The Cardinals Magic Number is down to 2.
Meaning soon the Red Birds will be celebrating the NL Central Division title.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are already gone fishin’, but at least they’re not playing like it.
Milton Bradley gets canned and the club immediately goes 3-0.
How much is coincidence? Nada.
This is the moment that defines Jim Hendry’s career.
A career that’s no longer defined by any previous player transactions or back-to-back division titles.
It’s about a single deadly move that helped tear apart a 97-win team before the first game was even played this season.
Milton Bradley played Hendry for a sucker, which he was, and now it’s put Hendry’s job in jeopardy.
Just how good have the Cubs been against Pittsburgh?
In the last 31 games between the two clubs Chicago has posted a 25-6 record, good for a sparkling .806 winning percentage.
And in 10 series dating back to September of 2007 the Cubs are 9-1 against the Buccos, which is now the club’s best 30-game mark against the Peg Legs in Chicago’s franchise history.
The irony is laughable.
Milton Bradley isn’t feeling the love from Cubbie fans, saying he’s been uncomfortable playing at Wrigley all year.
This from a man who’s single handedly built a reputation of making cities, fan bases, and teammates in general, feel uncomfortable.
There’s a reason Bradley has changed teams as often as we change our socks, and it has nothing to do with Bradley the baseball player–the guy’s just not likeable.
Milton Bradley batting from the 2-hole isn’t as crazy as you might think.
In fact, it’s a page Piniella is borrowing from Tony La Russa.
As White Sox manager in 1983 La Russa moved a struggling Carlton Fisk into the two-slot.
Fisk, not surprisingly, balked at the move initially. He was, after all, a power hitter use to hitting from the three, four and five hole.
The move, however, worked in Fisk’s favor. After spending the early part of the season batting below .200, the catcher rebounded to hit .289 with 26 home runs, a career high at the time.
With Fisk once again thriving at the plate the White Sox went on to win the division by 20 games.
The similarities are there with Bradley, too.
Many moons ago I made a prediction.
I said Milton Bradley would keep the Cubs from winning a World Championship this season.
Through the first three months Bradley has held up his end of the deal.
His lack of hitting has gone hand-in-hand with his lack of professionalism. His blame-game is in full swing, and worse, he’s quickly dividing the Cubs’ clubhouse.
When teammates rip one another publicly, it’s a sure fire sign the team’s chemistry is off the mark (yes, I believe in clubhouse chemistry).
Thank Bradley for igniting the recent press barbs, and thank his teammates for leaking them out from behind the sacred walls of the clubhouse!
Milton Bradley got a laugh from his poor showing Friday.
I’m glad someone finds a .500 record in mid June so amusing–even if Chicago is only three games back in the division.
On the other hand, I wasn’t giggling when Bradley tossed the ball into the stands with one out, either.
That play alone makes it’s easy to question the Cubs’ focus, not to mention, the lineup’s one walk vs. 12 strikeouts performance.
Call me crazy, but the Cubs would be better off without Milton Bradley.
In 51 games this season Bradley has already suffered two injuries and served a suspension for arguing with an umpire.
It’s the story of his baseball life: bruised body, bruised ego.
Why Jim Hendry ever believed Milton Bradley could stay healthy–or sane–on the North Side, I don’t know?
But it seems consecutive sweeps in the postseason encouraged Hendry to take a risk he normally wouldn’t bite on.
At last, the decision to sign Bradley for 3-years at $30 million is biting him back.
Milton Bradley says he’s not treated fairly by MLB. And, Milton is right. But, that’s to be expected with his history of suspensions.
Doesn’t matter if Bradley’s contact with the umpire was incidental–you can’t touch the guys in blue! When there’s contact there are also grounds for a possible suspension.
I didn’t have a problem with MLB’s initial two-game ban for Bradley. And I don’t have a problem with the reduction to a one-game ban either.
My only issue is that it took MLB a full month to resolve the problem. That’s too long.
Give Milton credit for addressing the media after the game. Answering the questions keeps the story from lingering any longer. He’ll serve the suspension Friday and put this whole story to bed.
From day one I’ve not been in favor of the Milton Bradley signing. I’m a firm believer in clubhouse chemistry and I also favor high-character guys over the self-centered gaudy statistics guy.
Basically, Milton Bradley doesn’t fit on my team, never will.
Of course, come September I hope M.B. proves me wrong. And, if that’s the case, I’ll fess up to striking out on this one, which, is only fair if you’re going to say ‘I told you so.’
But here we are, 11 games into the Milton Bradley era and the Cubs are getting exactly what they signed up for…injuries, ejections and distractions.