Bradley for Silva


I’ve recently started using Remember the Milk as a cloud based task manager service. It’s helpful for the obvious reasons, reminding me to do stuff (gotta go pick up dry cleaning as soon as I get done with this) and as an idea dump place, but I actually more enjoy it just for the sense of accomplishment it gives me. Whatever the odious task, whenever I’m done, I get to click a button to declare I’ve finished with it. There’s some satisfaction there – moves my mind a little bit from worrying about all the things I’ve haven’t finished to being pleased with the things I’ve gone done.

It’s just a task monitor, not an evaluation dvice, so there’s no grade of how well you’ve actually done the task. Which means I’m probably not going to recommend this service to Jim Hendry. I’m sure he would’ve had the same feeling of relief checking the boxes next “Trade Milton” and “Create Payroll Space for 2010” (both highlighted in red, listed as OVERDUE) and clicking the complete button, but doing a job and doing a job well are two different things.

I’m glad Milton is not on the Cubs, and I don’t share the optimism of M’s fans and most internet pundits that Milton will get along this time. He is who he is, and he’s probably not changing just because his uniform does.

However, Carlos Silva is a horrible baseball player, possibly the worst baseball player who will make a roster next season. As much as I hope that to be wrong, I don’t believe Silva’s abilities will turn around any more than Bradley’s attitude. This is a deal that will handicap the club just as much as David Patton on the roster took up a useful spot in 2009, except Silva will play more and pitch worse, and will do it for the next 2 years unless something lucky (or smart) occurs.

The single hopeful note in this deal is teams are much more willing to cut someone who was signed by someone else than someone they signed. Releasing Silva would cost the Cubs nearly the amount it’d cost the Mariners, but maybe it doesn’t look as bad in the papers and maybe that gives them the nerve to do it.

Things we’ve learned from this deal
– The Cubs have NO money to spend this off season
– They had to draw the hard line with Tampa Bay (Burrell would’ve been easily better) because they had no money and needed to create some room on any deal
– When Tampa Bay traded for Rafael Soriano, they were out of this market
– Besides the M’s, no one else seemed to be in on Bradley. And so this was done just to get it done.

My worry now is that this extra payroll room will be used to give 2+ year deals for Marlon Byrd and Matt Capps. Neither moves seem to be great bets – the difference between Byrd and the much cheaper Coco Crisp is minimal, and Hendry should know by now the dangers of multiyear deals for relievers – but they completely fit how he’s run this team.

In a way, I’m happy the new ownership didn’t fire Jim Hendry, because he’s spending his off season cleaning up his own mess and it woudl’ve been unfair to saddle all of that on a new guy (then again, the new M’s GM had the same and seems to be doing better than OK.) As this offseason goes on, I’m starting to change on that too, because moves like two years of Carlos Silva indicate he’s just making a new mess for whoever comes in next year.

That’s the one other thing to note here: this Bradley saga is the noose around Hendry’s neck, and it’s starting to look pretty tight. Unless people wildy out perform exceptions, the “Evaluate General Manager” task on Tom Rickett’s tasks list is going to be checked off next October, and it won’t be completed well for the current guy.

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Let’s all agree to love Milton Bradley


He’s easily becoming my favorite .186 (and rising!) hitter.


Milton Bradley introduced his diplomatic side over the weekend in Milwaukee. Unfortunately, it was not televised.

The surprising transformation occurred during the middle of the seventh inning of Friday’s Cubs- Brewers game, right after Bradley was called out on strikes by plate umpire Tom Hallion, ending the inning.

“The first curveball, [catcher Jason] Kendall asked where it’s at,” Bradley said. “He said, ‘Outside.’ So I knew I never swing at that because that was outside, so it’s 3-2, and the same thing — it’s farther outside. But he calls it [a strike].

