There was a lot of scoffing at Milton Bradley when he and his family suggested that his difficulties in Chicago this season were due in part to racist fans and preschools and what have you. But while it may still be legitimate to scoff at the degree to which Bradley blames such nonsense for his performance on the field, it does not appear to be legitimate to scoff at the fact of it occurring:
Cleveland Indians closer and ex-Cubs ace Kerry Wood didn’t dismiss the notion that Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley and other African-American players may have experienced racial insensitivity during their time in Chicago.
“I know just from the experience of playing with those guys, and I’ve seen some of the mail that they get, obviously not a lot of us get that kind of mail,” Wood said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “I didn’t, but there are people out there that got their beliefs.”
Wood said he saw some of the mail that was sent to former teammates LaTroy Hawkins, Jacque Jones and former manager Dusty Baker.
“It’s tough to sit there and read that,” Wood said, “and it’s tough to even understand what those players go through.”
I think it’s pretty clear by now that Milton Bradley is an emotional and often immature guy who doesn’t deal well with criticism. And to be sure, you’ve never heard LaTroy Hawkins, Jacque Jones or Dusty Baker cite that kind of garbage as the reason for any of their professional shortcomings while with the Cubs.
But let’s make sure when we pile on Milton Bradley that we’re piling on the way in which he deals with adversity as opposed to pretending that such adversity doesn’t exist. Because based on what Kerry Wood is saying, it certainly does exist, even in this day and age.
(link via BTF)