So, Hendry decides to trade the pseudo team captain (Mark DeRosa) that represented the glue of the Cubs’ fragile chemistry and then turns around and signs a headcase in Milton Bradley to supplant DeRosa’s absence? I call Milton Bradley a headcase for the fact that the guy practically charged into the Dodger Stadium crowd in 2004 because a fan threw a plastic bottle in his vicinity only to be restrained by his teammates from storming the crowd. If Bradley is unable to handle fair-weather LA fans, how is he going to handle the raucous Wrigley crowds who can quickly turn on under performing newly signed players with even more passionate vitriol behavior? The guy for better or worse is a baby with no care for restraining his emotions that can boil over to the point of ripping off his uniform in some fanatical striptease.
Supporters of the signing feel that the instituting of Bradley into Chicago's lineup will push the Cubs into the NLCS with his fiery intensity motivating the bats of Ramirez and Lee. But I view his inability to stay on the field due to persistent health issues as being detrimental to that playoff prediction. A player will have trouble motivating teammates in street clothes, especially a player in his first year on a team with no history of having a cordial personality. Besides, the Dodgers also suspended Bradley in the heat of a 2004 pennant chase (last five games of the season) due to his combustible attitude. Talk about an eye-opening example of how his tantrums overshadow his offensive talent. How can a player push players when he has a history of not running out pop ups, getting into the face of managers, and just lacking any passion for the game of baseball? I have trouble seeing Lou Piniella being patient with Bradley's antics, especially with Lou's history of violent encounters himself. Bradley has spent a majority of his career playing for a long term contract that has been out of reach due to his confusing behavior. Now, he has received a bloated guaranteed contract that has no way of penalizing any inane on field behavior. Therefore, I see this signing only being further ammunition towards my belief that the Cubs will be home come October 2009.