Milton pops off

If you want to do yourself a favor, take some time and delve into the mind of Milton Bradley today. I read everything Bradley had to say to Oakland Tribune columnist Carl Steward, and the first word that popped into my head? Clown.

But just to give Milton a little benefit of the doubt, I asked a few of his former teammates if they had seen what he had said. The conversations were casual and not on the record, so I can’t tell you specifically what they said. I can sum up the general feeling in one word, however: Clown.

Look, Bradley is a complex guy. Always has been, always will be. But that doesn’t mean we have to believe everything he says. All I can say is that from what I can tell — and I’m certainly not around this team as often as I once was — and from what I’ve been told by people in the organization I trust, the atmosphere in the clubhouse is not all that different. Members of the organization always have been wary of Beane’s influence, but there’s still room for independent thinking. And if you don’t believe so, then why would Beane have ever brought Bradley on board in the first place.

Bottom line, there’s a reason Bradley has worn out his welcome at every place he’s ever been, and why he’ll likely be ripping Padres CEO Sandy Alderson to shreds at an undetermined future date.

By the way, Bradley hurt himself again last night (Thought bubble inside Beane’s head: Good riddance).


  • I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. And also that the sentiment was shared by the team.

  • gil gilreath

    Finally, someone (Milton Bradley) had the guts to speak out against the great image that is Billy the Bean. When I read Money Ball for the first time this past winter, I was expecting to get a glimpse of how the great mind of Billy the Bean works. I was looking forward to learning something deep about this great baseball businessman – the great purveyor of the illogical and amazingly successful unexpected trades. I was hoping to gleam something from his life, much like a person reads a biography to apply the subjects best qualities to their own life.

    What I got was a lesson on how a paranoid, unsuccessful former baseball talent gains more acumen than is truly deserved. Halfway through Money Ball, my wife asked me how I liked the book? I responded by saying that “I’ve leaned that Billy Bean is a headcase” (not really the description originally used).

    The more I read that book, the more I learned that this man has an ego the size of Frank Thomas and a heart the size of Campy Campanaris (sorry Campy!) It’s obvious that BB spends his life trying to over compensate for a baseball career that was impeded by his own demons. I’m truly surprised that BB allowed Money Ball to go public – OH WAIT! – forgot, that EGO thing again!

    None the less, I entered this baseball season thinking, “Oh well, that’s just BB and he’s done well by the A’s – so far. However, I started to apply what I leaned from Money Ball to BB’s current decision process and lots of things did become quite apparent.

    Beginning with Macha’s rather quick and quiet departure, Washington’s dissing, and then the hiring of BB’s best friend Garen (oh yeah, don’t forget Art Howe) it was crystal clear that as long as BB is the general manager, that no real baseball man, ala La Russa, Torre, Williams, Martin, etc. will ever be welcome in the A’s manager’s chair to challenge the great wisdom of BB.

    Nope, these men know baseball inside and out and they have one quality, which will forever keep them from ever being hired by BB – they have insight and experience. They know that success on the field cannot always be predicted by on base percentage and a ratio of strikeouts to walks. I don’t seem to remember anyone saying that the most successful teams in baseball history got there because they knew how to take a walk! No, it is always team chemistry and aggressive play and a willingness to fight through the last out. At least our current A’s team does fight through the last out!

    What does BB bring to the table? Paranoia and an unending search for acceptance. This man says he wants to win but does he really? Anyone who knows baseball, I mean real baseball, knows that a team is just that, a team. Anyone knows that chemistry is one of the most integral parts of a successful baseball team. Obviously, you cannot build chemistry if your players are being handled like just a number, someone who can always be replaced by someone younger and cheaper or on their way out.

    Though it’s true that Milton Bradley had been very unreliable this season and half of last year – however – I didn’t see A’s management complaining about him when he was the best hitter in the stretch drive and playoffs last year. Sure, he had “some” baggage but his teammates loved him and made him feel welcomed as did Macha. Nope, there was something more going on. Billy Bean had apparently grown tired of Milton’s injuries and the fact that Milton wasn’t making him look good anymore. Sure, there’s lots of great young talent knocking at the door, but, since when does that become the overriding decision process in trying to win a pennant this year, or next? If you keep changing the players you’ll never give the players a chance to build chemistry. The true leaders (of which Bradley and Thomas were) never get a chance to do their thing, lead by example and win games.

    Yet another example is the dumping of Kendall. He was a leader too – yet because he was struggling at the plate, he was let go for what? Two young cheap. Jason’s leadership and experience with the pitching staff will never be replaced.

    Lastly, Lew Wolfe seems to be a pretty smart man. Has tons of recognition in the real estate business. Unfortunately, he made a big mistake by making Billy Bean a part owner – this only fed Bean’s ego and made him more of a monster. Now how do you get rid of someone making bad decisions – they certainly won’t fire themselves will they? Remember, the A’s are no longer the lowest paid team in the majors, not even close, so using that excuse has grown old. I wonder……how come Chavez is still around when he never produces like Miguel Tejada did or does? Seems like the money spent on Chavez would have been better spent on Tejada.

    At least Charlie Finley had an eye for talent. I wonder if the Haas family wants to buy a team?

  • Rich

    Billy Beane made a big mistake by hiring his best friend as the manager of the A’s. The day will come–like it came for Art Howe and Ken Macha (twice)–when Beane will fire Geren and that will be the end of a friendship. How in the world so-called “smart” people can hire a good friend in such a high profile, volatile position is beyond me. Supporting his best friend for another management position is one thing but did Beane think beyond the immedicate moment and consider just a bit about the impossible position he’s put both he and Geren? To my way of thinking, a friendship is much more important than the immediate “feel good” of naming a friend to a management position in your own organization. On another subject, making a comment like “you’re stealing money” is something I would expect from an adolescent. Beane’s fortunate that Bobby Kielty has enough class to put this behind him and move on. One last thought: the reports about Bob Geren being too close to his players…that’s accurate and it’s going to bite him in the long run.

  • JC

    After reading the article in the Chronicles, there might have been some truth to what Bradley said.(especially after Kielty confirmed what was being said by Beane) Bradley seems to have issues but maybe he isn’t such a clown after all.