Milton Bradley continues to not forget Chicago

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For a guy wanting to put Chicago in his rear view mirror, Milton Bradley keeps looking back.  In an interview with ESPN, Bradley says that his time in the Windy City “was pretty bad,” and that he “would have rather tore my knee up and gone
through rehab all over again then have to deal with that.”

He also expands on his dustup with Lou Piniella in which Lou called Bradley a “piece of s—.”  Bradley:

“The next day, he called me into his office and wanted to apologize. I felt you put me on blast, called me out in front of
everybody, you’re going to apologize in front of everybody. He
didn’t choose to go that route, but I accepted his apology nonetheless,
because as a Christian that’s what you do. I don’t have time to hold
grudges against people, I’ve got enough stuff I’ve got to deal with.”

Much of the rest of the piece is about racist jeers he received and/or perceived while in Chicago.  He’s been remarkably consistent in talking about this since last year, so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt on it and assume he’s telling the truth (it’s an ugly world, kids).  But at the same time, you’d hope that a guy in Bradley’s position would try and find a way and blow that kind of garbage off.  But he can’t. Bradley is often called “combustible,” but I think his biggest problem is that he’s one of the most overly-sensitive guys to ever play the game.  Even if that which he has experienced is unacceptable, it’s also not unprecedented, and there are few if any players who have reacted to slights both real and perceived as poorly as Milton Bradley has.

But this may be the worst part of it all:

Bradley said it became so uncomfortable that he rarely left his home. “I was a prisoner in my own home,” he said. “I pretty much stayed at home, ordered in every day, never went anywhere.”

My God. Things got so bad for Milton Bradley last year he became a blogger.

In the playoffs, the Yankees’ weakness has become their strength

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Two weeks ago, when the playoffs began, the idea of “bullpenning” once again surfaced, this time with the Yankees as a focus. Because their starting pitching was believed to be a weakness — they had no obvious ace like a Dallas Keuchel or Corey Kluber — and their bullpen was a major strength, the idea of chaining relievers together starting from the first inning gained traction. The likes of Luis Severino, who struggled mightily in the AL Wild Card game, or Masahiro Tanaka (4.79 regular season ERA) couldn’t be relied upon in the postseason, the thought went.

That idea is no longer necessary for the Yankees because the starting rotation has become the club’s greatest strength. Tanaka fired seven shutout innings to help push the Yankees ahead of the Astros in the ALCS, three games to two. They are now one win away from reaching the World Series for the first time since 2009.

It hasn’t just been Tanaka. Since Game 3 of the ALDS, Yankees pitchers have made eight starts spanning 46 1/3 innings. They have allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on 25 hits and 12 walks with 45 strikeouts. That’s a 1.75 ERA with an 8.74 K/9 and 2.33 BB/9. In five of those eight starts, the starter went at least six innings, which has helped preserve the freshness and longevity of the bullpen.

Here’s the full list of performances for Yankee starters this postseason:

Game Starter IP H R ER BB SO HR
AL WC Luis Severino 1/3 4 3 3 1 0 2
ALDS 1 Sonny Gray 3 1/3 3 3 3 4 2 1
ALDS 2 CC Sabathia 5 1/3 3 4 2 3 5 0
ALDS 3 Masahiro Tanaka 7 3 0 0 1 7 0
ALDS 4 Luis Severino 7 4 3 3 1 9 2
ALDS 5 CC Sabathia 4 1/3 5 2 2 0 9 0
ALCS 1 Masahiro Tanaka 6 4 2 2 1 3 0
ALCS 2 Luis Severino 4 2 1 1 2 0 1
ALCS 3 CC Sabathia 6 3 0 0 4 5 0
ALCS 4 Sonny Gray 5 1 2 1 2 4 0
ALCS 5 Masahiro Tanaka 7 3 0 0 1 8 0
TOTAL 55 1/3 35 20 17 20 52 6

In particular, if you hone in on the ALCS starts specifically, Yankee starters have pitched 28 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on 13 hits and 10 walks with 20 strikeouts. That’s a 1.61 ERA.

While the Yankees’ biggest weakness has become a strength, the Astros’ biggest weakness — the bullpen — has become an even bigger weakness. This is why the Yankees, who won 10 fewer games than the Astros during the regular season, are one win away from reaching the World Series and the Astros are not.