One more year added to the books without a World Series for the Cubs…I know they’re not “officially” eliminated yet but we have known the outcome for some time now. The year ending suspension of Milton “The Game” Bradley only puts a bold exclamation point on a disappointing season.
I will admit that while being skeptical of the Bradley signing, as a fan I was hopeful that he would provide a spark or attitude that seemed to be missing in the past two season’s playoffs. Milton has attitude alright but not the type I had hoped to see, and unfortunately it wasn’t much of a surprise. Last spring training had given hope that this leopard had changed it’s spots or at least the spots had faded a bit.
Showing some attitude during Spring Training
Bradley came in early to Fitch Park this past February before position players needed to report. I took that as a good sign that he was dedicated and motivated to begin his Cubs experience and ready to show fans he deserved a $30 million dollar contract. He was focused and hard working and seemed to blend in well with his new teammates on the Cubs veteran ballclub. I already knew he wasn’t a chatty type and during spring training his bat did the talking, finishing up the Cactus League with a .460 BA, .526 OBP, and .800 Slugging Average…Just more evidence not to give spring training stats to much importance.
So buoyed with past successful signings by GM Jim Hendry I became a Milton believer and by the time opening day rolled around I thought, maybe, just maybe this guy was the missing spark. In the end I was fooled, and even if Bradley had started the season hot instead of the Arctic coolness of his sub .200 batting average, I think it would have been inevitable that we ended up at this point…perhaps just a different route. The question is where do we go from here? What could the Cubs get for “The Game” if anything? We fans can speculate but it’ll be Hendry and the Ricketts who must make the decisions on Bradley, the easy one, showing him the door, the hard one, does he walk with Ricketts $20 million?
The current upside of the Bradley suspension is that we will get a chance to see the Cubs Number 1 pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Tyler Colvin who has been called up to fill the outfield vacancy. Colvin played this season at Double-A Tennessee batted .300 with 14 homers, 12 doubles, seven triples and 50 RBIs in 84 games. Photo of Colvin below at Fitch Park spring 2008.