Milton Bradley: 10 different kinds of crazy

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Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star published an entertaining (if clearly painful) story about the Royals in which he breaks down how much each player owes star pitcher Zack Greinke for costing him the $100,000 bonus he would’ve received for winning the AL Cy Young award.
Jose Guillen, for instance, owes the most ($25,000), because he is …

among the worst offenders on both offense and defense, plus he makes the most money so he can afford the biggest chunk of the check. His share may be even bigger, but Ball Star respects anybody who says, “When I suck I say I suck, and right now I suck.”

This all got me to thinking, how much will Milton Bradley owe his Cubs teammates, club management, and fans by the time his three-year, $30 million contract finally runs its course following the 2011 season. (Sorry Cubs fans, you still have $21 million of it to pay after this season).

For their troubles, the Cubs have received a .259 batting average, a .391 on base, and .400 slugging percentage. He’s played in 104 games, hit 10 home runs, scored 49 runs and driven in another 32. On defense, he’s been slightly below average in the outfield, showing decent range but a sub-par arm.

Not terrible, not earth shattering.

But then comes the fun stuff: The constant running of the mouth. The needless courting of criticism. The clashes with management.

The 10 different kinds of crazy.

On Tuesday, Bradley held court on the “hatred” he receives from Cubs fans. Because you know, sometimes they boo.

“All I’m saying is I pray the game is nine innings, so I can go out there the least amount of time possible and go home,” Bradley said.

Petulant comments, for sure, but not that big a deal by his standards. But then he compared a loss to the Nationals to an infamous and horrific incident involving a young black man and the Los Angeles police department.

Q: Obviously not the type of beginning you felt you were gonna have here on the homestand:

MB: “No, we got a Rodney King beatdown tonight.”

After a few seconds of awkwardness, Bradley responded, “What’s up, what do ya’ll got next, something else?”

Who but Bradley would make such a classy comparison?

On second thought, Bradley doesn’t owe the Cubs anything. They’re getting exactly what they paid for.

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If you Twitter, and aren’t too terribly crazy, you can follow me at @Bharks.

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.

Report: Dexter Fowler will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.

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Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.

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Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.

Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.

Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.