On Milton Bradley
Don't Hit Daddy is in the news because he apparently believes that the press corps are trying to make him snap. This comes on the heels of perhaps the worst possible month he could've had in his start as a Chicago Cub - 1 for 23 with a sore groin.
I made a note yesterday (or maybe the day before, I'm having a senior moment*) that if Bradley had 520 at bats on the season (still a possibility) he would need to bat .311 from here on out to be a .300 hitter on the season. Point is, his year is hardly lost because he started it batting 1 for 23.
(*a senior moment is an instance of forgetfulness brought on by drinking as excessively as would a high school senior)
I think it's a constant complaint by athletes (and celebrities, for that matter) that the press invents or exaggerates stories to fill column inches. Maybe they have a point, but I don't think the Cubs press corp is trying to create a volatile situation with Milton. It's more likely that they're just reporting what they see - a new Cub with a history of violence starts slow, gets hurt, feels so frustrated he doesn't talk to the press about it, and gets suspended and appeals it out of "principle." (Which really goes back to my earlier point that he refused to adjust his approach in that Notorious At Bat out of that same sense of principle, but we'll call it what it really is: stubbornness.)
Anyway, I think it's pretty inevitable that Bradley will get seriously hurt sometime, that he will snap at the media sometime, that he will alienate the fanbase sometime, and that he will also put up ridiculous numbers which cause shock and awe from the idiots in the bleachers sometime.
The only issue is the continued problem of the start of the season - everything happens under a microscope. Nobody will really worry when Aramis Ramirez goes 0 for 30 in early August, but if he started the year 0 for 30 we'd be crapping our collective drawers.
Besides, Bradley does actually have a bit of a point. The journos at the Trib, Times, and Herald do need to fill column inches. Not to mention that if they are doing their jobs right, then Cub Fan Nation will always have a minor sense of panic and concern with the state of the team - be they 50-100 or 100-50. But maybe he shouldn't take it personally. Any player in his situation would receive the same treatment. If it was revealed tomorrow that Carlos Zambrano hates pink ballerina costumes, and that somebody wore one to the park on a day the Moose was pitching then you know that some jabrone journalist would write about it.
So, Milton. Relax. You're not receiving special treatment; you're just another sentence in the story.
Cubs journalists. Relax. If we can find compelling stuff to write about without trying to cause a general sense of urgency and drama then you, the paid professional, can certainly do it too - and better.
And Cubs fans. Relax. If you're buying into the panic right now and are worried about anything, (even, say, the stupidity of one Lou Piniella) then you. Are. An idiot. It's so early in the year that the Pirates have a winning record! Can't we enjoy the wins, shrug off the losses, and wait for the team to start rolling?