The Cubs have been up-and-down in almost all areas this year, but one thing at least has remained consistent from the start of the season to the end: Milton Bradley being a pain in the rear.
On Thursday, Milton reminded us why he has become the living symbol of the crappy 2009 Cubs season: He removed himself from the Brewers game in the 6th inning after a single – without the trainers even coming out to see him, or any other normal sign that something might be wrong – and stalked straight through the dugout and up the tunnel. It took awhile for everyone to figure out what was happening – including Lou Piniella, who after a delay finally sent Bobby Scales out to pinch run.
After the game, Milton attempted to address reporters, but the session degenerated into a painful display of defensiveness.
”I got knee inflammation,” Milton said when asked why he left the game. “I got two knee surgeries, and that happens when you got knee surgery, in case you don’t know. What else you got?”
When asked how long he might be on the shelf Milton replied, “What else you got? You got anything significant?”
When a reporter asked for clarification about the whole situation Milton responded, “You got some baseball questions, I can answer them. But [if not] I ain’t got nothing for you.”
Clearly, those media relations courses have not done their work.
And that’s how testy things get just from an injury in a meaningless late season game with the team out of it. Imagine how wound-up Milton would be if these games mattered.
Lou Piniella himself had little to say about the situation. Reporters noted that Piniella skipped his usual media session directly after the game, but did invite reporters into his office later.
”I take these losses hard,” Lou said by way of explaining his change in post-game routine. “I don’t enjoy losing. I really don’t. … It seems like every day something else goes wrong here. This is a major-league season of 162 games a year, and you have to have guys capable of going 162 games to the post.”
Lou doesn’t have to say it for everyone to know he thinks it. We all think it too. That we wish Milton Bradley would’ve kept on walking right up the tunnel, out of the park, across the street and out of our lives forever.
Nothing’s ever that easy though.