Now that Eric Wedge has been hired as the Mariners’ new manager Milton Bradley’s odds of playing a second season in Seattle are seemingly extremely slim. That is if they weren’t extremely slim already, of course.
Back in 2003 the Indians had Wedge as their manager and Bradley as their center fielder, and while the team wasn’t very good Bradley had one of the best seasons of his career, hitting .321/.421/.501 in 101 games.
He also reportedly clashed with Wedge on numerous occasions and their poor relationship boiled over the next spring when Wedge pulled Bradley from a spring training game for failing to run out a pop up that dropped for a hit. Bradley was barred from the Indians’ spring training complex after reportedly wearing a t-shirt in the clubhouse that read “F*** Eric Wedge” and was traded to the Dodgers a short time later.
In other words, Eric Wedge knows all about life with Milton Bradley and I can’t imagine he wants to re-live the 2003/2004 experience at his new job. Of course, the Mariners’ ability to get rid of Bradley is another issue. They have him in the first place because they agreed take him back from the Cubs in exchange for Carlos Silva’s bloated contract last offseason and since then Bradley turned in the worst year of his career, hitting .205/.292/.348 in 73 games.
He had essentially zero value–and perhaps even negative value–last offseason, so after a terrible, injury filled year the Mariners may be forced to simply cut him loose and eat the $12 million he’s owed in 2011. If they can get anything for him, or even swap him for another bad contract, general manager Jack Zduriencik and company would no doubt jump at the chance. Anything short of that would be setting Wedge up for trouble from Day 1.
The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.
As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”
Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”
Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”
Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.
Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.
It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.
As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.