Unhappy Bradley

Outfielder speaks his mind in locker room

August 26, 2009, 12:13 AM

By: Nick Friedell


Jerry Lai/US Presswire

Milton Bradley said he'll be alright despite facing hatred on a daily basis.

I've tried to follow one rule throughout the entire season while I've covered the Cubs:

Never leave the clubhouse until Milton Bradley has spoken.

The emotional outfielder does not enjoy talking to the press, but he always gives the types of opinions that most players are afraid to give. He did not disappoint on Tuesday night after the Cubs got crushed 15-6 by the Nationals. As usual, he was brutally honest and didn't hold back his commentary. While you may not agree with the things he says or the way he says them, you have to give him credit for always speaking his mind.

What's clear, and has been throughout most of the season, is that Bradley simply does not enjoy the circus-like atmosphere that surrounds the Cubs. He'd much rather just play baseball and go home. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't work like that when you suit up for a team that hasn't won a World Series in over a century. Bradley's frustration with his present situation and his team's struggles is etched on his face and oozes out of every one of his answers.

His four-minute session with the media started off this way:

Q: Obviously not the type of beginning you felt you were gonna have here on the homestand:

MB: "No, we got a Rodney King beatdown tonight."

After a few seconds of awkwardness, Bradley responded, "What's up, what do ya'll got next, something else?"

Q: Hey Milton, you came over to win and contend, it's starting to slip further and further away -- how upsetting is that to you and the rest of the guys.

MB: [10-second pause] You know, we ain't surrendered nothing yet. We ain't relinquished nothing yet. I still take every bat like it's life or death. And that's what I'll continue to [do].

Q: Do you take any solace out of a night like this -- 4-for-4 with a home run -- for yourself even in the loss?

MB: If I gave everything I had and did everything I could possibly do and went 0-for-4 with four K's, I still feel the same way. When you get beat, that's a loss. There's no gratitude in that.

Q: Milton, does something have to turn around in this home stand for you guys to make a serious charge?

MB: Well, I mean it's one game. That's the good thing. It's more like a Skins-Bears score out there tonight than baseball. But we got a whole homestand. It's not the way you want to start, but the positive is [we got] Z back and I guess he's healthy and we're gonna keep riding it 'til the wheels fall off.

Q: How are you feeling at the plate? Is there a comfort level?

MB: There's never a comfort. It's hard to get comfortable when you don't get a hit you get booed every time. When I go home and look in the mirror, I like what I see, and my family's there and I have people I can talk to that are supportive, in spite of everything and all the adversity and hatred you face on a daily basis. But I'll be all right, always have.

Q: This team looked so good after the All-Star break, can you pinpoint what happened in this month, in August?

MB: If I had the answer, then maybe it wouldn't happen. But there are days when you can't buy a hit. There are days when you can't get an out. And it's just been a lot more of those days this past month, both sides, the offense and pitching. So nobody's pointing the finger at anybody but that's baseball. Praise guys when they're getting hits and driving in runs, praise guys when they're throwing the ball and getting outs, and then you criticize them when they're not getting outs and criticize them when they're not getting hits. I mean, that's the nature of the game.

Q: Teams have done some crazy winning down the stretch, like Colorado did a couple years ago; are you still holding the faith that this club can do the same thing?

MB: I got no doubt in the guys we've got in here. It's a solid base of guys and a good nucleus, and if everybody can just keep all the distractions and everything that comes with playing here and being a Cub out, and just focus on what you can do and what you can control, we'll be fine.

Q: However well you guys play, there's 39 games left and you're nine games out; at some point does the deficit start to get demoralizing this late?

MB: I don't have a politically correct answer for that so I can't answer it.


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