The next baseball team that takes a chance with Milton Bradley is, unquestionably, the stupidest team in the game.
There comes a day when a guy has to look in the mirror.
For Bradley, that day should have been, oh, like sometime back in 2002 or 2003.
Five down, 25 to go.
He got into it with manager Eric Wedge in Cleveland. Engaged in a bitter public spat with Jeff Kent in Los Angeles. Turned on Oakland general manager Billy Beane. Ripped up his knee when Padres manager Bud Black tried to keep him away from an umpire (in that one, the umpire, Mike Winters, crossed the line in baiting him).
He behaved so badly in Chicago that manager Lou Piniella chased him into the clubhouse and called him a "piece of s---" earlier this summer. Then Cubs general manager Jim Hendry suspended him for the season on Sunday after his me-against-the-world comments to a suburban Chicago newspaper.
"You understand why they haven't won in 100 years here," Bradley told the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights in what should be his farewell comments to the game. "It's just not a positive environment. I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment ... It's just negativity."
The next time anybody attaches the words "stable" and "healthy" to Bradley will be a first.
He is an intelligent, articulate man.
But on good days he needs professional help, and on bad days he is a reprehensible human being.
He's out of excuses. Those chips on his shoulder? At times in the past he's expressed bitterness that he's always having to prove himself.
Well, the Cubs took that last excuse away when they signed him to the three-year, $30 million deal. It was his first multi-year contract. No more proving himself. He was valued and loved. What he owed them was hard work and gratitude.
But he couldn't even do that. And now another team is burned.
No way the Cubs can bring him back now. He's embarrassed the organization, made enemies in the clubhouse, backstabbed teammates who had his back for far too long and essentially flipped Chicago fans the middle finger.
Worst free agent contract of the year.
Now the Cubs are going to have to eat all or part of the $23 million remaining ($9 million in 2010, $13 million in 2011).
Part of it if they can find another team stupid enough to welcome a toxic player into their clubhouse.
All of it if they can't.
Good luck with that.
Likes: Playoffs starting, two weeks from Tuesday.
Dislikes: Looks like the last part of Tiger Stadium is going to be torn down on Monday. Man, that and Ernie Harwell's illness is almost too much to bear.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"You see the world through your cynical eyes
"You're a troubled young man I can tell
"You've got it all in the palm of your hand
"But your hand's wet with sweat and your head needs a rest
"You're foolin' yourself if you don't believe it
"You're kidding yourself if you don't believe"
-- Styx, Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)