“I’m like, ‘Tooooom.’ He says, ‘I think it was a good pitch. Check it out. Let me know.’ “


After hitting a monster shot that nearly landed in the upper portion of the center-field bleachers Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, Milton Bradley pressed his index finger against his ear as he strolled toward the dugout.

Booed after a strikeout in the fourth inning, Bradley apparently wanted the crowd of 39,963 to know his hearing was just fine, thank you.

“Nice to hear some cheers for once,” Bradley said. “I didn’t come here to suck. I know I’ve sucked so far, but give me some love, you know what I’m saying? I am a Cub.”

By the way, it’s now 25 days since Milton was ejected, and we still don’t know if he’s being suspended. It’s 2009, how in the world does this take so long?

Bonus fun quote!

Bradley’s shot off Peavy landed in the concourse above the lower bleachers. Piniella said it was the longest he has seen at Wrigley, while Soriano said the only ones he has seen go farther have been hit by Carlos Zambrano during batting practice.

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Milton Bradley getting hurt is NOT the problem


it’s anyone else getting hurt.

The Cubs still have Micah Hoffpauir, right? 342/400/534. He’s still a poor fielder for a corner outfielder, but that why Pie/Gathright/Reed will be on the bench. It’s an easy offense/defense platoon, and I suspect which the Cubs may plan to do from time to even when Bradley is healthy – either give Micah a start versus a right hander, or give Bradley a break in the late innings for fresher legs. (The Gathright signing makes much more sense in this context, but I’d still rather it be Pie.)

If you figure Bradley gets about 350 PA and Micah gets the about 250 out there, the RF position is projected to have an OBP 375 and an SLG of 480, up from last year’s 350/381. That leaves 100 PA on the table for the defense replacements and the odd Reed Johnson start but the bottom line is RF should hit much better than it hit last year, even based on conservative playing time estimates. They’re not doomed in RF if the starter gets hurt.

Everywhere else? DOOM. Last year’s big plan, for whenever anyone got hurt, was to move DeRosa there and put Fontenot (or occasionally someone else) in the lineup. DeRosa was the #1 backup at 3B, RF, LF, was trust more than Micah and Ward at 1B, and the quasi #2 backup at CF (Fukudome would move over and DeRosa would take the vacant spot.) DeRosa’s maneuverability saved the Cubs from having to put a wasted bat in the order for any extended period. Without him…

1B – if Lee goes down, you could put Hoffpauir here, but that means there’s no time share in RF and eventually a hole there.
2B – Miles. Who is not going to have Fontenot’s hitting season
SS – Cedeno? Miles?
3B – Cedeno? Miles? A no hope duo. They could really use one more IF who could hit.
OF – again, if Hoffpauir is splitting time in RF, that leaves Reed (bad idea vs rights) or Pie/Gathright (bad idea at all times)

That’s not to mention that dropping Marquis without picking someone else leaves a big question mark not just at the 5th rotation spot – where if they believed in Marshall, it wouldn’t have taken this long for him to go into camp with a set spot in the rotation – but also the 6th/7th rotation guys (Guzman? Hart? if they decide to put Gaudin and Samardzija in the pen, it’s a tough to take them back out during the season), pitchers who should be expected to log meaningful innings given Rich Harden’s past history, not to mention Z’s annual mysterious injury.

The biggest strength of the 2008 Chicago Cubs were their depth. They were as strong and complete as any team. Not just 1-25 on the active, but closer to 1-33, with guys coming up and being used perfectly when others were hurt or unavialable. The OF was showing examples of this all season, with guys able filling in for Soriano’s injury, or the Cubs figuring out a low-cost CF solution to Felix Pie’s inability to hit the baseball, or DeRosa being able to take over in right when Fukudome was getting killed. It was the same with the starts, and even the closers spot.

The acqustion of Milton Bradley makes the Cubs a strong everyday lineup, and may make a difference in a playoff series. The moves they had to make to create salary room for Bradley make shallower and less able to deal with a major injury.

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