Lou Piniella has given his official reaction to Milton Bradley‘s assertion that the umps have it in for him over his incident with Larry Vanover earlier this year:
"Milton Bradley’s persecution theory when it comes to umpires doesn’t sit well with manager Lou Piniella.”There’s nothing good that can come out of it,” Piniella said of published comments from the $30 million outfielder suggesting umpires are retaliating against him after his incident with ump Larry Vanover last month.”What we need Milton to do is get to the point where he hits the ball the way he has in the past,” Piniella said, ”and getting on umpires is not a good solution.”Bradley, a career .280 hitter, hit .321 with 22 homers for Texas last season, leading the American League in on-base percentage and OPS.”Look, he’s a much better hitter than what he’s shown here early in the season,” Piniella said. ”You look at his career, and he’s hit everywhere he’s been, and there’s no reason to assume he’s not going to hit here. He’s just gotten off to a slow start, and I’m sure he’s frustrated about it.”He’s a young man that wants to do well, and he probably is putting a little undue pressure on himself.”"
My guess is that, if Lou had any private words for Bradley about his “theory,” they were somewhat stronger than his public statements. I’m also guessing that, if Lou were to tell the absolute truth, he would admit that it will never work out with Bradley in Chicago. He might even question Jim Hendry‘s wisdom in signing Bradley in the first place.