Milton Bradley, Jim Hendry, and Britney Spears

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Milton Bradley has made headlines lately for basically refusing to stop talking about how miserable he was in Chicago, but did have some nice words for one member of the Cubs:

I have nothing bad to say about Jim Hendry. He gave me $30 million. God bless Jim Hendry and his family.

Most of the stuff Bradley says makes me roll my eyes and Cubs fans obviously have a much harsher reaction, but he has a point here. Bradley’s abrasive personality and various other issues shouldn’t have surprised anyone last year because he’d already worn out his welcome with six other teams in nine seasons, yet Cubs general manager Jim Hendry still handed him a $30 million deal.
Fans, media members, former teammates, and ex-coaches have been ripping Bradley to shreds, and rightfully so in most cases, but lost in all that is the big-league GM who gave $30 million to an emotionally unstable, oft-injured outfielder with a lengthy track record of issues and incidents. Bradley was being Bradley, but in theory at least Hendry should have known better.
If you pay $500 for tickets to a Britney Spears concert and she spends two hours lip-syncing terrible songs while prancing around in outfits that no longer fit you can certainly boo her off the stage and then complain for the entire car ride home, but ultimately what did you expect when you paid $500 for tickets to a Britney Spears concert. Hendry knowingly paid $30 million for the Milton Bradley experience and the Cubs certainly got it.

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.