Results tagged ‘ Milton Bradley ’

9/23 Bradley issues apology

Milton Bradley issued an apology in a statement released Wednesday, saying he wished he had handled certain things differently.

“I chose Chicago as a free agent,” Bradley said in the statement, “because I wanted to be part of finally bringing a championship to Cubs fans. I expected to have a great season and I am deeply disappointed by my performance and the team’s struggles. I played every game with everything that I had and wanted to desperately win.

“My frustration and disappointment boiled over and I said and did certain things that I regret,” he said. “In hindsight, I wish that I had handled certain things differently and I apologize for those things that did not work out for the better.

“The air has been cleared,” he said, “and we all want to move on and look forward to better days.”

On Sunday, Cubs GM Jim Hendry sent Bradley home and the outfielder will miss the final 15 games. Bradley, who signed a three-year $30 million deal this offseason, will be paid for the final two weeks. Hendry has talked to Bradley’s agent, Seth Levinson, but has not talked to the outfielder.

“I never anticipated any problems,” Hendry said Wednesday. “We’ll finish out the season and figure out where we’re going after that.”

What happens next?

“We’ll worry about next season when this season is over,” Hendry said.

The players’ union was not expected to file a grievance.

Bradley was suspended following comments he made in which he said the Cubs were not a positive environment and criticized the organization, the fans and the media. He also got into a shouting match with hitting coach Von Joshua on Saturday in St. Louis. But the suspension was not because of those two incidents, but a series of things in Bradley’s first year with the Cubs.

Said manager Lou Piniella: “I’m happy to see he issued the statement and apologized. We’ll put that behind us and just go forward.”

— Carrie Muskat


9/22 Bradley update

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry says he expects to resolve all issues regarding Milton Bradley’s suspension in the next few days. Hendry suspended Bradley on Sunday for the remainder of the season, and the Major League Baseball Players Union said it was considering filing a grievance on Bradley’s behalf. The outfielder was expected to be paid for the final 15 games that he will miss.

“We don’t anticipate any problems,” Hendry said Tuesday. “We’ll have it all worked out in the next few days.”

Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly, who is the team’s player rep, said he didn’t expect to be contacted by the players union.

“They wouldn’t come to me and ask me questions on something like this,” Lilly said. “I don’t think it’s anything I would have any say in, nor do I know what goes into circumstances like this. I don’t know the process or the rules. Fortunately, I’ve never been through it.”

Lilly has other things on his mind.

“I’m trying to work on a backdoor slider right now,” Lilly said.

— Carrie Muskat


9/22 Washington on Bradley: 'He was awesome'

Ron Washington, who managed Milton Bradley last season in Texas, was surprised at the news the Cubs had suspended the outfielder for the remainder of the season.

“He was awesome,” Washington said of his time with Bradley. “He did a great job for me. It wasn’t my first rodeo with Milton. I never had a problem with Milton. If I didn’t like something, I just let him know. All Milton wants is someone to be honest with him. He’s no dummy. He knows when he screws up.

“I know things didn’t go well in Chicago. I’m sorry to hear that. I felt he could be a good force for them.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/21 Bradley can be good if he wants

Riding on the shuttle to the St. Louis airport early Monday, I met a long time baseball scout who told me a story about Milton Bradley. It was 1999, and Bradley was playing for Double-A Harrisburg. He was not starting because of disciplinary reasons, and was in street clothes in the clubhouse when called upon in the ninth inning to pinch-hit. Bradley got dressed, and hit a game-winning grand slam.

“He can do that if he wants to,” the scout said.

Bradley can still be good. He began this season a career .280 hitter, and his .321 average last year with Texas wasn’t a fluke. He was in a good environment — no pressure, no hassles — with a patient manager in Ron Washington. Josh Lewin, now a broadcaster for the Rangers, says the clubhouse in Arlington, Texas, was so big, Bradley could go unnoticed, which is probably the way he prefers.

The Cubs are not a good fit. GM Jim Hendry will try to move the outfielder this offseason, and an American League team in need of a switch-hitting designated hitter may want to consider him. Or a National League team with a big clubhouse. Cubs players tried to make him feel comfortable. Reed Johnson, Ryan Theriot, Derrek Lee all reached out to Bradley.

But listening to the players talk Sunday about Bradley after he was suspended for the season, it is clear he needs to move on.

— Carrie Muskat

9/20 Bradley suspended for rest of season

Cubs GM Jim Hendry suspended Milton Bradley for the rest of the season following comment he made. “There have been a lot of issues that we’ve lived with during the year,” Hendry said Sunday, “but the last few days became too much for me to tolerate, to be honest with you. I’m not going to let our great fans become an excuse, I’m not going to tolerate not answering questions from the media respectfully. Whether you feel like talking or not, it’s part of our jobs. I’m not going to allow disrespect to other people in that locker room and uniformed personnel.”

