March 25, 2010

Men behaving Bradley

I wish I could take all the credit for that headline; however, I can’t. I borrowed that headline from the name of a fantasy baseball team that someone else created (I don’t know who). I saw it recently listed in the Orange County Register’s Angels blog. It’s pretty funny, but then again – it’s kind of sad too.

You see, part of me wants to have some empathy for Milton Bradley. Part of me wants to believe he’s simply misunderstood and that he’s not really not a bad guy. I want to feel that way because every time I’ve had a chance to interact with him or see him in a player/fan situation, he’s been cordial. Granted, he doesn’t say much, but he does make time for fans and seems pretty normal in those situations.

Of course; that being said, we all know his history and it isn’t pretty.

In case you haven’t heard, Bradley is making headlines again; and surprise, surprise; it’s not for his play on the field. I don’t know about you, but I hate it when athletes become better known for the stuff that isn’t related to their on the field accomplishments.

In case you missed it, Bradley recently said, “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."

Really? We need people like you? Actually, Milton the world could use a few less idiots running around. That’s right; we surpassed our quota quite a while ago. The ship of fools has set sail and quite frankly, we’re hoping it heads off to never-never land. So, trust me on this – we don’t need you. If you stopped playing baseball tomorrow, we’d hardly even notice. We know your type. You’re that guy that thinks that if you leave, people are going to miss you. You are so wrong. In fact you’re actually clueless.

The season hasn’t even started and Milton Bradley is up to his antics once again. He’s been thrown out of two spring training games for arguing balls and strikes. I don’t know for sure, but I’d bet that’s some sort of a record. I mean we’re talking about practice games. I’m thinking even Allen Iverson would find this kind of funny. Practice. We’re talking about practice.

Some people thought Bradley would finally see the light and turn over a new leaf in Seattle. Fat chance. He was recently quoted as saying, “I mean, I'm not changing, I've gotten this far being me, it's been 31 years, and nothing changes about me, ever."

Duh! And well, there you have it. Milton Bradley is insane. Someone once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I think that says it all.

Some people thought that Ken Griffey, Jr. would take Bradley aside and set him on the path of the straight and narrow. I believe I even read somewhere that Junior said something to the effect of having the situation covered. Apparently that isn’t working. Junior is a certain Hall of Famer, but he’s not a miracle worker. Those people who thought Junior would handle Bradley are probably the same people who think the Mariners are going to win the west too. Fat chance.

Personally, I don’t think Milton Bradley deserves to wear a baseball uniform. It’s gotten to the point where he disrespects the game on a regular basis. I hate that. I love this game and baseball doesn’t need Milton Bradley at all. He’s a distraction; and he’s on the verge of becoming a freak show of the circus variety.

Step right up! Try and hit the target to dunk the baseball player and watch his head explode.

I can see him arguing with the patrons now. “That ball didn’t hit the target square! I am being unfairly dunked!”

Face it; Bradley’s had a lot of chances to get his act together. Way more than he probably deserves. Again, I want to like Milton Bradley, but he makes it virtually impossible to do that. It’s a shame too.

He doesn’t realize that playing baseball is a privilege. He’s got that disease that seems to be sweeping the nation these days; it’s that sense of “entitlement.” Well, I’ve got news for Bradley… it’s actually the other way around. The dude owes baseball. Bradley owes it big time. Baseball has given Bradley far more than he has given it.

Bradley sucks the joy out of baseball and it’s clear that he doesn’t have fun playing the game. Why bother? I mean, I really want to know. Then again; maybe not.

So here’s a news flash for Bradley…

I wish you would just go away. You see we really don’t need you. You’re just not that good and you’re wrong about us needing a “bad guy” to point at. That being said; we’ll point all right. We’ll point at you the way we point at a train wreck.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. Bradley wasn't tossed for arguing balls and strikes, which kind of undercuts your whole thesis. In fact, all you have to rest your "Bradley doesn't deserve to play baseball" assertion on is that he said some stuff to some reporters that you didn't like. Heavens!

    This spring, he has had zero problems with his teammates, zero problems with his opponents, zero problems with his coaches, zero problems with the Seattle media. That's not to say that is going to be the case through the whole season, but the man has done nothing wrong through spring training--and yet he still gets called "insanse," a "freak show," and a "train wreck". I think this kind of proves his point, actually.

  2. Timothy,

    Actually my assertion is based on his long history of poor behavior and his total unwillingness to be accountable for his actions.

    My comment about him being "insane" is based on his lack of desire to change his behavior.

    We all read what we want to read, don't we?

    It's only a matter of time before Bradley implodes again. You know it. I know it. If he proves me wrong, I'll be sure to note it in this blog. Bank on it.

  3. I don't much care for Milton Bradley nor do I condone his statements/actions, but he does sort of have a point, whether he realizes it or not.

    We need the cold of winter to fully appreciate the springtime daffodils, to use a painfully stretched metaphor.

  4. here is no doubt that Milton Bradley is an incredibly sensitive player who is unable to shrug off what he feels to be a slight against him. And that's a problem for him and his teams.

