cubs gave Milton Bradley would have to be up there. Now that’s not to say that Milton Bradley’s a bad ballplayer, but let me ask this: upon hearing the news that the Cubs had signed Bradley, who actually thought to themselves, “Wow, Bradley to the Cubs for three years? Great move. That is the piece they’re missing.” Honestly, I don’t understand what Jim Hendry was doing when he made that commitment. We even called this one back in March when Milton proclaimed that he was the reason the Cubs would win the NL Central. The only surprise is that Milton couldn’t even make it through his first season with the team before things went haywire. Matter of conjecture, this signing probably is the cherry on top of Hendry’s firing sundae.

Let’s think of all the bad reasons for making this deal. For one, the Cubs were overreacting to a playoff sweep by the Dodgers last year and decided they NEEDED to have a left-handed bat in their lineup. Considering Fukudome isn’t really working out, that’s a fine conclusion. The problem is that Hendry and Piniella decided that Milton Bradley was their guy and they needed to award him a three-year guaranteed contract to prove it. They ignored the fact that Raul Ibanez, Adam Dunn, and Bobby Abreu are all left-handed bats who were on the free agent market. Even if the Cubs preferred Bradley to the alternatives, which is fine, they had no reason to give him a third year considering the market was so weak Dunn and Abreu got two and one year deals, respectively. They totally overpaid for Bradley when they had absolutely no reason to — that was terrible business.

Next, consider they gave a three-year deal to Bradley who has had an attitude issue at every single stop he’s ever made — Cleveland, LA, San Diego, Texas, Oakland, you name it — and that he misses more games than J.D. Drew. Who was Hendry trying to please more, Cubs fans or Dr. Phil? It was just such a bad move business-wise there was no reason to believe it would ever end well. It would be like Buffalo giving T.O. a three-year deal after he got cut by Dallas when hardly anyone else wanted him. I just can’t understand what the Cubs were doing but I really am surprised it has come to an end so soon. Now they’re going to have to eat almost all of his contract just to get rid of him? Here’s when you take a chance on the guy. Just make sure you only need 300 at-bats out of him because that’s about his max.

Video: Milton Bradley Loses Track of Outs, Throws Ball into Stands

We’re only at mid-June and Milton Bradley is already checking some items off his “things to accomplish” list in his first year with the Cubs. He’s already had a confrontation with an umpire resulting in a suspension, missed a third of the games because of a nagging injury, and now he’s lost count of the outs and thrown the ball into the stands Larry Walker-style. Check out his screwup in this highlight reel:

Bradley says he could tell something wasn’t right and even justified things by saying at least his heart was in the right place (he was giving a souvenir). Bright side is at least he got two hits and drove in a run. The downside, Cubs fans have another two and a half years of these antics.