Milton Bradley is back in the Chicago papers – and the news is all about how happy Bradley is that he’s only in the Chicago papers, not the city, itself. That’s right, Milton Bradley finally says what we all knew he was thinking: someone other than Milton Bradley is to blame for his failures last season.
“Two years ago, I played, and I was good,” Bradley told The Times. “I go to Chicago, not good. I’ve been good my whole career. So, obviously, it was something with Chicago, not me.”
Bradley, who has played for eight teams in 11 seasons, had a career-best season for the Texas Rangers in 2008, batting .321 with 22 home runs and 77 RBIs. Looking to add left-handed punch to their lineup, the Cubs signed Bradley to a three-year, $30 million contract before the 2009 season.
Bradley struggled to live up to the contract and manage the pressures of playing in a big market. He batted .257 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs.
“Just no communication,” Bradley told the paper, referring to his Cubs tenure. “I never hit more than 22 homers in my career, and all of a sudden I get to Chicago and they expect me to hit 30. It doesn’t make sense. History tells you I’m not going to hit that many. Just a lot of things that try to make me a player I’m not.” ESPN Chicago.
Step back for a second and think about what you’re hearing. Do players ever say things like this? “I’m a really good player, and the reason I had one bad season is because the place where I played was awful and they didn’t treat me right.” You almost never hear things like this, and when you do, it is almost always more of a reflection of that player than it is of the team. Imagine, for a moment, that this wasn’t Milton Bradley. Imagine it was, for example, Aaron Heilman. Wouldn’t we be surprised to hear him say these kind of things?
But it is Milton Bradley. So there really isn’t much of a surprise here – did anyone really expect Milton Bradley to take any responsibility? Once again – and we can only wish Jim Hendry had observed this simple fact – there’s a reason why the guy doesn’t last anywhere more than a season and a half.