Nationals 16, Cubs 5
Look at that score. Look at who's listed first in that score. Check the league scoreboard to see the Cardinals won again. I was prepared to give this team the home stand to get hot against the NL's worst, but I don't think I can do it anymore. If I were a more prominent Cubs analyst, I would still hold off, but I'm not, so i can say the Cubs are done, and Milton Bradley just put on the finishing touches.
In case you haven't heard this lovely quote yet:
"It's hard to be comfortable when you don't get a hit, you get booed every time," Bradley said. "When I go home and look in the mirror, I like what I see. My family's there, and I have people I can talk to who are supportive in spite of everything and all the adversity and hatred you face on a daily basis. I'll be all right. I always have."
Welcome to Chicago, Milton. I'm sorry it took you five months, but if you suck here, you will get booed. If you come here and hit .259 with 32 RBI, your worst season as a full-time ballplayer, after a team designed its off season around acquiring you, you will see "hatred." Even in some small market town where they don't boo because they don't care, a city is not going to nurture you with love and support to help you become the player you're being paid to be.
I'll give Bradley credit. He's a good player. He's hit .291 since the All-Star break. He'll probably be better next year, but he got off to a horrific start in a city with high expectations, especially the year after their second consecutive losing playoff campaign. Bradley was supposed to be the missing link and he ended up being one of the weakest.
Bradley will probably hit .280 or something next season. I have no trouble believing that, but he shouldn't do it in a Cubs uniform. To this organization, Bradley was a bout of food poisoning after what everyone thought was a five-star steak dinner. You have to just get him out of your system and forget it. Theoretically it should've worked for both parties and might still with more time, but it would be wrong to wait and find out.
With the Cubs saddled with contracts through next year, to change the make-up of this team, somebody has to go. Bradley's contract is the youngest, it's backloaded and it involves the least amount of money. Even though the Cubs will eat much of that salary, there isn't a better option. Get him out, move Kosuke Fukudome back to right field where he belongs and feels most comfortable, and pretend like 2009 never happened. I'm sure that Jim Hendry, Lou Piniella and Crane Kenney would all be thrilled to do that -- pretend this season didn't exist and shove the blame off for a little longer.
Not only all the salary issues and the struggles offensively for Bradley, but also his personality, which doesn't belong on this team. The Cubs replaced a club house leader in Mark DeRosa with a self-centered hot-head who's hard on himself and has made all the other kids think slamming their bats into home plate is okay. Jim Hendry can defend all other parts of this transaction, but not the oversight in personality.
Bradley isn't comfortable here, Chicago isn't comfortable with Bradley, the other players are probably uncomfortable with Bradley, Cubs management is uncomfortable dealing with the blame for Bradley and he represents a completely horrific flop of a 2009 season where everything that could've gone wrong did. It's not all his fault, it's probably unfair, but it's the way it is and the spreading cancer that this situation has become needs to go.