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The Cubs Will Win the N.L. Central Because of Milton Bradley, Just Ask Him

Even before the addition of Milton Bradley the Cubs were no doubt most people’s (myself included) favorite to win the division. The Brewers were strong last year but they still couldn’t hang with the Cubs AND they lost Ben Sheets, C.C. Sabathia, and Salomon Torres to make matter worse. The Cards are always in the mix as long as they have Pujols, but their pitching (bullpen mostly) still remains semi-suspect in my eyes. Well, if you ask Bradley, the Cubs’ $30 million man, it’s no surprise people are picking them as the favorite:

“They should,” Milton Bradley said. “I’m here.”

“I’m a winner,” he said. “When I went to the Dodgers [in 2004], after they hadn’t been to the postseason since ’88, they went to the postseason. I went to the A’s in 2006. We weren’t supposed to do anything, and we went to the ALCS. I was with San Diego [in '07]. We were one win away from making the postseason, and I got hurt. Everywhere I go, people win. It’s not a surprise.”

Actually Milton, the Dodgers did make it to the postseason before that, they just hadn’t won a playoff game since ’88. But no doubt Milton Bradley has been the common thread on all those playoff teams leading to all their successes. When you get worried this year, Cubs fans, just remember you’re still going to be O.K. and that you’re going to win the division. Milton Bradley says so.

Milton Bradley, Ted Lilly Join the Club

I have been quite negligent with Sombrero Watch, missing out on Carlos Beltran’s efforts on Saturday (I’m letting you off the hook on this one, buddy), and Ryan Howard last week. Though a day late, invitations were extended to Milton Bradley and Ted Lilly to join the club. Our buddy Milton turned the trick on Monday night in the Rangers’ 2-1 win over the Yankees. He’s lucky Scotty Feldman and company pitched well enough to keep the Yanks bats at bay otherwise his five runners left on base would have looked a lot worse. Anyway, perhaps harder to do than injuring your knee while arguing with an umpire, Milton K’d three times against Mike Mussina. The other was against Jose Veras. Nicely done, Milton. We welcome you with open arms.

The other inductee from Monday night would be Ted Lilly. I had to wrestle with this one greatly before giving my blessing. Early on I made the call to keep all pitchers because they don’t really count, but Ted Lilly is the exception. I am proud to announce that Ted Lilly is the first member of the club to achieve the Platinum Sombrero. Not only is it remarkably difficult to achieve the Golden Sombrero, imagine how tough it is to go Platinum. Especially when you consider that Lilly’s a pitcher; how many pitchers even get five at-bats in a game without getting pinch hit for? For those two reasons, Lilly was inducted.

Honorable mentions from Monday go out to Jason Repko, Marcus Thames, and Jason Michaels who all punched out four times in five at-bats. Better that you all didn’t turn the trick — I’m not so sure we would’ve had room for you anyway.

Milton Bradley Charges the TV Booth

When the term “anger management” was coined, I’m sure the person had Milton Bradley in mind. This is a guy who was one of the nicest dudes I’ve ever been around in an MLB clubhouse. But for some reason, he has a short fuse, and when it gets lit, man, does he blow like nobody else. He had yet another uncontrollable blowup following Wednesday night’s game when he burst out of the clubhouse to track down Royals TV announcer, Ryan Lefebvre. Bradley had to be chased down and restrained by GM Jon Daniels, as well as manager Ron Washington (presumably in between sips of his postgame Crown Royal victory elixir).

Bradley, who was Texas’ designated hitter, apparently heard some comments from Lefebvre while he was in the clubhouse between at-bats. Lefebvre insisted he wasn’t singling out Bradley.

“From what I remember, we were complimenting Josh Hamilton and how he’s turned his life around and been accountable for his mistakes,” Lefebvre said. “Frank [White] and I were just having a conversation that it’s a shame it doesn’t appear Milton Bradley is doing the same in his life.”

“He was upset,” Daniels said. “Somebody that doesn’t know him was effectively passing judgment on TV. The guy’s been a tremendous teammate and a good guy for us and it’s obvious he was hurt by those comments.”

Just like a ticking time bomb. So predictable. I don’t know what this dude’s problem is, but he’s another one who should just be living in a bubble. Don’t read newspapers or magazines, don’t listen to the radio, and don’t watch TV. Don’t go out anywhere. Just stay at home, go to and from the park and do your thing on the field. That’s the best thing for you, Milton. That is, if you want to actually play a complete season in the Major Leagues. As for Lefebvre, he’s someone who has gone through some serious psychological issues (link is to PDF) in the past. I would guess he’d be pretty empathetic towards both Hamilton and Bradley.

UPDATE: Here’s what Lefebvre said that set Milty off.