Posted by: Asher Roth | November 10, 2009

GOOD NEWS!! (at least, as good as it’s gonna get)

Well, it looks like the Jays aren’t in the hunt for whack-job board-game’s services after all. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Jays have no interest in the reported 3-way deal that would effectively send Lyle Overbay to the Mets, and Milton Bradley to the Jays. Surprise, surprise, they don’t want someone with such a reputation on the team.

What reputation, you ask?

Well, I thought I would take this opportunity to explain just why Milton Bradley is such a blatant disaster.

In 2007, on the Padres, he tried to attack umpire Brian Runge for swearing at him, after Runge thought that Bradley threw a broken bat at him. As he ran at the umpire, manager Bud Black restrained him, and took him to the ground. In the take-down, Bradley tore his ACL, and was out for the rest of the year – clutch, considering he was playing very well for the Padres at the time, the team was in the playoff race, and there was a week left in the season. It turns out he had reason to be mad at Runge, but the team flopped in their 1-game chance to make the playoffs, thanks to Bradley’s absense.

In 2008, on the Rangers, Bradley disliked comments he heard the Royals TV announcer make on the air, and so, in the middle of the game, he tried to go up to the Royals press-box and attack the announcer. Apparently, he didn’t like being compared to Josh Hamilton (ironic, since Hamilton is, arguably, a far better ballplayer). Bradley was said to have been upset with someone who didn’t know him, passing judgment on him.

This past season, as we all know, the Cubs suspended him for publicly criticizing the team. That’s right, not only does he dislike it when people judge him, but he likes to publicly judge others – and his employers, no less.

And those are just the documented cases. When I worked in the SC newsroom, in October, 2006, I recall on a Fox broadcast, Steve Lyons (ironically, a couple days before being fired for making racist comments about Lou Piniella) made a comment about Bradley off the air. In the newsroom sometimes, we got to hear the raw feeds of broadcasts, meaning we could hear the broadcasters off the record, when viewers at home would see commercials. Bradley, playing for the A’s, caught a ball in the field, and refused to give it to a fan. Lyons was heard, after the cut to break, saying “See, this is why Bradley’s such a dick!”

And even prior to that, Bradley was notorious for fighting with his managers about playing time (or lack there of) on the Indians and Expos.

Those on the opposite side of the debate must be thinking “but he’s a great hitter! And the Jays don’t have tonnes of guys who can hit for average, especially in the outfield!”

Bradley might have a knack for getting on base, as he showed in Texas, hitting 321, and in 07, hitting 306 with the A’s and Padres. However, it should be noted that the most games he has played in a season is 141, and that was back in 2004. This guy is a walking hospital bill, and if there’s one thing the Jays don’t need right now is ANOTHER injury-plagued player on their team.

The only way acquiring this guy would have made any sense would be if the team dealt V-dub for him. But we must remember that the Cubs are a highly-respected and storied franchise, and despite the lack of thought they put into signing Bradley to such a ridiculous contract in the first place, I don’t think they would take a guy who will get paid $12.5 million after driving in 66 RBI in 158 games, even if it is to the benefit of disposing of a notorious locker-room cancer. Just saying.

And speaking of Vernon Wells, is reporting that on a survey of 20 insiders, all of them claimed that there is far more likelihood of Bradley getting dealt this off-season than Wells, due to the money he is owed, and the fact that he is coming off surgery.

However, the good news is if Wells DOES have good 2010 and 2011 seasons, he has an opt-out clause in his mammoth contract after 2011, much like AJ Burnett did. So, if Wells has career years, he can choose to opt out of his contract, and sign elsewhere for more money. Looks like JP Ricciardi left a loop-hole in his “Screw up the Blue Jays for the next decade” Seven-Year Plan.

So as fans, here is what we must do. No matter how well V-Dub plays for the next two years, boo him profusely. That way, he’ll want to improve his play JUST for the sake of showing up the fans. But don’t back down, even if he hits 50 home runs. If he sees that he’s not wanted here, he’ll walk for more money, effectively saving the team $63 million. This won’t change the fact that he makes $12.5M this year and $23M next year, but $63M is nothing to sneeze at.

And don’t worry, folks. If you’re afraid that such an action makes you a bad fan, just think of it this way: you’re not booing the team, you’re booing JP Ricciardi, and the lack of thought he put into giving Wells the sixth-largest contract in MLB history (at the time it was signed). The funny thing is that he’s got good company on that list, as he was tied for 6th at the time with – wait for it – BARRY ZITO!!

The way I see it, boycotting the team and not going to games is not going to make the team better. Showing up and showing your disapproval with the team’s play is the way to go. By not showing up, the team makes no money, and Rogers will offer up no money for improvement. But if 40,000 fans show up to every game, and boo Vernon Wells every time he comes up to bat, then the team and its ownership will get the message and do all in its power to make the fans happy.

So be hungry, folks. Go for the team’s jugular. Be loud and proud! Give the team your money, for tickets and beer, then show your complete and utter displeasure when they lose. As fans, we’ll thank ourselves in the long run, once the team is good again – in 2012.

Too bad that Hollywood (and a few Mayans) think the world is going to end that year… and just when it could have been good!



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