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.

******

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

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?