STARTING TO DOUBT HENDRY
I’m starting to doubt Jim Hendry’s ability to identify, sign and acquire the right players. It also seems as if the fans and media have finally gotten to him. Eyre and Howry may pitch well for the Cubs. But the terms of their deals are outrageous. Too much money, too many years and too many perks. A full no-trade for Scott Eyre? Does John Mabry get use of the Tribune jet? Are you kidding me?
After a busy day at work–where I also polished up my Dick Jauron impression–I didn’t get to much sports news. But Can’t Stop the Bleeding gave it to me after I finished my burger and tots: “Chicago’s WMVP claims the Cubs might be sending Todd Walker to Los Angeles in exchange for the cool, calm and collected Milton Bradley.” Oh please be a rumor from some lame blogger like me.
The post also explains that because Jeff Kent is the 2nd Baseman in L.A., Walker would be their 3rd Baseman. Huh? Not even considering the fact that Bradley is a major goof, although we’ll get to that, the deal doesn’t make sense baseball-wise. Milton Bradley is simply the king of unfulfilled potential. He had one above-average year in 2003 and everybody had a chubby over him. But it was only 101 games and only 377 ABs. He followed that career year by going to L.A. and watching his OPS drop from .922 to .786. .786 is not bad. But I don’t need a napkin to wipe any drool over it. And that 2004 campaign is the only year he has ever had more than 500 ABs. He will be 28 in April next year. So memo to all GMs out there: not only is he not worth the risk because he’s been known to go batty a time or two, he’s just not that good of a player. This isn’t T.O. we are talking about; it’s more like Freddie Mitchell.
I love some of these ESPN player profiles. Maybe one guy is writing them all and he gets so bored or delirious that he starts writing down crazy make-em-ups. Bradley’s reads: He also displayed a combination of patience, speed and power that is rather rare in today’s game. He did wear down, however, hitting just .241 over the season’s final two months.”Was it the 19 homers that stirred the juices or the 11 times caught stealing while only swiping 15 bags? Rare? OK, he can do some things. He has tools, is a switch-hitter, etc. But career OPS reads .776. Never hit 20 homers in a season. Never stole 20 bags in season. And then last year he played in a whopping 75 games. Eric Wedge booted him out of Cleveland and hey now–guess who else wants him gone? The Dodgers. They probably miss Shawn Green. Or maybe Kal Daniels.
Also from the profile: “In two different incidents, Bradley threw baseballs all over Dodger Stadium and a plastic bottle at the feet of some bleacher bums.” That was from 2004. He ended that year in style by spending 3 days in jail. And we all know he turned it up a notch in 2005. Jeff Kent may not be all soft and cuddly, but how Bradley can equate Kent telling him to hustle with him being a racist is anyone’s guess. And even if he wears a white sheet on off days, the veteran leader on the club is telling you to hustle– so shut it and do it.
So add that all up and acquiring him reeks of desperation and stupidity. I don’t know why the Cubs seem to want to put Walker on eBay and just get rid of him. He’s a solid hitter and not as bad as advertised with the glove. Of course the Dodgers would take him for Bradley. They’d take Sosa if we was still a Cub.
I have been a huge Jim Hendry fan. I admit that he did not acquire the necessary bullpen help last year. I’ll add that it probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway with all the injuries and Dusty batting the superheroes known as “The Out Machines” in the leadoff spot for half the year. But now I am really starting to wonder if he is feeling, and acquiescing to the pressure from fans and media to get the right guys and get them yesterday. I hope not. Skip acquring Bradley and overpay Furcal. Go get Pierre. Keep Walker at 2nd and we will have a really nice offense. Play Pie in RF and if he blows then go get someone in June. Let me see this:
- CF Pierre
- SS Furcal
- 1B D Lee
- 3B Ramirez
- 2B Walker
- LF Murton
- C Barrett
- RF Pie
- Injured Starting Pitcher