A laurel, and hearty handshake, for our new right fielder and training table spacehog, Milkit Badly.

Tightness? I’ve got tightness, too. In my chest. Every time I think about the rightfielders we DON’T have. Adam Dunn and the fifty homers that he WANTED to bring to Wrigley. Bobby Abreu and the mere $5M deal he was willing to accept.

It’s not even the thirty mil we’re paying the guy (hey, it’s not my money.) It’s the three years we are going to have to deal with this.

Here’s a perspective worth mentioning: between Bradley and Fukudome, we’ve tied up $78 Million dollars! That’s right. For a Japanese Dreidle and guy who could be a guest star on House (Tuesdays at 9, 8 Central on Fox. Do I get money for that?) I’ll save you the diagnosis. It’s in his head. I don’t have a good feeling about this guy. There’s a reason he has a closet full of different jerseys.

$78 mil. Could have had Manny in rightfield for that. And say what you want about defense, blah, blah, blah…you KNOW you’d love to see Manny in a Cub uniform.

I’ll address centerfield and THAT three headed beast later. For now, let’s hope that Milky can fight his way through this latest devastating “owie” and return to play the game. Sooner rather than later.

More later. Or not.


Gordon’s Thoughts

Honestly, I didn’t know about Bradley’s injury until I read Sherm’s post.  I wrote my comments below last night as my wife was upstairs ridding herself of food poisoning.  They started with a simple question, What should the Cubs expect to get out of Bradley.

I spent an hour this morning trying to figure out what we are getting in Milton Bradley.  I was not in favor of his signing.  He might be a great guy.  He might be obsessed with winning.  He might be a changed man.  But before I looked at his numbers, I felt there were to many question marks, from injury to personality, to make him the cornerstone of our free agent class.

What numbers do you expect from your right fielder, 3,4,5 hitter, major free agent signing (I should have written this before I looked at his numbers, but I’ll try to be fair)?  140 games. 500+AB’s
280-300 avg. 380-400 obp. 450-500 slg.  25-30 HR. 90-100RBI. 80+ runs scored. 50+BB’s. 100 K’s

Each of these numbers could be a post/argument in themselves. Be nice.  I would argue that the Cubs should expect the high end of each of these numbers.  We want to be an elite team, we (should) spend elite money, and those are the baseline for elite offensive numbers.

The Cub closest to these numbers is Ramirez who last year (and for his career) is at or exceeds the high end of all the numbers except for career OBP.  which is .341.  Both Lee and Soriano have had multiple years with those types of numbers. Although Soriano’s .obp has been chronically in the 320’s-330’s. And last year his runs, walks, and rbi  were below those numbers.  Lee had a 4-year span from 2002-2005 where he was exceptional, and even last year, when most fans began to notice a decline he fell within the range (except for HR’s).

All of this leads up to Bradley.  Except for BB’s (80), OBP (.436),  SLG (.563), and AVG (.321) Bradley has never really been close a premier hitters numbers, (and his career numbers are significantly less than last years).  Still, those statistics do look positive in a post Moneyball world but how do those averages play out into a baseball season?
What Bradley has not done, startled me.

  • He has never played 142 games in a season.  His season highs are 141 (2004), 126 (2008), 101 (2003).  In 9 seasons (discounting the first 2 where he was breaking in) he averaged less than 90 games played.
    • Lets put this in perspective…the “injury prone” Aramis Ramirez has not played less than 123 games since 2001 and has played 140+ all but 2 years.
    • Put another way, Ramirez and Bradley are the same age, but A-Ram has played 500 more games, and has 2000 more AB’s.
    • The injury prone Alphonso Soriano had never played less than 145 games before he came to the Cubs.  He’s played in 135 (2007) and 109 (2008) so his 2 worst years health wise still beat Bradley’s 2nd and 3rd best years.
  • He has never hit 25 HR’s: His season highs are 22 (2008), 19 (2004)
  • He has never driven in 80 RBI: 77 (2008) 67 (2004) 56 (2003)
  • He has never scored 80 runs: 78 (2008) 72 (2004) 61 2003)
  • Lee, Ramirez, and Soriano each have multiple years exceeding these numbers.

So Bradley is not an elite player, what is he?  It turns out he might just be a less flexible, less healthy, slightly more offensive Mark DeRosa.  In 23 more games DeRosa drove in 10 more RBI and scored 30 more runs. Bradley walked 11 more times and hit 1 more HR in 90 less AB’s.

Wouldn’t you rather have DeRosa? Where you know day to day what he is going to give in all phases of the game. Offense, defense, chemistry as opposed to Bradley’s wild card?

I have not even begged the question for what we are going to do for the 40,50, 60 games that Bradley most likely will not play?  Fukudome? Hoffpauir?  How does these moves make us a better team?

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