Last we heard of Milton Bradley, he was being accused of threatening to kill his wife and then vehemently denying those accusations.
A real pleasant situation.
But this is baseball’s hot stove season and Bradley just so happens to be a major league free agent.
Rumors rest for no man. Or something.
According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Rockies met Wednesday with Bradley’s agents. There’s no telling how serious the chat was or whether the Rox actually have interest in bringing Bradley aboard this winter, but it’s fairly clear that Bradley wants to return to baseball and there’s a chance he’ll get at least some amount of consideration from teams desperate for outfield depth.
Bradley, 33, batted just .218/.313/.356 with two home runs and 13 RBI in 115 plate appearances for the Mariners this year before they cut him loose in mid-May. He posted a .378 on-base percentage over 124 games with the Cubs in 2009 and a .436 OBP across 126 games for the Rangers in 2008.
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.