View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



June 2009



Time to man up

Written by , Posted in General

First the good news – we won one, and we sure needed it. Jake Fox had a great day at the plate, hopefully we’ll see him starting at third until he shows us reason to do otherwise. Now the bad news – for some inexplicable reason the Cubs manager went to a clueless Carlos Marmol and nearly cost us another game. Doesn’t Piniella watch these games? Why can’t he see that Marmol is making games unnecessarily close? Let’s demote Carolos to Iowa and bring up Jeff Stevens for a couple of weeks and let Marmol either get his head back in the game or get used to Des Moines steak dinners. I’m tired of Marmol and it’s not going to come to him in a revelation. He needs some good old-fashioned humility and/or minor league instruction.

I’m also getting fed up with Milton Bradley, until now I’ve taken a wait and see attitude because the guy can hit when he wants to. Thus far it appears that Bradley will hit in the Friendly Confines but he does next to nothing on the road – IMO his thin skin is such that he puts extra effort in when he’s in Wrigley because he doesn’t want to hear the boos. Today’s temper tantrum was such that even Alfonso Soriano commented on it. Said the Cubs’ left fielder: “I hope [Bradley] comes back and he can help the team to win. If he’s not that way, we don’t need him. We have 25 players, we have to be on the same page. If he’s not 100 percent to help the team to win, we don’t need him. If he’s 100 percent and he comes and wants to play, he’s more than welcome.”

The guy is starting to show signs of being a clubhouse cancer – now is the time to ask him to make an apology to his manager and teammates. If he doesn’t want to do that then put Milton on the restricted list and suspend him until further notice. Methinks it’s time for Bradley to man up and quit acting like a spoiled little child.

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  • Doc Raker

    Good job on driving the bus over Bradley, about time people started figuring this cancer risk out. Bradley’s like smoking 10 packs of cigarettes a day. Call him ’10 packs’, if you will.

    Here is a theory of mine which is starting to show for the Cubs.
    As we leave the steroid era we will see a gregg load of veterans offensive production take a nose dive. Maybe some are just in normal decline due to age and maybe some are in decline because they are no longer on the juice. One may really never know, all we know or more importantly all big league GM’s really know is that some veterans numbers are not for real. Who? How much of a nose dive? No one can be sure, all one knows is numbers will go down. I think we are starting to see this. I noticed Magglio Ordenez has perplexed Detroit with a lack of production, Travis Haffner has had a decline since his trememndous year of a couple season’s ago. Similar stories abound around the league.

    The teams that will emerge as true contender’s are the teams that have true hitters on the team, not juiced up vet’s who no longer are using. The teams that have true hitters are the teams that have good young talent, drug testing is much stricter in the minor leagues. Minor leaguers coming up are less likey to be juicing. The team that has quality offense production from players who recently moved up from the minors will contend this season. Who and were? No one really knows. But guys like Hoffa and Fox are guys that should stay in the Cubs line up as much as possible for the remainder of the season. In this past week we have seen good production out of those two and we know we have some vets who are just dog gregg at this point.

    For this reason I think as an organization we need to find young talent and move away from the veterans.

    Mark my words, come October there will be some young surprise talent playing it up for some lucky organization(s).

  • Seymour Butts

    I only caught the last inning and a half today and did not see the Harbro incident. I have seen the media coverage and don’t think he’s getting a fair shake. I realize he has issues, but the media is very quick to pile on them and escalate it. Gregg them.

    Marmol should spend time in Iowa, but don’t forget that Gregg go out of the 9th with a big assist from the home plate ump on the last strike.

  • rob

    Are you saying that if Milton Bradley would try harder that he would be hitting better?

  • I agree on both counts 100% Mark

  • lizzie

    It’s interesting that the player who called Bradley out for not giving 100% is the one we often perceive as not giving 100%.

  • This is what I wrote on another blog:

    Hmm… this one kinda’ sounds like it was on Lou. Not Bradley.

