Is Milton Bradley a jerk? Well, it's probably safe to say that not many baseball (especially Cubs) fans would invite him to be a FriendFace buddy.
But back to the question—yes, Bradley is a jerk. Big time.
However, anyone who has watched or heard of his odd moods and violent behavior should be asking, "What in the hell would drive someone to be such a lunatic?"
For a psychiatrist or any student who has paid attention through an abnormal psychology course, the diagnosis is glaringly obvious.
Bradley has all the symptoms of a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Yes, that does sound like a lame excuse...and perhaps even an imaginary disorder.
According to The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), BPD a "serious mental illness." Many Tom Cruise-types dismiss it, but the brain is a very tricky device.
NIMH lists the symptoms of BPD:
"Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual's sense of self-identity."
Sound like anyone we know?
Mood stabilizing medication along with anti-depressants can be given to BPD patients. It is unknown and probably unlikely that Bradley is taking medication.
Perhaps the most telling signal, "While a person with depression or bipolar disorder typically endures the same mood for weeks, a person with BPD may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last only hours, or at most a day."
During the 2008 season, while Bradley was with Texas, a T.V. announcer said something like how great Josh Hamilton's comeback story was and how Milton Bradley should take notes.
After the game Bradley chased and tried to confront the announcer. Luckily he was restrained.
Bradley broke into tears after the incident, saying something to the effect of, "I've been a good boy this year."
If that, along with his past behavior, did not send a humongous red flags to general managers around the league looking to sign the 2009 free agent, then they should be held more accountable than Bradley.
Especially if the GM were dim enough to give him more than a one-year deal. More so if they offered a $30 million/three-year contract.
In fact, fans of any team with such a bird-brained GM should be irate and refuse to buy tickets until Jim Hendry (whoops) is kicked to the curb.
All the signs were there. Only one team was dumb enough to sign Bradley to a multi-year deal.
This article is in no way an attempt to give Bradley a free pass.
Milton Bradley is mentally ill.
Illya Harrell is not a psychiatrist, nor is he employed in a field remotely related to the subject. He does, however, hold a worthless Psychology undergraduate degree.