The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet


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The Mariners will rue the day they got rid of Carlos Silva

… Or so says Steve Henson, anyhow, whose unreasonable hatred of Milton Bradley has caused him to overlook… well, everything, in his new column, entitled:

Bradley is a reckless risk for Seattle

I’d like to begin by pointing out that the extent of this "risk" is six million dollars over two years. The Mariners’ 2009 payroll was over $112 millon, and Steve thinks they are being reckless by devoting $3 million of that to Milton Bradley, whereas I, personally, think the $5 million they’ll be spending on notoriously awful shortstop Jack Wilson is much more reckless. Let’s see why Steve is stupid today!

The Seattle Mariners will regret this day. Just like the Indians regret July 31, 2001, the Dodgers regret April 3, 2004, the Athletics regret Dec. 13, 2005, the Padres regret June 29, 2007, and the Cubs deeply, deeply regret Jan. 9, 2009.

By all accounts, the Padres don’t regret signing Bradley; he led them right to the edge of the playoffs, after all, when they’re usually clogging up the bottom of the standings. I mean, they’ve said they’d take him back for not quite so much money as his current contract pays him, yeah? Also, I’ve never heard the Indians complain about Milton Bradley, and he played for them for two-and-a-half years, one of which he was amazingly awesome. And the Rangers, who Steve doesn’t mention, loved him. So other than that, Steve, you’re totally right.

Milton Bradley does that to teams. Makes them lament their gullibility for believing he can change. Makes them furious at their tunnel vision, so certain it will be different in their organization, in their clubhouse, in their lineup. Makes them wonder why his ability to hit a baseball from both sides of the plate clouded their better judgment.

Didn’t we just talk about this? He’s only really misbehaved badly in two places — LA and Chicago — and he gets on base like a motherfucker.

Until Friday, the Mariners were a beacon of light in a dreary offseason, one of the few teams willing to spend money to improve their roster. Now they are like a happy family that allows a dysfunctional uncle to take up in the spare room. Calamity awaits.

Calamity, and, if Milton continues to get on base like he has been, the playoffs.

Until Friday, the Mariners were the favorites to win the AL West, finally able to say they could match the Angels player for player.

The Mariners are so much better than the Angels right now it’s ridiculous.

Now they’ve added an element whose volatility will make the good intentions and shrewd moves moot.

Oh, right. I forgot that Milton will give their whole clubhouse cancer. Have I ever mentioned that I did that to my mother in law? It’s pretty fucking harsh.

Ah, and, Steve, isn’t their whole commitment to the Bradley experiment — considering it allowed them to offload Carlos Silva — $6M over two years? Can’t they just, like, cut that shit if it doesn’t work out? The Cubs got burned because they went in for $30M. The Mariners only put in $6M. That’s an easier pill to swallow. Especially while they’re winning 140 games.

The Angels have their own dud of a switch-hitting outfielder in Gary Matthews Jr. At least he’s not a stick of dynamite.

Matthew Garys Jr., career: .258 / .333 / .408 / .740, 93 OPS+, 0.0 DORP (Dynamiteness Over Replacement Player)
Milton Bradley, career: .277 / .371 / .450 / .821, 115 OPS+, 6.02*10^23 DORP

Wow, you’re right, Steve. Gary’s much less dynamite-y than Milton. Too bad he also sucks on ice at baseball, an activity at which Milton is apparently 15% better than the average player.

That’s what Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik has done – plant TNT in the middle of his clubhouse.

TNT that will cost the Mariners, at most, 2.6% of their payroll to dispose of. And TNT which will possibly be seen clogging basepaths and exploding clubhouses and cancering up the World Series.

To acquire Bradley, Zduriencik unloaded unproductive pitcher Carlos Silva, owed $25 million the next two years. Yet Zduriencik also
forked over $9 million to the Cubs. Bradley is owed $22 million over two years, meaning the Mariners are losing $6 million as well as clubhouse harmony.

Oh noes! The six millions!

Quick updates from around the tubes:

Here we see: "animosity towards Ichiro by teammates was so heavy in the first few months of the season that he feared the Japanese leadoff man was going to be physically attacked in the clubhouse."

Over here: "When asked why [pitcher Eric] Bedard had continually failed to reach 100 pitches in his starts, [former general manager Bill] Bavasi told the Seattle Times, ‘You have to ask him. And he’s going to have some stupid answer, some dumbass answer.’"

Look at all that clubhouse harmony the Mariners have. And Bradley’s going to destroy it. Asshole.

Police responded to three domestic violence reports at Bradley’s home in the summer 2005, including an incident where he was accused of choking his pregnant wife.

Did they play many games at Bradley’s home in 2005? I guess I don’t really know, but it seems like that’s an odd place for official MLB-related things to be taking place. Or maybe that has nothing to do with baseball.

That season he also made public an argument he had with teammate Jeff Kent – who accused him of not hustling – after manager Jim Tracy had emphasized that the dispute not be discussed with the media.

Well, that does pretty much seal it. I think Milton Bradley is the first player in history not to get along with well-known nice guy Jeff Kent. And the fucker didn’t listen to Jim Tracy? He smiles! And he likes bunting!

In June 2007, the A’s traded Bradley to San Diego when he made it clear he wouldn’t be happy unless he played every day.

Asshole. Why doesn’t he set a good example for our kids by sitting on the bench all day and collecting his money and not caring if he plays or not?

Three months later he suffered a season-ending knee injury when Padres manager Bud Black tried to restrain him during an argument with umpire Mike Winters.

The umpire in question tried like fuck to get Bradley angry. And was suspended for the rest of the season for his actions.

Bradley was an All-Star in 2008 with the Texas Rangers, but let’s not forget the night he tried to confront Royals announcer Ryan Lefebvre, whom Bradley felt had made derogatory remarks about him during a broadcast.

Hey Steve-o, just a heads-up: Bradley "felt" like Lefebvsfkjsdf had made derogatory remarks about him because Leashakjfsdoe actually said this:

"Here’s a guy [Josh Hamilton], with all the troubles he’s had, he’s showed that if you work at it, you can get your life back in order. And that would be a pretty good role model for Milton Bradley, who clearly has no control over himself, because it’s the same thing year after year. This game, this country, really, if you follow baseball, has really embraced Josh Hamilton and I think they’ve wanted to do the same for Milton Bradley, but Milton Bradley has refused to allow himself to be put in that position."

Clearly Bradley was just making shit up, what with the "feeling" like those remarks were derogatory.

The Mariners are repeating the mistake made by other GMs, from Paul DePodesta to Kevin Towers to Billy Beane and, of course, Hendry. A nurturing clubhouse environment, an attentive training staff, an everyday job and a spot in the middle of the batting order are irrelevant. All that has been attempted.

The Mariners are also spending six million dollars over two years — which is, by the way, trivial money — to turn a pitcher who’s always hurt and can’t get anybody out into a hitter who’s always on base and has moderate power. That’s a pretty good move. Again, because I can’t say this enough times: the Mariners are risking almost nothing. Six million dollars! That’s it! And, in case you didn’t know, Bradley’s 2008 line was .321 / .436 / .563 / .999, 161 OPS+. Sure, they probably won’t get those kind of numbers, but god damn is that a lot of player for six million dollars.

Bradley’s record is an indication his problem is organic. It’s far more likely about brain chemistry than circumstance. His stack will blow. It’s a matter of time. And all of the Mariners’ best-laid plans could be for naught.

Except for that plan where they can just cut him and not lose much if it doesn’t work out, right? That plan would still work.


December 19th, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

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