Editor’s note: I decided to combine the words intensity and energy because I was writing both of them too much and wanted to save some space on my word count. The by product is the word intenergy. Feel free to use it a nominal fee of $0.25 per usage.
Editor's note No. 2: Nothing says intensity like sitting on the bench and day-dreaming, right?
There were lots of reasons the Cubs signed Milton Bradley in the offseason besides an endless supply of board game jokes. He’s got a big bat, he gets on base and he hits from the left side of the plate. What’s not to like about that?
Media members, however, like to bring up his intenergy as something the Cubs desperately need and also something that could provide some destructive moments of implosion later in the season.
Swept under the rug by the Cubs/Sox prime time Spring Training game in Las Vegas last night, Bradley returned to the lineup yesterday against the Indians and went 1-for-3 (the one hit was a double).
Today’s news outlets are not reporting about MB’s return to health though (big surprise), but rather referencing their favorite Bradley talking point: intenergy.
In today’s Trib, Bradley reputes this one-dimensional classification and explains that he’s so much deeper than that. Carrie Muskat probably should have asked Milton about his feelings on being described as intenergetic before cubs.com decided to run with a story about the return and emergence of said intenergy.
Anyway, I’m not here to debate whether or not MB is crazy or just crazy about baseball. Rather I’m here to muse about the value of intenergy in baseball.
From my very, very limited experience playing the game, being overly emotional (as words like intensity and energy can imply) is not necessarily a good thing. It causes players to over-swing by trying to put one in the stands with every at-bat, it can lead to stupid base-running mistakes and it can affect a players judgment when trying to make defensive plays.
I know Bradley has a lot of intenergy, but the last thing I want to see is No. 21 trying to do is jack homers with every AB, steal home plate or layout into the brick wall on a play no outfielder can make.
The Cubs suffered some criticism for looking too laid back against the Dodgers in the playoffs, but I don’t want an over abundance of intenergy to affect the way they play the game. Baseball is a game of concentration and skill, not brute strength and physical ability.
My hope is that Bradley’s intenergy will have the biggest impact in the clubhouse and in the dugout. The Cubs need a cheerleader if you will. They need someone to keep the level of competition high. They DO NOT need a psycho running around Wrigley with a bat trying to smash any spherical object in his sights.
It’s energy plus intensity plus (and this is the key here) focus. Or as is shall be known from here on out: Intenercus...or Fotenergy. Words are fun.