3/4 Lou: No unusual expectations for Bradley
Lou Piniella was surprised to hear Milton Bradley’s comments in the New York Times in which the outfielder said the Cubs expected him to hit 30 home runs last season. Bradley told the newspaper: “Two years ago, I played and I was good. I go to Chicago, not good. I’ve been good my whole career. So, obviously, it was something with Chicago, not me.”
Now with Seattle, Bradley said: “Just no communication. I never hit more than 22 homers in my career, and all of a sudden, I get to Chicago and they expect me to hit 30. It doesn’t make sense. History tells you I’m not going to hit that many. Just a lot of things that try to make a me a player I’m not.”
The Cubs manager said they never placed those demands on Bradley.
“We never put any expectations on Milton,” Piniella said Thursday. “I don’t really have anything else to add but we never put any expectations, or 30 home runs or anything like that.”
Told that Bradley felt the problem was Chicago and not him, Piniella said: “I think getting off to a struggling start didn’t help. He tried to make up for it with one swing of the bat and look, it snowballed. Look, that was last year. I wish him well and at the same time, we hope [Carlos] Silva does well for us here and that’s it.
“We were hoping [Bradley] would come in here and hit fifth in our lineup and be productive and that was it,” he said.
Bradley wasn’t. He batted .257 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 124 games, and was suspended for the final 15 games of the regular season for detrimental conduct. The outfielder was traded Dec. 18 to the Seattle Mariners for Silva.
– Carrie Muskat