This is a Bad Road
I’m starting to understand why Milton Bradley really has had so many problems in his career. He’s one of the more hot tempered players in the game, and he’s obviously really hard on himself – because of this, he’s under constant scrutiny, and when he inevitably makes one or two questionable decisions, it starts to snowball. Before you know it, as we’re already starting to see, the media, and a good portion of the fans, start overreacting, making ridiculous assumptions, and blaming him for things that simply aren’t his fault.
I’m not saying I agree with his decision to leave the game and the stadium entirely last night – that was dumb. But if it had been any other player, there certainly wouldn’t be 50 new news stories about it flooding in every 10 minutes the next day. And to be fair, we all knew that already – we knew that he would be under more scrutiny than any other player, because of both his past, and the controversy that he brings with him everywhere he goes. I can understand that. However, what I can’t understand, are some of the things I’m hearing today from the Seattle fans and the Seattle media that are supposed to be so much more rational than the folks down in Chicago. The fact that I’m hearing suggestions of suspending him, or even flat out cutting him, just baffles me.
I’m not going to even dignify the suggestion of cutting him by addressing it, but suspending him would be silly too. Yeah, he had a bad game last night, and got really down on himself, but this team is on a 4 game losing streak at home, and he’s one of their hottest hitters. If you suspend him, not only are you hurting this team’s on-field product, but you’re just going to worsen the situation. Milton Bradley is obviously having some issues, and if you make the point to punish him, rather than just letting your manager sit down and have a talk with him, you’re just going to make him feel less a part of this team. And when you do that, you start heading down the road that caused so many problems in Chicago last year.
If you feel the absolute need to punish him, fine him, explain to him that he can’t do that kind of thing anymore, and move on. This team needs his bat, and for him to produce, they need to give him some space, and so does the media.