Saturday, March 27

Crazy Milton

There's a lot to like in this story about volatile MLB player Milton Bradley, who is now comparing himself to Kanye West and Ron Artest in an effort to align himself with as many public figures that I don't like as possible. Are you like Ben Stein at all, Milton?

The defensive tone Bradley strikes here is almost comical, acting like he's some misunderstood guy and defiantly claiming that people need a villain, blah blah blah, all the while accepting absolutely no repsonsibility for the way he's alienated teammates and managers, let his temper repeatedly get out of hand on the field, and worn out his welcome with now seven Major League Organizations. I remember when Cleveland got rid of him - he was our best player and we just flat-out cut him in Spring Training because he was such a jerk. That should tell you something.

Bradley himself says, "I'm that guy. You need people like me, so you can point your finger and go, 'There goes the bad guy.'"
But you kinda are a bad guy, Milton. There's some objectivity to this finger-pointing. Wouldn't it be easier just to be a good guy? I take issue with his suggestion that we "need" people like him. We totally don't need Milton Bradley.

The writer of the piece takes subtle jabs at Bradley throughout, listing all of the teams he's played for to prove a point, and writing "Here's that 'bad guy,' ejected twice in three Mariners spring games last week." That's pretty amazing, getting booted out of two games in Spring Training in a week. Or a career, for that matter. You know those games don't count, right?

What makes Bradley's situation better is the fact that he isn't really all that great anymore, mostly because he gets hurt every year. It's a glorious combination of not producing and not being likable either. Look at his games played:

2005: 75
2006: 96
2007: 61
2008: 126
2009: 124

He's put up strong numbers when healthy, but you gotta be on the field - how else are you going to get kicked out of games? Last year he only posted a 99 OPS+, hinting that his skills might be in decline too. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

The rest of the piece is about how well Bradley is fitting in with the Mariners, how he feels good and everyone's happy, which is a story we've heard before. How long until he wears out his welcome there? Two months?

Nameless AP writer foreshadows such an event with the final two paragraphs:

The physical part may have changed [Bradley is, apparently, healthy] but Bradley says the fiery, controversial persona won't.

"I had a teammate last year who said if I ever change, he'd kick my ass. So I'm not changing. Everybody is not going to love you, no matter how you treat other people, no matter what you say. [I] never say anything bad about anybody. Somebody is always going to have something bad to say about you."

I like the "everybody is not going to love you" and "somebody is always going to have something bad to say about you" parts. The attitude is basically, well, I can't be liked by everyone, so let's try to be liked by no one. It's true that not everybody will like a particular person, but a lot more people like, say, anyone else in Major League Baseball than they do Milton Bradley. For example, I'm not writing this article about David Ortiz or Derek Jeter. I guess he thinks this profound statement absolves him of all responsibility for his behavior.

Yeah, this is going to end well.

1 comment:

Nick said...

...we just flat-out cut him in Spring Training because he was such a jerk.

Well, we traded him for an A-baller named Franklin Gutierrez, but we definitely didn't get market value because we wanted to unload him so quickly. Point taken.

I love that he's now been on 8 team in 10 years. That's like being divorced five times and thinking that women are just out to get you. Hey Milton, maybe it's you.