Come To Think Of It...Note To Milton Bradley: Each Inning Has Three Outs

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IJune 13, 2009

I guess expecting Milton Bradley to show up and stay focused for nine innings is asking too much for $10 million a year. At least it was Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

The oft-injured disappointment should have stayed in bed, because he had the kind of day that one would just as soon forget. No wait, he has had an entire season like that, come to think of it.

The Cubs offense was once again out to lunch during the first five innings of their 7-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins. But even a three-spot in the sixth inning wasn't enough to overcome Bradley's three gaffes.

Milton giveth, Milton taketh away.

In the sixth inning, he hit a double off the wall that scored two runs. Then, he dropped a fly ball in the top of the seventh that led to a run. He apparently lost the ball in the sun.

Now, right field in Wrigley Field certainly isn't the easiest place to catch a ball when the sun is shining, particularly when you haven't had much experience out there. But there simply can be no excuse for what happened next.

Apparently, Milton was so delighted to actually catch a call in the top of the eighth that he forgot how many outs there were. Bradley flung the ball into the bleacher boxes behind him. The run would have scored anyway, but that's not the point. 

Bradley is being paid a lot of money. More, in fact, than the three other major free agent outfielders that GM Jim Hendry decided to pass on in the offseason—Raul Ibanez, Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu.

And, he not only hasn't hit nor been healthy, he now doesn't have his head in the game. What's next—forgetting to put on his uniform?

Milton's first mistake occurred when he was on second after his double and Mike Fontenot was on third. Bradley took off on a ground ball to short and was tagged out easily.

On a day when the Cubs actually decided to score a few runs, the pitching suddenly went south. Randy Wells had his worst start in the big leagues.

To add insult to injury, the Twins fans in the crowd were loud, drowning out the Cubs fans at times. I'm not sure why there were so many of them at the game, but there were about 35-40 percent Twins fans in the stands, according to BleedCubbieBlue.com.

These Cubs could learn a lesson from the Twins.

While the Twinkies play sound fundamental baseball—heck, even their pitchers (who don't bat in the American League, may I remind everyone)—lay down perfect sacrifice bunts.

Meanwhile, the Cubs have struggled all season in this regard.

Also, what happened to the patience at the plate that served the team so well in 2008? Ten pitches was all it took for Joe Nathan to nail down save No. 14. The normally patient Kosuke Fukudome, who has never faced Nathan, swung at his first offering.

And, Jose Mijares retired the two Cubs he faced in the seventh on two pitches while Matt Guerrier threw only four to get the last out in the eighth.

So the impatient Cubs didn't help the Sox, but the Sox didn't do us any favors either, as they lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-2.

Perhaps Milton Bradley ought to buy one of those counters that the home plate umpires use, so he can track the number of outs. If he can actually count that high, come to think of it.


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