When the Chicago Cubs dumped Milton Bradley on the Seattle Mariners after the 2009 season, we all knew the team wasn’t getting anything special in return. Garbage in, garbage out – to use the expression in a completely inappropriate context.
In fact, to a man, we probably all expected we were getting a pitching facsimile of Bradley in Carlos Silva. Underachieving. Overpriced. Volatile. Troubled. Two players; the same guy.
After a productive half season, that’s exactly what we got. And now, what with Silva getting the boot, the circle is complete. Just ask Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry.
On Bradley, Hendry had this to say:
“Obviously, in this case, it did not work out like we planned. In this case, this was also responsible for the reason that I sent Milton home, as I mentioned in September, not going to be tolerated, to treat our fans, teammates and members of the media the way he did.”
“His comments [criticizing pitching coach] Mark Riggins were totally unacceptable.”
“It is what it is. He just didn’t swing the bat and didn’t get the job done. His production, or lack of, was the only negative.”
“Basically, he wasn’t good enough to make the team. We try to factor in not only spring training, but the second half of last year. You’re looking at a guy who had a 14-something ERA from July 11 on, and came to camp with the notion that he already had a spot in the rotation. Obviously, the first three or four outings [were] quite poor.”
“We’re all brought up in life to accept responsibility when we fail, and to judge people by how they act and how they carry themselves when things don’t go well. [Blaming the organization and claiming racism] is absolutely ridiculous. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I think it’s time maybe Milton looks himself in the mirror.”
“And he seemed to make a continual problem of blaming everyone but himself. 29 hits in his first 11 innings of camp, and I’ve never had anyone I’ve dealt with classify that as ‘bad luck.’ … And once again, it’s a weakness for someone that doesn’t perform well and choose to blame somebody else on the way out.”
None of this is a criticism of Jim Hendry, mind you. It’s just funny to see how things played out when the Cubs traded one problem for another. Still, as I’ve mentioned before, the Cubs did better with Silva than the Mariners did with Bradley. No, Hendry shouldn’t have signed Bradley in the first place. But once that ship sailed, he did the best he could with the situation.
And he’s done the best he could with the situation once again.