    That said, I have a real problem with the notion that Bradley doesn't deserve to wear a uniform. Some pretty terrible people have worn those uniforms, and I think it's silly to start pretending that baseball will be a magically better place if Milton Bradley is not in it.

    Bradley deserves to never wear a uniform anymore when his skills slip enough or his behavior is deemed (by his employers) to be such a distraction that it hinders the club. Until then, we're all outsiders throwing rocks at his glass house.

  5. CM - There's an old saying that two wrongs don't make a right. Just because there have been countless others who might not have deserved to wear a baseball uniform and did anyway, doesn't mean Bradley should also get a pass.

    Besides, it's not like I have the power to remove the uniform form his back or anything.

    We all live in glass houses. This is true. But that doesn't mean we can't have an opinion and be critical at times. That's just not how the world works.

  6. One more thing... I never said baseball would be a better place without Bradley. I simply said he wouldn't be missed. I'll stand by that.

    I refuse to give a pass to players who refuse to be accountable for their actions. Bradley's history of bad behavior is an extensive one.

  7. Fine, if all of this is just carping about stuff he did last year (and the years before), then that's fine. If you don't think he should have gotten a second (or third, or fourth, or whatever) chance, then great. But he did--so let's look at how he's doing with it

    At the moment, MB is doing a fine job, interacting perfectly well with everyone around him, but still getting attacked by AAA umpires and assorted journalists and bloggers (though not those who are actually covering his team, I'll note, which is telling).

    Sure, he says he's not going to change, and so maybe we'll see him shiv a guy on the field this year or something. But maybe he's right that the environments he was in played some role in what happened (it doesn't excuse his behavior, naturally). If so, then he won't need to change anything, from his perspective, in order for the outcome to be better for everyone involved.

    The only thing anyone can legitimately say about Bradley in 2010 is "so far, so good." Everything else is just talking about years past. And if that's what you want to do, great, but don't pretend its news.

  8. I don't want to make excuses for Bradley, though I guess I'm going to. There is no doubt at this point, is there, that he is treated differently by umpires and the media? Undoubtedly, he's brought some of that on himself, but it seems to be the topic of every single interview he does. No wonder he, and his managers get tired of talking about it. How often to reporters ask Brett Myers the same questions? Bradley is a guaranteed story, and I firmly believe that reporters do their damnedest to use that to their advantage. Likewise, I think umpires feel the need to show him up.

  9. Timothy,

    First of all I appreciate your comments.

    Let's be clear about a couple things. Whatever I write about here should never (for the most part) be considered "news." I'm not pretending that it is.

    I suppose it is telling that an Angels fan took time to blog about Milton Bradley. What's more telling is that perhaps you're suggesting only Mariner fans or those covering the M's should be commenting at all? I'm guessing that's not your intent. If you click on the Milton Bradley "label" below - you'll see that I've made comments about him even prior to his arriving in Seattle.

    Never-the-less, I will never hide my bias. I'm most definitely an Angels fan and I know that's going to impact my opinion on all things baseball. That also doesn't mean that my opinion is wrong (or right).

    By the way - what team do you cheer for? I'm just asking.

  10. CM - I agree with everything you just wrote. The entire city of Chicago might not see it your way, but I undestand where you're coming from ;-)

  11. I didn't mean to imply that your problems w/ Bradley are in any way related to your (unfortunate) Angels fandom. All I was trying to point out is that the people who see him the most these days don't have anything particularly negative to say about him. See here for an example:

    I am an M's fan, which is the only reason I'm paying enough attention to know that his situation with the team is, so far, just fine. And that's the problem with your post--you took those two ejections, in conjunction with some comments, to mean that Bradley is "up to his old tricks." That's what I was referring to with the word 'news'--only in the sense of 'a description of things that are currently happening'. But it was simply not an accurate description, hence my objection.

  12. Timothy,

    I imagine that every fan base that first acquires Bradley tries to give him the benefit of the doubt. Angel fans did the same thing when Jose Guillen arrived in Anaheim.

    We all think our team can fix the problem children of baseball. We look at our leaders like Mike Scioscia or whoever it might be at the time and believe they'll be able to "handle" these kinds of guys.

    Perhaps there are times when that does happen. Perhaps that will be the case this time with Bradley. Time will tell and I'll be watching.

    As for my "unfortunate" Angels fandome. I doubt you really want to go down that road. Talk about a train wreck of a comment. ;-)

  13. Heh. We loved Guillen in Seattle.

  14. Bob from 514March 25, 2010

    It's not only the fan bases that have been duped by this Bozo. Just ask Jim Hendry, who signed him to a $30 million deal for 3 years before last season. Most Cub fans (myself included) were wondering who was more insane, Bradley or Hendry, before the ink was dry on that contract.

    As for Timothy's comment about "the environments" having some role in what happened, I read many of those stories about how MB accused the Chicago fans of being "racist." Maybe he should talk to the likes of Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Andre Dawson, et al, players who are still so beloved by Chicagoans decades after retiring.

    James, you hit the nail on the head. Sports is supposed to be an escape from the realities of life. When we see a loafer like MB, who blames everyone but himself for his troubles, it's just a symptom of the lack of personal responsibilty that we see in so many aspects of society today.