Look, I’m no Oliver Stone wannabe.
But the conspiracy theorist in me says that Milton Bradley’s contract plays a role in all this.
What other plausible explanation is there as to why the Chicago Cubs haven’t disabled the gimpy Milton Bradley?
The man can’t run, he can’t play the outfield and the weather in Chicago is awful right now.
Ah, but there’s a clause in The Game’s contract that guarantees the third year of his deal if he plays in so many games.
75 games, to be precise.
And even a pinch-hit appearance counts as a game played.
Apparently Jim Hendry and Bradley’s agent had so little faith in Milton’s ability to stay healthy that they decided 75 games was a worthy barometer for him to strive for.
Let me ask you a question: is 75 games worth $10 million? Apparently the Cubs think so.
By setting the bar so low, the Cubs have effectively let it be known that they fully expect Bradley to miss a lot of time. Which is understandable, I guess, given his injury-riddled history.
But this is exactly why I hate clauses like this in a contract. They put a manager in a tough position.
Don’t you think Lou could use an extra man on the roster right now instead of Mr. Hop-a-long?
Even when he pinch hits, you have to burn another player because you have to pinch-run for Bradley.
Uh, that is, if he makes it to first base. That is something Milton hasn’t been doing much of this year so far.
The Cubs had previously announced that MB would make his starting debut at home in tonight’s game against Dusty Baker’s Reds. If there is a game, however.
But even if the Cubs defy the elements and play tonight, no way does Bradley play. Not in these horrible conditions. The weathermen are calling for upper 30s and a snow/rain mix tonight.
Still we see ol’ Milt sitting on the bench, biding his time. It makes little sense to me.
Bradley is certainly not the only player affected by contract status.
Matt Wieters and Gordon Beckham are in the minors in order to delay their arbitration clocks. The same thing happened to Evan Longoria last year, until he coincidentally agreed to a long-term deal.
Money drives these kinds of decisions; they are not baseball decisions. And count me among those who do not agree with those decisions.
Then again, maybe there’s a reason I’m not running a team, come to think of it.