Milton Bradley Strikes Out Again, Next Team to Offer the Guy a Shot Is Batty

Bleacher ReportSenior Writer ISeptember 21, 2009

It's getting towards late September and that means several annual rituals are starting at the altar of Major League Baseball.

Certain contenders are pulling away from the fading pack, like the Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox in the races for the respective Wild Cards. A former lock for the postseason is teetering and threatening to hand the keys over to a hard-charging spoiler—I'm looking at you, Detroit Tigers.

Additionally, you've got the year-end award hysteria starting to settle over baseball.

But my favorite rite of a season's passage is the newest addition—another messy and public divorce involving Milton Bradley and whatever poor sap was fool enough to sign the tempestuous outfielder.

I've heard and read people argue that Bradley shows all the traditional signs of a severe behavioral disorder. I'm not sure I buy that—is being incredibly arrogant and petulant really a psychological malady worthy of professional treatment?

Of course, I'm no psychologist/psychiatrist. I've never even taken a psych course, so I won't dismiss the notion.

Instead of restating the obvious about the former Montreal Expo, I'm going to focus on the other guilty party in the equation. Instead of poring over the lurid details of his latest dissolution, why not point out the stupidity of those who continually seek the former Cleveland Indian's service?

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Whatever emotions are coursing through the Chicago Cubs and its fan base, surprise can't possibly be one of them.

Look at Milton Bradley's track record:

• Broke in with les Expos before getting shipped to the Tribe

• Exploded in 2003 with Cleveland and then got traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the offseason

• Had a decent 2004 in La La Land, had a better 2005, and then got traded to the Oakland Athletics in the offseason

• Had a pretty good 2006, started off 2007 well, and then got booted to the San Diego Padres

• Finished off a good statistical year, was granted free agency, and signed with the Texas Rangers

• Had a great 2008, was granted free agency again, and signed with the Cubbies for 2009.


For those struggling to keep up (I don't blame you), that's seven different Major League teams in 10 pro seasons. More troubling than all the apparent wanderlust is the pretty blatant pattern that Bradley's employers have followed.

It's not just the desire to part company after no more than two seasons enjoying his sunny disposition, it's the desire to do so despite darn good production. In fact, it seems like organizations move Malcontent Milton as soon as his value peaks according to the club's assessment.

The Indians moved him after a year that saw him hit .321 with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .923 and 56 runs batted in despite only 451 plate appearances. L.A. did likewise after Bradley raked 13 bombs in only 315 PA and posted similarly flashy ratios.

Oakland moved a guy flirting with .300 despite being desperate for offense.

San Diego tossed him to the wind despite 11 bombs in 42 games and an OPS over 1.000.

Texas chose not to re-up with Bradley after he led the American League in OPS and on-base percentage.

Ironically, he's been a flop with the North Siders and might not be going anywhere.

To me, that absolutely screams "STAY AWAY" if I fancy my squad even a remote contender.

In this day and age of professional sports where franchises are willing to overlook almost any character flaw in favor of glittering production, Milton Bradley has been passed around like a nuclear potato notwithstanding often producing like an All-Star. The dude is covered in red flags.

Yet he seems to always find suitors.

Even in the wake of this latest disaster, Steve Phillips—ever the paradigm of managerial sagacity—pointed to those shiny, shiny numbers and Bradley's obvious position on the bargain racks as an implicit argument for rolling the dice one more time.

And some clown in a front office will almost certainly follow Phillips' wayward line of reasoning.


By now, it's clear there are only a handful of teams who should even consider bringing Milton Bradley aboard—the Washington Nationals, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Kansas City Royals.

If you're a serious contender? Head for the hills running at full tilt.

If you're a dark horse? You should be right on the heels of those serious contenders.

Only—I repeat, ONLY—those clubs needing a miracle to compete should entertain the notion of him in their uniforms.

Because a miracle is exactly what it would take for Milton Bradley to be an asset on the way to a World Series.



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