Perhaps Lou Pinella could have used some of that pot he admitted to having smoked after watching yet another meltdown by one of his players last night. Not surprisingly, it was Milton Bradley who was the instigator this time, flinging his batting helmet in disgust and tossing a Gatorade cooler around the dugout after a bad at-bat in the team’s game versus the Chicago White Sox. (And what do baseball players have against Gatorade? If Tiger Woods ever walked into a MLB dugout, he’d probably be clubbed to death on sight.)
(Lou Pinella was shocked that this guy lost his temper.)
But while Bradley’s meltdown was tame compared to his previous antics (no announcers were screamed at) or that of teammates such as Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly earlier this season, Pinella had apparently reached his limit. So MLB.COM says he had words with Bradley in the tunnel, ending with him telling Bradley to “take his uniform off and go home.” So do you think the Cubs are regretting signing Bradley to that three year, $30 million contract in the off-season?
The Cubs were apparently willing to put up with Bradley’s volatile temper when they thought he might come close to hitting .321 with 22 HRs like he did last season for Texas. But now that he’s mired in a season-long slump and is hitting just .237 with 5 HRs, Pinella has apparently had enough of his antics. Which is hysterical for two reasons:
- It’s Lou Pinella saying this. The person who is so famous for his on-field tirades and heart-attack baiting meltdowns that he’s now starring in commercials mocking his reputation.
- It’s Milton Bradley we’re talking about. The same person who tore his ACL arguing with an umpire, and once hurled a Coke bottle into the cheap seats at Dodger Stadium. Only Carl Everett can rival him for totally bonkers baseball players. His getting mad because he flew out might be the most sane thing he’s done on the field in the last five years.
Considering that the Cubs turned down a range of free agents to sign Bradley - including Raul Ibanez - you can understand why everyone’s patience is wearing thin. Say what you will about the Cubs - they might be a .500 team, but they sure aren’t boring.