Milton Bradley: "Changed Man" Looks The Same

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IApril 16, 2009

I refuse to drop any zebra-stripes cliches. I promise.

But while I never drank the Kool-Aid from Milton Bradley, his rhetoric about being a "changed man" has to be looking as shallow as the infield grass about now.

How blown out of proportion were the worries from those of us that doubted he would earn his contract on the field? It took less than a week for Bradley to miss time because of injury. Precaution or not, missing 30 percent of the team's first ten games doesn't set the bar very high.

And how exaggerated were the concerns that Bradley could keep his infamous temper under control? He can now claim to be batting a perfect 1.000 at Wrigley Field in his Cubs career; he's been ejected after every home at-bat this year.

I know that many of the same people that criticized my sarcastic jump off the Fukudome bandwagon after the first game of the year will rally together to tell me I'm reading too much into ten games.

Am I?

There were two issues that Bradley spent almost all of spring training selling the Chicago media and public on.

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His temper wouldn't be an issue, and he was healthy enough to play every day. Both marketing campaigns have been shown to be hollow within two weeks.

While Fukudome has certainly shown me to be too quick to judge this year, what happens if Bradley's consistent history of temper issues and injuries continues and Fukudome falls off after May like he did last year?

Jim Edmonds isn't riding to the rescue again in 2009, and Micah Hoffpauir isn't anywhere close to an every day outfielder.

I guess you really can't teach an old dog new tricks.


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