    Don’t get me wrong – Bradley got angry. Again. But lots of players get angry when they struggle. I actually like that Bradley gets angry when he struggles. It shows that he cares.

    But Lou got pissed that Bradley got angry, got into a verbal altercation with him.

    Like I said in parachat, Lou wouldn’t have done anything (and never does do anything) when Zambrano does the same thing. Hell – when Lee was struggling in April, we say more than one emotional outburst after a strikeout or a pop-up.

    And does anyone else find it incredibly ironic that Lou is complaining about players’ temper tantrums?

    Bradley didn’t go off on anyone. Bradley got pissed in the privacy of the tunnel/clubhouse. Other Cubs get pissed all the time on the field. Zambrano gets away with a ton of stuff like that.

    If the worst that Bradley does it get angry because he is struggling, I am okay with that.

    And Soriano, of all people, calling someone out for their team play is pretty funny.

  • Doc Raker

    This kind of behavior is very difficult for an organization to deal with when they have big gauranteed contracts. The front office and the field manager have to be on the same page. If the front office doesn’t back up the field manager with discipline the field manager loses the team. “Why should I listen? No one else does.” Is what players start to think when they see the field manager does not have support from the front office.

    I have no idea if Hendry and Lou are on the same page in regards to these incidents. But if they don’t have the cashews to discipline their players when need be anarchy will ensue in the clubhouse. We are starting to see HasBro’s anger showing itself as a cancer and not the ‘intensity to win’ as everyone on the club was told to believe and spewed out at nasauem when they signed him in the offseason.

    Is Zambrano treated different? Maybe, we don’t really know. Is Zambrano always angry like HasBro seems to be? I think their performances differs which may have something to do with Lou’s different reaction, Zambrano performs for the most part, Hasbro hasn’t. The guy that doesn’t perform gets a shorter leash, it is the way of professional sports.

    Suspend HasBro indefitely and play Hoffa and Fox, see post number 1 for another reason the call ups should be playing.

  • It is truly a shame that a win gets so overshadowed by the extraneous sctivity that might or might not mean anything in the long run. But we have pretty much all been waiting and hoping for Lou to fire up in some way at some point and this could be the time. Since it was not with an umpire and not on the field, we have no video and cannot turn it into an Aquafina moment. But stranger things have happened than to have an incident like this light a positive fire under a player and for that fire to spread to generate a hot ballclub.
    I have said before that I was against signing Bradley, then barely hopeful. But the man I saw in #21 when I went to spring training has not yet gotten to Chicago. That man went through a long stretching session in warmup, he hit the ball with authority to all fields and into the seats, he had a great batting eye, he went from first to third well, chased down balls in the OF. Overall, he looked like a $10 million/year ballplayer. I have not seen that man yet this season, not once. If this firecracker finds that guy, maybe the disaster we have been building all season might not happen.
    Fingers are crossed (but only one hand so we won’t get double-crossed!)

  • cap’n obvious

    I am not surprised by this even a little.

    That is all.

  • sherm

    This is what I wrote on another blog:

    There are other blogs? What the Gregg?

  • Mastrick

    Piniella apologized today for calling Milton a “piece of !@#$” but the fact remains that Milton is a problem child. He either needs to man up or be put on the restricted list so that he only plays 74 games. That way the Cubs don’t have to exercise his third year option; Milton can be paid for this year and next year and then we can jettison his boat; as far as I’m concerned he can take his little dog and pony show on the road.

  • Doc Raker

    The Cardinals traded for Mark Derosa. Matt Holiday is still available, but I think Hoffa and Fox can do the job.

    Bradley is jetsam.

  • MJ

    He either needs to man up or be put on the restricted list so that he only plays 74 games.

    Yeah. That makes sense. Let’s put a guy making 10 million a year on teh restricted list…

  • Of course, the Players Union would (rightfully) not allow Bradley to be placed on the restricted list either.

    Placing Bradley on the restricted list makes about as much sense as just cutting DLee.

    People have strange ideas…