I know, I know – another Milton Bradley story. Get over it already, and all that. But this was too good not to post.
Some Seattle Mariners bloggers were recently asked about Milton Bradley, and about his upcoming season in Seattle. The results were predictable – things will be better, Bradley wasn’t really the problem in Chicago, there’s an excuse for being on his sixth team in six years, etc.
Aaron: No way Bradley’s a distraction. From everything I’ve read, the M’s will have what amounts to a “zero tolerance” policy with Bradley. Take that for what it’s worth, but the Mariners’ front office and field management is a hard-ass regime that won’t put up with distractions.
That said, I agree with Daniels. Bradley makes for a easy – and sometimes deserved – target, but Bradley’s most productive (and relatively incident-free) stretches were in locales away from the media glare. (Yes, I know it wasn’t smooth sailing in Oakland, San Diego and Texas, but at least Bradley wasn’t being blamed for an entire flawed team’s failings like last year with the Cubs.) …
Matt: I expect Bradley to come to camp with something to prove. I don’t think he’ll be “distraction” in the way he was in Chicago. It’s becoming more and more clear that he was only partially culpable for that shit storm. …
Griffin: I think whether or not Bradley is a distraction is going to depend on strongly on two things; what kind of an offensive start he gets off to, and how the media handles him. Seattle is a much more laid back city media-wise than Chicago, and he’s going to be under significantly less pressure to succeed here. He’s a good hitter with a chance to be a huge piece of this team, so hopefully he’s able to stay relaxed in this environment and produce.
I could go through these comments, one by one, and take them apart Desipio/HJE-style, but I’m not going to do that. These are just hardcore Mariners fans who really want to believe in their team this season. Why would I begrudge them that?
Maybe Bradley will be as moderately well-behaved as he was in Texas. Maybe he’ll be as moderately healthy as he was in Texas. And maybe he’ll produce almost as well as he did in Texas. If so, good for the Mariners.
But all I can think when I read those responses is… those poor, deluded fans. How many times does a guy have to burn a city before the rest of them learn? I promise you guys, “Chicago” was not the problem with Bradley. In the deep recesses of your brain, you must know this. Nothing that happened last year was not presaged by Bradley’s entire Major League career. Nothing was new.
The only reason it was surprising is because we drank ourselves into believing that this time, it would be different. He had a long-term contract this time. He was ready to prove everyone wrong. He was just misunderstood.
But I must offer my warning: Don’t drink it up, Mariners fans. For your own health, remain skeptical. That way, if you end the season surprised, it will be because Bradley was a positive force on the team – not a self-made disaster that you should have seen coming, but didn’t.