The Bald Truth
Milton Bradley has some serious emotional problems. He needs help ... and he has the means to afford it.
Strangely, I feel a little sorry for the man. I mean, he can't help it if he's Milton Bradley. That's all he knows how to be. He didn't hold a gun to Cubbie boss Jim Hendry's head to make Hendry sign him (though, admit it, you wouldn't be surprised if he had).
Hendry on Sunday suspended Bradley for the rest of the season, officially admitting he made the kind of mistake that can ruin a season and set a franchise back several years.
Or, in the case of this franchise, several decades.
Several more decades.
The Balder Truth
Full disclosure: While I preferred Adam Dunn or Bobby Abreu to Bradley, I said at the time of the signing that Bradley made some sense because the laid-back Cubbie clubhouse needed a little pizzazz. In fact, I said that if I were a Cubs fan, I'd have been more concerned about Bradley's history of injuries than about his history of mental instability.
Well, I was wrong. Unlike Jim Hendry, however, I am not paid by Chicago National League Ball Club Inc. to be right. That $30 million mistake won't help Hendry - who had a terrible 2008-09 offseason - in the eyes of the team's new ownership. (Hendry's own long-term contract might help him survive at least another season, though.)
In typical Cubbie fashion, Hendry didn't suspend Bradley for being either a bad teammate or a bad ballplayer.
No, the GM suspended Bradley for being himself.
Hendry made the move after Bradley told Daily Herald beat writer Bruce Miles this when asked if he had enjoyed his first season in Cubbieland:
"Not really. 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. Everything is just bashing you. You got out there and you 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."
100 ... 101 ... who am I to quibble about a year here or a century there?
Bradley never got it. He never got that if you're the $30 million newcomer who was supposed to be the final piece of a championship puzzle and you instead drive in fewer runs than Mike Fontenot, you are going to be criticized. Then, when you blame everybody but yourself - over and over and over again - you are going to be disliked.
Obviously, Chicago was a terrible fit for Bradley, who needs to go somewhere fans don't care and where us annoying media types are few and far between.
Then again, they already had him in San Diego, right?
But hey, don't be too hard on the man. Asking Milton Bradley to be somebody other than Milton Bradley is like asking a nun to stop crossing herself or a gerbil to stop nibbling on wood shavings.
Good thing for Milton: Thirty million bucks buys a lot of psychoanalysis.
Really. I'm not kidding.
If he isn't already seeing a shrink, he needs to start. If he is, he needs to find a new one.
THE BALDEST TRUTH
Nice job by Robbie Gould to come through in the clutch for the Bears after:
A. His Steelers counterpart, Jeff Reed, blew two big field-goal attempts and ...
2. His coach, Lovie Smith, risked freezing his own kicker by calling time-out before Gould's winning kick.