Well it is almost Christmas. Baseballs winter meetings have ended and Chicago Cub fans around the world are expecting a lump of coal in their Cubby Blue Christmas Stockings hung by the chimney with care. When I read Cubby Blogs and Forums across the World-Wide Internet I enter with high expectations of hope and leave spiraling downwards in despair. The Cub Team expectations going into the 2009 were high, yet Cub fans feel let down since the Cubs did not make the playoffs – despite having a winning record. Me too! Though I am not as down in the dumps as others. Call me the ultimate optimist – or maybe I just wear my beer goggles (well in my case Mt. Dew Goggles) when it comes to evaluating the Cubs – but I still like the chances of the 2010 Cubs getting back to the playoffs. The year of 2009 was a year when multiple Cub players had unseasonably bad years. Plus key injuries hampered many of the players the whole season. I think part of the Cub Fan’s offseason doldrums can be pointed to the –> What do you do with Milton Bradley Question. And for you non-baseball fans I am not talking board games here.
I was not a big fan of the original signing of Milton Bradley. He is very talented but, he has a history of heavy thunderstorm clouds following him from team to team. The 2009 season was no different. His negative presence on the team was evident. Still Jim Hendry signed him for multiple years and now the team has the tough decision of either finding him a new home, gambling that his talent with a bat -missing most of last year- will return and help the team more than his temper tantrums hinder the team or simply releasing him.
I am not big on spending all that money and simply releasing the man. I also think that the winter meeting displayed that trading him will be difficult, unless the team is willing to pay another team the majority of Bradley’s salary – to take him off the Cubs’ hands. I do not like that option either. That leaves door number three – keeping him on the team.
Despite all his personal baggage Bradley is talented and could help the 2010 Cubs team if the brass gives the man a distemper shot. You sit his pouty butt on the bench with his nose in the corner and tell him to grow up! Since the team is going to have to pay his wages -no matter what option they choose- make him earn them from sitting on the Cubs bench as a role player. If he matures enough to earn an everyday spot – great! If he does not then go to the next plan. If he is disruptive to the team – suspend him and his fat salary. If he is only semi-productive by midseason another team in the playoff hunt will be more willing to make a deal for his bad boy keister. At least the Team gets some bang for the buck without paying his whole salary to play for another team.
That is my 2009 post-season Cubby rant.
The year of Cub Bradley in review:
Signed to multi year deal!
Issues early on in April!
June – explosive confrontation with not so Sweet-Lou Pinella!
Suspended for rest of the season!
As of this date – Hendry fails at playing lets make a deal!
Update 12/18 2009: it is being reported that Bradley has been traded for pitcher Carlos Silva! Ouch!