I'm sure this will raise some vitriol here, but I'm honestly a bit baffled about all the yelling and screaming about Bradley yesterday. To me here's what has happened this year:
-Bradley, like many Cubs, has had a disappointing year at the plate. Not completely horrible as his OBP has still stayed pretty good (.355, good for 3rd on the team behind Fukudome and Lee), but obviously very little power. I have no doubt that he will hit this year, as he has always hit when he's been in the lineup throughout his career.
-He has been an adventure in the field (although other than the ridiculous bone-headed play, not horrendous) and been injured and on the bench quite a bit. Neither of these are surprise. His reaction to the throwing the ball into the stands was flippant and useless and annoying, but in the grand scheme of things the reaction isn't a big deal, I care about what happens ON the field.
-He has shown frustration with his own play. This is understandable. As he has said, he's under a lot of pressure here, he finally signs a big contract and is dramatically underperforming, as the entire team is having a disappointing year. I see no problem with this. In fact, many Cubs fans have been frustrated with Lee over the last couple of years because he doesn't "show the fire" of disappointment. So which one is it?
-He threw his helmet and hit a Gatorade cooler yesterday after he was having another bad day at the plate, while the Cubs were in an extremely frustating 4 game losing streak, all close games, and the game was looking very much like the Cubs might lose another close one.
I'm not saying that Bradley has been an angel; he hasn't been and we all knew that when he was signed. For this all to be categorized as "selfish" though is a bit silly to me...he's far from the only one who does these kinds of things when he's struggling...I know that Kevin Youkilis for one got some criticism last year because he was throwing stuff in the dugout when the team was up big in the late innings. To me that is much more selfish (i still don't really care, but it's "worse" i guess), but again that just goes to show that "chemistry" in general is crap, and that when you're winning it doesn't matter. It's a pretty natural reaction for a competitive individual, which just about everyone in MLB is.
I enjoy Lou as manager very much and have been a fan of his over the last two years. His moods and his moves often seem just right. But for him to go out of his way to call Bradley a "POS" as reports are saying is ridiculous. The manager is supposed to keep things at least slightly under control.
The calls to get rid of Bradley, by Al and many in Cubs fandom, are ridiculous to me. This team is short on bats, and selling a guy who has a very good career stat line while he's at his lowest point is the typical short-sighted kind of decision that has killed the Cubs over and over through the years. He WILL hit this season. He won't play in 140 games, but that shouldn't be a huge surprise to anyone. Keep him healthy, give him his days off, he will come around and when he does, adding him along with a healthy Ramirez will give the Cubs the offense that this pitching staff deserves. I was glad to hear Piniella say that he does plan to put him back in the lineup today. Many Cubs fans need to realize that that is the right move, and that dumping him now does not help the Cubs one bit. I'm curious to see what you think, and hear why people might disagree.
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