Milton Bradley is a Prideful Idiot, but Really Fragile, so I Take it Back

Oh for what I want to say, but that I can’t.

I want to say that I’m incredibly disappointed in Milton Bradley’s health thus far. But I can’t.

I want to say that I’m incredibly disappointed in Milton Bradley’s demeanor – and performance – in his brief, on-field experiences. But I can’t.

I really want to say that Milton Bradley is a stubborn, prideful idiot for appealing his two-game suspension instead of just accepting it while he sits on the bench, injured and unable to play anyway.

But I can’t. Because Milton Bradley is fragile. Very fragile.

From his very first interview, and his initial statements as a Chicago Cub, that Bradley was a sensitive – if troubled – soul was apparent.

And for such an explosive guy, he is truly tender. Gentle. Fragile.

But I’m sorry to say it, Milton: you’re being paid a shitton of money to play baseball, and to be a face for the Chicago Cubs. And you can’t do it if you’re hiding out.

“It’s been frustrating,” Bradley said. “You come in here and all [the media] want to talk about is how often you get hurt and your attitude and everything. I’ve given them an example right off the bat. I just don’t feel like getting caught up in all the negativity.

“I’m a positive person, an upbeat person,” he said. “I’m trying to focus on what I’m trying to do here. My teammates are behind me and the more reporters get in my face, the more I talk, the more things get written the way I don’t say them or they’re taken out of context, and that’s when you lose teammates and you lose fans. The best strategy for me has always been to not say anything.

“I can sit here and think about the questions I’m going to get and the perfect answer to come up but when it comes to that time, and somebody throws a question at you, just the way they ask it or the question, might make me look perturbed at the question they’re asking. I just prefer not to talk. I told Peter [Chase, media relations director] and everybody, and they suggested I talk. But I just don’t want to do it.

“When I turn around and people are standing at my locker every time, I’m trying to figure out why because I’ve already told them I don’t want to talk. That’s the only thing — I never had a problem with the media until I started reading stuff that wasn’t what I said.

“I never had a problem in my life until I started playing baseball. All of a sudden, there are all these things. I just want to be me. I just want to be that guy who plays baseball and enjoys his teammates and has a good time. That’s what I do.” Muskat Ramblings.

I can appreciate the fragility. I really can. But what I cannot accept is an unwillingness to answer for your actions. That, sir, is part of the gig.

And right now, all I want to know is why no reporter is in Milton Bradley’s face, demanding to know why he thinks he is entitled to put his pride before the good of the team. Why he thinks it makes even a shred of sense to continue a ridiculous appeal of a (probably legitimate) two-game suspension while he sits game after game on the bench, too injured to play. And be assured, he’s not playing for a little while:

Milton Bradley and Lou Piniella had a little chat on Thursday, and the end result was the outfielder being benched until he’s 100 percent healthy, and when he is, he’ll be bumped to sixth in the order. MLB.com.

Far be it from me to suggest that two games are worth risking Bradley’s psyche for the rest of the season, but somebody at least mention it already. If Bradley doesn’t want to talk about his injury, fine. If he doesn’t want to be prodded about his slow start, fine. Don’t ask. Protect him.

But when it comes to a decision he is making that potentially hurts the team, and he is making it because of his pride, he cannot cry foul when we seek to tear the veil from his face and demand answers.

Why are you doing this, Milton? Why? You look like an idiot, and you could be hurting the team.

There. I said it. Now I better take it back before Bradley’s next blowup.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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