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If his terribly poor performance thus far had not already made him a fan favorite, surely Milton Bradley’s courage in blaming everyone else for his struggles would be the ticket.

Bradley’s latest drumbeat is that because of his previous travails with umpires, the men in black have gotten together in an evil cabal, deciding to widen the strike zone for Bradley.

“Unfortunately, I just think it’s a lot of ‘Oh, you did this to my colleague,’ or ‘We’re going to get him any time we can,” Bradley said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “As soon as he gets two strikes, we’re going to call whatever and see what he does. Let’s try to ruin Milton Bradley.’ ESPN.

True or not – and I’m sure it’s not – that reads like the ranting of a paranoid, delusional person. And that’s pretty scary.

“It’s just unfortunate. But I’m going to come out on top. I always do.”

Bradley said his hitting strategy would remain the same, regardless of how he feels about the pitch calling from behind the plate.

“What am I supposed to do?” he said, according to the Tribune. “You lead the American League in OPS [in 2008], and two years in the top three in the league in on-base percentage. All of a sudden now, I come to Chicago and I can’t see the ball no more? I don’t know a strike from a ball?

“I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong. There’s a lot involved, and it’s a lot of politics where there’s nothing you can do about it.”

I’ll tell you what you’re doing wrong, Milton: you’re opening your damn mouth when it should be closed.

Is this some sort of twisted joke? You think umpires have it out for you, and your solution is to publicly call them out?

Even if Major League Baseball decides these comments are too amorphous to actually constitute a direct criticism of umpires, no good can possibly come from this. At worst, Bradley’s ranting will now fulfill itself: umps might actually be harder on him than they were before.

How many times does a guy have to get in hot water with umpires before he realizes that you reap what you sew?

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