A Fan's Request Of Milton Bradley: Shut Up!

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IJuly 19, 2009

CHICAGO - JUNE 28:  Milton Brandley #21 of the Chicago Cubs asks for the count from home plate umpire Brain Runge #71 as A.J. Pierzynski #12 of the Chicago White Sox listens on June 28, 2009 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Cubs 6-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

As the Chicago Cubs finished their series against the St. Louis Cardinals last weekend, they had reasons to feel upbeat after a disappointing first half.

After all, they had played about as poorly as anyone could imagine for almost 90 games and were still only three games out of first place.

But as the All Star Break began, it was as though the team was leaving Arizona to head north for the start of the regular season. Lots of hope in every locker, and Milton Bradley shooting his mouth off.

Bradley, who signed a three-year contract before the season, has established himself as everything you should teach your Little League-playing son or daughter to become the opposite of during his first seven months in Chicago.

When he came to Chicago, the organization had to pay for a second UHaul to carry all of his baggage with him into town. Despite being considered one of the more talented hitters in the game by many scouts, what comes out of his mouth reads like a Dr. Seuss book on many occasions.

At the end of March, Bradley explained to the Chicago media that he was not the man depicted in the newspapers of every other major league city. He wasn't crazy; he was misinterpretted, and the media had an agenda to railroad his career.

After explaining that he had been wronged by everyone around him, Bradley then promised that he was a changed man. No more tantrums or throwing entire Sports Authority stock rooms onto the field; he was going to behave himself and play some ball.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

It took him about a week to prove himself wrong.

But after he was suspended, and then injured, and then not hitting, he got into a verbal altercation with manager Lou Piniella in the dugout during the White Sox series at US Cellular Field.

Words were exchanged, and Piniella apparently threw some truth at Bradley by calling him what can best be translated into "hot garbage."

As the Cardinals series came to a close, though, Bradley was trying to get everyone around him to believe he had found his rhythm. He even got the only man in baseball dumb enough to give him a multi-year contract, Jim Hendry, to become a cheerleader for his cause.

Bradley sent the Chicago baseball writers to the All Star Break with what read like Tiny Tim quoting Muhammad Ali. He guaranteed that he's back, and that he's going to hit in the second half. So get ready.

Here we are, three games into the second half.

I'm still waiting, Milton.

The Cubs open the second half against the Washington Nationals, perhaps the only organization in Washington that's lost more in the last 12 months than the Republican Party.

The Nationals' pitching is awful, their offense is mediocre on good days, and their players are excited to see the Cubs in town because their beautiful new ballpark might draw 30,000 fans for once.

So one would think that Bradley would be able to hop on the wagon and establish himself, especially considering his big, bold promises less than a week ago.

As the third game of the series concludes, Bradley is 2-12 with four strkeouts and a caught stealing. Oh, and he booted a routine line drive that allowed a Washington runner to advance to third base in the eighth inning on Saturday night.

Bradley now has as many errors as he does runs in the second half.

My petition to the Cubs' right fielder is very simple: shut your mouth and play baseball.

You told us you were going to do this back in March, and haven't yet.

You said you were over the antics after your blow-up with Piniella, and you're not.

You said you were going to hit ("mark it down"), and we're still waiting.

I'm an overweight bank officer pushing 30 years old and I can strike out three times in Washington for a lot less than what you're making from the Cubs.

So shut your mouth and play baseball, Milton. We're not listening to you're words any more; we're watching your actions. And so far, the only thing I'm "marking down" is zeroes for you in the second half.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.