Hendry reacted after reading Bradley’s comments, in which he said the Cubs were “not a positive environment.”

“The only real negativity here is his own production,” Hendry said.

The GM met with Bradley in his hotel room in St. Louis Sunday morning. The switch-hitter, who signed a three-year, $30 million contract this offseason, was batting .257 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 124 games.

Outfielder Tyler Colvin will join the Cubs on Monday in Milwaukee.

— Carrie Muskat

9/19 Bradley: Chicago "not positive"

Milton Bradley says Chicago is “not a positive environment” and he can understand why the Cubs haven’t won in 100 years. In a one on one interview with the Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.), Bradley was asked if he enjoyed his first season in Chicago.

“Not really,” he said. “It’s just not a positive environment. I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment. There’s too many people everywhere in your face with a microphone asking the same questions repeatedly. Everyone is just bashing you. You go out there and play harder than anybody on the field and never get credit for it. It’s just negativity.

“And you understand why they haven’t won in 100 years here, because it’s negative,” he said. “It’s what it is.”

Asked who he was talking about, Bradley said: “It’s everything. It’s everybody.”

The switch-hitter was added because the Cubs wanted another left-handed bat, yet he was hitting .231 this season from the left side, and .257 overall, a significant drop from his .321 average last year with Texas.

This is the first year of a three-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs. Bradley had pursued the team, telling GM Jim Hendry after a dinner this past offseason, “I want to be a Chicago Cub if you want me.” However, it’s been a tumultuous season for the outfielder, who missed Saturday’s game because of inflammation in his left knee.

Any regrets?

“No, I made the decision,” Bradley told the Daily Herald. “It is what it is.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/19 Bradley update

Lou Piniella couldn’t say whether Milton Bradley would be available Sunday when the Cubs close the season series against the Cardinals.

“I don’t know,” Piniella said of Bradley, bothered by inflammation in his left knee. “I’m not going to say ‘day to day.'”

The Cubs are short-handed as far as outfielders go with Bradley, Alfonso Soriano (knee) and Reed Johnson (foot) sidelined.

“We’re not going to play people who are hurt,” Piniella said. “We’re awfully thin, though.”

— Carrie Muskat


9/19 Lineup & Bradley update

Milton Bradley was in the lineup and took batting practice but was scratched for Saturday’s game, apparently because his left knee is still sore. Micah Hoffpauir will start in right vs. Cardinals.

SS Theriot

CF Fukudome

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

RF Hoffpauir

C Soto

2B Baker

LF Scales

P Dempster

— Carrie Muskat

9/18 Lineup & Bradley update

Milton Bradley was not in Friday’s lineup vs. the Cardinals, and is day to day. Bradley has inflammation in his left knee, which forced him out of Thursday’s game. Lou Piniella said if Bradley feels better Saturday, he’ll play.

What about Bradley’s terse post-game session with the media Thursday?

“I think you just answer the question,” Piniella said. “You get asked a question, you answer it and you’re done with it. The guy can’t run well in a one-run ballgame, it’s my job as the manager to get somebody else in there and that’s exactly what we did. Answer the question and go on to the next one.”

How hard is that?

“It shouldn’t be all that hard,” Piniella said.

Here’s Friday’s lineup:

SS Theriot

CF Fukudome

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

RF Hoffpauir

C Soto

2B Baker

LF Scales

P Lilly

— Carrie Muskat

9/17 Getting Lou's goat

Lou Piniella skipped the postgame media session after Thursday’s 7-4 loss to the Brewers but did speak to a few reporters in his office later.

“I take these losses hard,” Piniella said. “I don’t enjoy losing, I really don’t.”

The Cubs split the Brewers series, but the starters have failed to go past the fifth in the last three games, and they’re running out of outfielders. Milton Bradley was the latest; he was pulled in the sixth because of a sore left knee. There was some confusion about Bradley’s exit because he singled, then walked off the field. What nobody outside of the Cubs dugout knew was that Bradley had told Piniella and athletic trainer Mark O’Neal that his knee was bothering him, so they decided if he got on, he’d be lifted.

Bradley was testy about his knee post-game. Piniella said the outfielder was perfectly correct to come out of the game. OK, but why didn’t the Cubs manager say that earlier?

“Sitting in my office here, and just having a bottle of cold water, it helps me relax a little bit and you all can’t get my goat as easy, you know? Which is true,” Piniella said.

It’s been a challenging season.

“Every day, somebody else is hurt on something different,” Piniella said. “It gets frustrating, it really does. It seems like every day there’s something else that goes wrong here. Remember, this is a Major League season of 162 games and you’ve got to have people who are capable of going 162 games.”

Piniella had talked to the players last week in Pittsburgh about finishing strong. They need to be healthy, too.

“You just can’t continue to get a pitcher hurt or a player hurt every day and function like you want to function,” Piniella said. “Let’s be realistic — it gets frustrating. Let me turn an ankle or something.”

— Carrie Muskat