Throw It Like a Ballplayer

providing baseball commentary and ponderings since April 2010

Notable Ex-Cub Watch, Vol. 1

Posted by dannmckeegan on April 6, 2010

Occasionally I’ll help you check in on some of the former Cubs, prominent or not, floating around MLB in 2010.  This is intended to isolate trends more empirically based than Ron Berler’s theory of the Ex-Cub Factor.  The Ex-Cub Factor simply posits that three or more former Cubs doom a team to failure in the World Series.

I argue, rather, that loading up a roster with available pieces from a non-World Series team is not likely a recipe for success.  If Player X isn’t going to be retained by a team close to getting over the hump, he isn’t likely to be the tipping point for a team in a worse position.  Of all the ex-Cubs floating around MLB in 2010, none can be more prominent than the focus of today’s feature.

Milton Bradley

Bradley, traded in the offseason to Seattle in exchange for RHP Carlos Silva and cash, has made Seattle’s roster not as an exclusive DH, but rather as the opening day left fielder.  And cleanup hitter.  Between Casey Kotchman and Ken Griffey, Jr.  The man who managed 12 home runs, 40 RBI and 95 K in just under 400 at bats in the NL Central is a cleanup hitter in the American League.  The spring saw a pair of exhibition league ejections over the strike zone as well as public comments blaming everyone in Cook County but himself for his 2009 struggles and difficulties.  But still, the man deserves a second (really, eighth) chance, a fresh start.

With minor tightness in his quad, Bradley was intent on proving wrong his doubters and made the start against the Oakland A’s this Monday.  Yet his 2010 campaign began in a fashion that Cubs fans might find familiar: 0-for-3 with 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, and 2 men left on base.  He was caught stealing, but he did contribute an outfield assist.  And for those who like to look beyond the numbers, there’s this:

“Milton Bradley shattered his bat into several splinters after pounding it to the ground in frustration following a strikeout to end the ninth. He was booed all night by his former fans.”

Milton Bradley’s 2010 Tantrum Count: 1 and counting

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