So finally the truth comes out: Milton Bradley’s troubles with the Cubs had little to do with the fans, dugout tirades, arguments with Lou Pineilla, or even tossing a ball that was in play to a fan (oops). Nope, we should have guessed that it had to do with a problem much more common to major leaguers: Preschool taunting.
Rushing to his defense in an interview on a Chicago radio station, Bradley’s mother, Charlena Rector, says that her son was distracted this season because his 3-year-old son had been encountering racism in preschool. I’ve always said it: The mean streets of Miss Nancy’s Room 7 aren’t all Graham Crackers and nap time. If you cross the wrong people they will &%$! YOU UP.
Remember how Roger Clemens became infamous in his playing days for not talking to the press? Bradley would have done well to adopt that philosophy, as he was suspended for the remainder of the season after making “disrespectful remarks” about the Cubs organization to the CHICAGO DAILY HERALD earlier this month. Key quote: “It’s just not a positive environment. I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment.” (Laugh track).
Enter mom, wielding a metaphorical rolling pin in defense of her son. Mrs. Rector says that part of the problem this season is that Milton has been “distracted” due to racial tension at his son’s preschool. Of course, makes perfect sense. From Jonathan Brandmeier’s show on 97.9 The Loop, via the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES:
During the Brandmeier interview, which Rector claims she thought was a phone conversation and not for broadcast, she tried to detail the key reasons behind her son’s unhappiness in less than a season with the Cubs. She claimed Bradley’s 3-year-old son faced a slew of racial slurs at his school.
”When racism hit his 3-year-old baby in school, he couldn’t take that,” Rector told Brandmeier. ”Parents, teachers and their kids called him the n-word. He didn’t even know it was a bad word until his mom told him.”
If you don’t believe her, take a quick preview peek of Friday’s exclusive “Oprah” interview:
“First they called me the “M word.” Then they forced me to recite the alphabet, and identify shapes and colors … it was horrible. Pla-Doh was everywhere … I … I can’t go on.”
(Note: More enjoyable if read out loud in Grover voice).
Bradley’s mom said that her son would be open to returning to the Cubs next season, but the team would likely not be able to afford the wild horses it would take to force GM Jim Hendry to take him back. In suspending Bradley, the team agreed to pay him the remaining current portion of his salary, $400,000. But the team will most likely end up eating the majority of his overall $21 million deal. Bradley is supposed to be with the Cubs for two more years.
If Bradley becomes untradeable — a distinct possibility — where will baseball fans go for their unhinged player entertainment? What other guy would rush the booth at a Rangers game with intentions of fighting a broadcaster? What other player would blame his childish behavior on his own 3-year-old son? We’ll miss you, Milton.