Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Milton Bradley - The Greatest DH To Ever Play For The Cubs?
So the Cubs have agreed to sign designated hitter Milton Bradley to a 3 year/30 million dollar deal, and yes...I said designated hitter. My whole problem with this deal is not that Milton Bradley has had some past problems with emotions boiling over on umpires, teammates, broadcaters, and yes.....fans. That's not a problem for me because most of the time in this city people are screaming for that "fire and passion" from their teams' players. My problem with this deal is that the Cubs have signed a designated hitter to play right field. Can this work?? Will this work??
Of course time will tell, but looking objectively from the stats that we all have in front of us we can see that a Milton Bradley can't stay healthy enough on a consistant basis to play the field every day. Did Jim Hendry not see this trend in his statistics? Did the Cubs lose all faith in one season of Fuk-u-dome-mania that the only hope is a 30 year old injury prone problem child? Obviously someone must have printed out his career statistics for Mr. Hendry and he would have seen that he hasn't played right field on a consistant basis since 2006.
Bradley has had stints on the disabled list with a christmas list of various injuries including his knee, hamstring, ankle, shoulder, back, calf, torn ACL, oblique, quad and a partridge in a pear tree. Even last year he missed games due to hamstring, shoulder, knee, wrist, and quadricep injuries. This guy got an eye contusion in 2002 for gosh sakes. If you were to look at this injury history....would you play him full time in right field over Fukudome??
Yet as a designated hitter last year with that team in Texas who no one pays attention to unless they put up 19 runs against the Tigers on some humid August night....Bradley hit well. In 99 games as a designated hitter Bradley hit .322/15HR/55RBI with an on base % of .446. His .321 avg overall was tops in the American League last year among "full-time" designated hitters. He led the American League in OBP% and even though the Cubs were looking for that left handed bat in the lineup....he's a switch hitter too!!
There is no doubt that Bradley can rake the ball, but was the need for left handed hitting worth 10 million dollars a year for the next 3 seasons on a player who can't stay healthy? Was the desire for that left handed pop in a great hitting lineup (pre-October) so high that you're willing to lose some defensive aspects of your team? Certainly pitching and defense wins you championships, but the Cubs problems are more offensively when it counts.
I look forward to see if the mistaken board game inventor Milton Bradley can hush his critics...including myself.
I think the Cubs signed a designated hitter to play right field. What's next?? Are they gonna bring in Ken Griffey Jr. to shore up that #5 spot in the rotation once Jason Marquis heads for the Rockies?
Don't get me wrong, I trust Jim Hendry in what he's done before and I have no reason not to believe in him now. But after 101 years and 2 straight seasons of being shut out 3 straight in the playoffs....isn't it about time to go for the top name no matter what the cost?
Al Davis said it best.....just win baby. I hope Jim Hendry is putting his trust and the Tribune's money (?) in the right pieces to do just that.
Welcome to all of your comments!!! Please feel free to say your piece as well.