UPDATE (9:40): Ok, so following Jeff Sullivan’s advice — I’ve watched the interview about seven or eight times now, and the more I watch the more Colleen Dominguez and her questions bother me. She seems to have gone into the interview with a specific agenda. I didn’t like the tone. She would cut him off in mid-answer to find the answer she was looking for. Now I’m not saying, I don’t ask questions in hopes of finding the answer I’m looking for. But this was something completely different.
The first time I watched it I was surprised. The second time I watched it I was trying to transcribe some of the things he said. But after a while, I started really watching it. And it made me feel uncomfortable. It was at times like a cross-examination and other times like a therapy session.
I’m hesitant to write too much about this. Personally, I’m willing to give Milton Bradley a chance to start anew in Seattle and put his time in Chicago behind him.
I will say this on the situation:
Milton Bradley isn’t the sole reason the Cubs underachieved last season. Certainly his problems in the clubhouse and his underachievement on the field didn’t help. But the Cubs’ pitching was down, particularly the bullpen where Kevin Gregg struggled as a closer and Carlos Marmol was inconsistent as well. Then there were injury issues to starting pitchers Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano and Ted Lilly. Don’t forget about the adventures and struggles of Alfonso Soriano in the field and at the plate, Mike Fontentot’s lack of production and the loss of both on-field production and clubhouse leadership of Mark DeRosa and Kerry Wood.
It seemed as though we were past all the speculation, criticism and looking back on Bradley’s time with the Cubs.
Anyway, so Bradley went on ESPN and did an interview with Colleen Dominguez yesterday with Milton and he was pretty critical of the Cubs and his one season there.
Here’s a few of the more poignant comments …
“It was pretty bad. I would have rather tore my knee up and gone through rehab all over again then have to deal with that.”
“Well, I mean unless you go out there and you’re Superman — you’re Andre Dawson, you’re Ernie Banks, you’re in the Hall of Fame — then it’s going to be tough,” Bradley said. “People are just the way they are.
“When you get paid a lot of money to play this game, they expect miracles. And when you don’t go out there and perform like that, then people don’t like it. People don’t want to see a guy that’s brash and cocky and a little arrogant and kind of does his own thing making a lot of money. They were like, ‘He doesn’t deserve that.'”
Obviously the Chicago reporters had to follow up on it. And of course GM Jim Hendry had plenty to say including:
“That’s absolutely ridiculous,” Hendry said Wednesday. “That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I think it’s time maybe Milton looks himself in the mirror. 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.”
Of course, the Cubs players were asked about it as well.
Here’s a comment from Lou Piniella that I think best sums up a lot of feelings.
“The thing with Milton is that’s behind us,” Piniella said. “I’m concerned about this year’s team. We’ve got good chemistry here and we’re getting ready for a championship season, and that’s all I’m concerned with. Anything in the past, we just have to go forward.”
We haven ‘t talked to Bradley about it. He seemed focused on getting ready for today’s game in the clubhouse earlier. I’m hesitant to ask him because frankly I’m tired of this situation. But if he talks after the game. I’m sure it will be mentioned.
Manager Don Wakamatsu was asked about it. He said he saw the interview this morning, but really wasn’t overly concerned.
“He’s got to go through that a little bit for his own sake,” Wakamatsu said. “He’s happy here. We are extremely pleased with his progress. I think he’s doing extremely well.”