After making the All-Star team in 2008 with the Texas Rangers, Milton Bradley cashed in on a three-year, $30 million deal with the Chicago Cubs in January of 2009. The outfielder batted .321 during the 2008 season and hit 22 home runs.
The Cubs were excited about adding Milton Bradley and thought he would help them make the playoffs in the National League. However, Bradley’s tenure with Chicago was a disaster from start to finish.
Milton Bradley only lasted one season with the Cubs
Milton Bradley appeared in 124 games for the Cubs during the 2009 season. He batted .257, blasted 12 home runs, drove in 40 runs, and struck out 95 times.
The Cubs went 83-78 in 2009 and finished in second place in the NL Central. However, Chicago missed the playoffs under manager Lou Piniella.
Bradley was issued a two-game suspension for making contact with umpire Larry Vanover while arguing a strike call on April 16. During his MLB career, Bradley displayed an aggressive personality which was detrimental to his team.
Piniella and Bradley confronted each other in the Cubs’ locker room and exchanged words after a game against the Chicago White Sox. Piniella told Bradley to leave the dugout and go home after he went after a Gatorade cooler in frustration.
While Piniella later apologized to Bradley and reinserted him back into the lineup, everyone knew Bradley was nothing but trouble. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry suspended Bradley for the remainder of the season in September after the polarizing outfielder criticized the team in a newspaper interview.
Bradley was disciplined for conduct detrimental to the team. He was quoted as saying, “You understand why they haven’t won in 100 years here. I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment. There’s too many people everywhere in your face with a microphone asking the same questions repeatedly. Everything is just bashing you. It’s just negativity.”
Milton Bradley’s lone season with the Cubs isn’t even remembered for his comments to the newspaper or his argument with Lou Piniella. On June 12, 2009, against the Minnesota Twins, Bradley made one of the dumbest moves in MLB history.
Milton Bradley forgot how many outs there were
Against the Twins at Wrigley Field in the top of the eighth inning, Milton Bradley caught a fly ball and then threw the ball into the stands. There were only two outs in the game, though.
The umpire allowed the runner on third to score as a sacrifice fly. Bradley was booed by Cubs fans, and it was warranted. It’s inexcusable for a professional baseball player to forget how many outs there are in the game.
The Cubs lost to the Twins by a final score of 7-4. Even though Bradley drove in two runs, Cubs fans were done with him after his careless blunder.
In December of 2009, Chicago traded Milton Bradley to the Seattle Mariners for Carlos Silva and cash. Cubs fans, as expected, were thrilled with the move.
The one-time All-Star had many issues in the MLB
Milton Bradley had several issues during his MLB career. In 2004, Bradley was ordered to undergo anger management counseling while with the LA Dodgers after being suspended for charging a fan in the stands who had thrown a bottle at him.
During the 2004 NL playoffs, Bradley called a reporter an “Uncle Tom.” He also tore his ACL in 2007 while being restrained by San Diego Padres manager Bud Black during an altercation with first base umpire Mike Winters.
Milton Bradley finished his MLB career with 125 home runs and 481 runs batted in. He hit .271.