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November 09, 2005

Heyman On Milton Bradley

In Newsday today:

Saying Milton Bradley has issues is like saying George Steinbrenner has turtlenecks.

It's important to touch on a few now before this gets out of hand, before the Yankees acquire Bradley to patrol the ground made hallowed by Bernie Williams and before him, Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Earle Combs.

Among other very bad deeds, Bradley sped away from a speeding ticket, was jailed for yelling at a police officer, was questioned about three domestic disputes at his house last summer (his new bride had a bloody lip one time), was suspended for throwing a bottle at the feet of fans, called a reporter an "Uncle Tom," engaged in a feud with teammate Jeff Kent (that one may be defensible) and spit gum at an umpire. And he's only 27, which only means plenty of time for many more blowups and meltdowns.

Three more words of advice: Please, not here.

Well said Jon. Well said indeed.

Plus, and I've noted this before in other posts/comments, there's no evidence in hand now that Bradley will be an effective big league batter in his career. He has just as much of a chance as being a .260 hitter as he does a .310 hitter at this point. You don't take baggage on a risk - you only accept that stuff when the guy is a star. Right now, Bradley is as much of a star as Gene Larkin was for the Twins in 1991. And, we know how the rest of Larkin's career played out.

Stats via the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia:


Posted by Steve Lombardi at November 9, 2005 09:33 AM


Yes, Bradley has done some bad things. But he is just 27, which means there's lots of time for him to grow up too. Gooden, Strawberry, Sheffield all come to mind . . .

And Bradley has shown flashes of power (which Larkin never did) and an ability to walk (which Larkin 'lost' after his age-25 season).

Why not take a chance?

BTW - 'hallowed' CF grouns patrolled by Mantle and DiMaggio?! Way to completely ignore their off-field issues, hmm Mr. Heyman?

Posted by: Shaun P. [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 9, 2005 10:39 AM

Why do I feel Jon Heyman always has the Yankees' best interests in heart when he makes suggestions? Regardless of anyone's opinion of Bradley, Heyman's "concern" is totally and cynically insincere.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 9, 2005 10:45 AM

By all means, acquire Milton Bradley. While they're at it, the team can see if Mel Hall would be willing to come back.

Posted by: Mr. Furious [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 9, 2005 10:55 AM

FWIW, Sheffield turned it around in his first year in SD, when he was 23.

I wouldn't mind acquiring Bradley. If you're going to pass on him, pass on him because he can't play, not because of his antics. I've seen worse.

Put him in CF, bat him wherever, and leave him alone.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 9, 2005 11:38 AM

I agree, giving Milton a shot isn't a bad risk at $2.8M. Personally, I don't think he'll turn into another Gene Larkin but even if he does, he'd be here for one reason - to catch balls hit to centerfield, something Bernie stopped doing 3 years ago. If Milton hits .275 with 15 homers and 60 RBI and steals 10 bags from the #8 hole, how would that be bad?

Plus, people do have the capacity for change. Who knows, he might behave himself here. And if he doesn't, $2.8M is a drop in the bucket to get rid of. The Yanks have eaten worse contracts without flinching (Karsay).

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 9, 2005 11:45 AM

I'm not even old enough to remember the Bronx Zoo teams of the late '70s, but I'm flabbergasted that people are really putting the kibosh on acquiring Bradley on the cheap. Yeah, everyone you've ever rooted for was the greatest guy ever. By no means do I think Bradley is a sure-fire thing, but I think he's worth the risk, especially because he'll be a bargain. Y

Posted by: Nick from Washington Heights [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 9, 2005 10:15 PM