Not everyone believes in team chemistry, but I do.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional ballplayer or a professional salesperson…it’s inevitable you’ll get along with some co-workers better than you will with others.
That’s reality and that’s life.
The Cubs’ decision to trade high-character guy Mark DeRosa vs. the signing of bad-apple Milton Bradley is a poor one.
Anytime you favor statistics -or left-handedness in this case- over leadership you’re taking a big risk…see Terrell Owens of the National Football League.
I won’t disagree that trading DeRosa was beneficial to the Cubs on paper, but for heaven’s sake…you can’t replace a team leader like Mark with the likes of Milton Bradley and expect a sound clubhouse.
There’s no question the Cubs have the talent to win the NL Central and perhaps the pennant, but its biggest obstacle won’t be the Cardinals, Reds or Brewers; instead, it’s their right fielder.
During the past four seasons Ken Griffey Jr. has averaged 41 more games played than Milton Bradley.
Since 2005 Griffey averages 131 games per season…Bradley averages just 90.
In this same time frame Griffey has posted 110 HRs, 328 RBIs vs. Bradley’s 62 HRs and 204 RBIs.
And you’re telling me a left-handed batting Bradley is a better sign for the Cubs than Junior?
Put Griffey in Wrigley’s small outfield, platoon him with Gathright and Fukudome, and let the man chase his ring with Chicago.
Not to mention, Griffey would be a far better addition to the clubhouse and would come to the North Side at a far more reasonable rate than Milton’s 3-years $30 million.
My prediction that Griffey ends up with Tampa Bay or Seattle appears spot-on after reading this report.
Of course, this isn’t a brilliant uncovering on my part, but the result of common sense.
Griffey’s agent, however, says six teams are interested in signing Junior…probably lasting no more than two seasons.
And whereas Tampa Bay appears to make the most sense for Griffey, given his family commitments (which resides in Orlando), the Rays’ signing of Pat the Bat greatly lessens that possibility.
Obviously, a return to Seattle is the fan’s choice for Griffey, but I think Junior surprises us all by signing elsewhere.
The guy has always been in search of a ring…Seattle isn’t postseason bound…and the Rays chances for a championship are always tough playing in the AL East.
Noting Junior has lost more than “a step” defensively, my best guess says Ken goes for an AL team where he’ll have the opportunity to DH.
So I’ll go out on a limb with this prediction…Junior signs with Boston to fill-in for an ailing Big Papi, or with Atlanta to stay close to home and help lead the Braves past New York in the East!
Bradley learned this in chemistry class?
Jim Leyland says chemistry is a class in high school, not something that exists in a baseball clubhouse.
Well, I disagree…they’re people in this world I definitely get along with more than others, and the social interaction I share with them has a lot to do with it.
Sure, nothing prevents bad chemistry from surfacing better than money (or a winning record), but even in good times chemistry is a fragile thing.
And when clubs lose its Mojo, they lose their way in the standings too.
That being said, in one week the Cubs have traded one of its best chemistry guys (DeRosa) for one of the league’s worst (Milton Bradley).
There’s a reason Bradley has played for seven different teams in nine years…he’s a bad chemistry guy.
After all, why else would the Expos, Indians, Dodgers, A’s, Padres and Rangers deal a hitter with a lifetime .280 average and career .370 OBP?
Bradley is a time bomb, plain and simple. We have no idea when he’ll blow his top, we just know it’s a matter of time before he will.
So, I don’t care how high Milton’s OBP was last year (tops in the AL .436), some things (not many! ) are more important than home runs, RBIs and OBP…clubhouse chemistry is one of them.
Obviously, I’m not in favor of the signing. They’re several other F.A. outfielders who can match Milton statistically, not to mention, they’re likely far more durable than Bradley who’s played no more than 126 games in a season since 2004.
Yes, as a switch-hitter Bradley fills a need in this Cubs’ lineup, but I’m afraid he also creates a much greater need inside the Chicago clubhouse as well.
Meet Mr. Gathright
You can forget about Chicago signing Raul Ibanez, he’s now signed on with Philly. However, there’s no reason not to be excited about Joey Gathright…seriously!
He’s 27-years old, has excellent speed (78 stolen bases in 105 attempts in his career), is versatile in the outfield and, is a left-handed bat with 400+ games of MLB experience under his belt.
Obviously, Gathright is not is the power hitting lefty (1-career HR) Lou is coveting, but there’s definitely a place for this guy on Chicago’s roster.
After watching Lou manage for two seasons we understand the skipper’s pleasure in making double switches and inserting pinch runners, both of which make Gathright an ideal fit off the bench.
Not to mention, Gathright is above average defensively in center field — something the Cubs lack.
Still, this signing is all about Felix Pie. He’s out of minor league options and still struggling to hit MLB pitching.
In turn, Pie’s trade stock has dropped considerably leaving Jim Hendry stuck with the under-achieving prospect.
With Gathright in the mix we’re only left to believe Pie is on the move. Where he goes, who knows?
Of course, it’s looking better each day that Hendry lands free-agent slugger Milton Bradley.
Yes, Bradley is an ideal fit for the Cubs lineup statistically, but he’s also far more expensive than Gathright’s 1-year $800,000 contract.
And let’s not forget, when you sign Milton you’re also signing the loads of baggage that’s trailed him from Cleveland, L.A., Oakland, San Diego, and Texas.
In my mind, Bradley isn’t a guy you want on a championship type roster like the Cubs. And clearly, there’s a reason he’s played for five different clubs in the past six seasons. Basically, the guy is nuts between the ears.
So yeah, get excited about Joey Gathright! Even though he’s not the perfect fit, he’s still good enough.