Go elsewhere for sympathy/explanations for whatever consumes Milton Bradley; for that which has sabotaged his career.
I don’t care.
Bradley was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners yesterday ending the latest (and probably last, at least on the field) chapter in the tale of a good player who ruined any and all opportunities he received.
Because of his talent, his anger issues and frequent run-ins with, well, everyone were accepted as a part of doing business with Bradley. Now that he doesn’t perform on the field and is a raving lunatic, no one’s going to touch him. I don’t even think he’s redeemable at this point.
There have been players with problems who’ve gotten one chance after another. Steve Howe, Darryl Strawberry and Gary Sheffield come to mind. Howe could still pitch no matter how much he abused himself and was never seen as a clubhouse problem to anyone but himself; Strawberry always put forth the image of a well-meaning, affable person with an inability to keep from destroying himself; Sheffield was well-liked by teammates and his paranoid rants obscured legitimate gripes for which others would’ve been taken at their word.
Every venue for Bradley—except his one season in Texas—has ended in a bitter departure.
If there was one incident; two incidents; three incidents—with explanations—then perhaps there would be justification for Bradley’s antics.
If he could still play, the Mariners wouldn’t have dumped him. They traded for him because they needed a bat and wanted to dispatch a bad contract of their own in Carlos Silva; they found a match with the Cubs.
The Mariners tolerated Bradley far longer than I would have and GM Jack Zduriencik expressed the reality with perfect succinctness in this sentence: ”The situation with Milton is that we determined he’s not part of our future and not part of our present.”
Bradley’s on-field downfall aside, his reputation is one of his own design. I’m sure some of those saying they hope Bradley gets his life together are sincere; some aren’t. But I doubt any will be staying up nights worrying about Bradley and whether he’s doing something about whatever drives him to these acts of self-destruction.
He’ll find something to do with himself: Dancing with the Stars; WWE heel; Donald Trump running mate.
You’ll notice however that none of the above have anything to do with playing baseball for a big league club.
That part of his life is likely over.
His abilities have caught up to his issues on a downward scale.
And that’s a lethal combination for his career.
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