As I watched Milton Bradley implode again today in the sixth inning, I thought of the tag, "lovable loser."
The Cubs' nickname and punch line of all jokes. Bradley again took his anger out on an innocent water cooler.
As water flooded the dug out, temperatures started to rise. Bradley was told by Lou to collect his stuff and head off home. After another incident, just how long will Bradley remain in the good graces of Lord Lou?
Jake Fox is swinging a nice bat, Aramis Ramirez is due back very soon, and Bradley is busy making himself look like a fool out in right field. Will this team be picked on salary or contribution? There is no doubt who the hot hitter is right now. Lou has to find a way to get Fox into the lineup, but what to do with the $10 million man?
After the game had finished, I discussed the latest outburst with several friends, all of whom said they were having trouble warming to the man, questioning his place within the clubhouse.
"He's just not a Cub," one explained.
This got me thinking to what actually constitutes being a Cub. It was easy after the same friend went on to say, "He's no Mark DeRosa, that's for sure."
Leaving production out of the equation this time, what did DeRosa bring that Bradley doesn't? The leadership, perhaps.
I mean come on, let's get serious for a moment. What kind of example is it to some of the younger guys when a veteran player loses his temper after every poor AB?
What kind of atmosphere does that create in the dugout, does it spread to other players? Is a negative tantrum contagious to a team desperate for a streak of wins?
Questions have been raised about Bradley's temperament before. Knowing this, does he have what it takes to be a Cub? Can he handle coming under the spotlight every AB?
He can't take days off like he was able to in Texas or Cleveland, every AB will be talked about, every fly ball that dropped an inch in front of him will be discussed and broken down. Did he come in on it hard enough? Could he have hit the turf?
What I'm trying to say is, when will Bradley's toy throwing result in him being taken to the naughty chair for a time out? If he continues to not produce and throw tantrums at every turn, I don't see any way Lou can continue to play him when a hard nosed, 100 percent effort guy like Fox is warming the bench with his .395 AVG.
There is nothing lovable about Bradley, immaturity is often mistaken for passion.