Milton Bradley's Not to Blame

Comments

1
This is so fucking confusing to read when a little bit tipsy. Milton Bradley makes board games, right? I have no clue what's going on in this post.
2
You forgot the word chumpy. Douchebag is overused, so CHUMPY best describes the fans in the worst stadium in MLB. So what will the cub excuse be this year, CF? "well, the bullpen couldn't hold" or "jeez louise, we sure couldn't hit that left-handed pitching" or "I guess the other guys wanted it more". It's only spring training, and already the motto for the cubs is, once again, "WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR". I mean, jeezus, I live on the north side and can't escape the chumpiness that oozes out of wrigleyville during the summer, QUIT POLLUTING SLOG WITH YOUR KUB PROPAGANDA! ICHIRO RULES!! And Go Brewers. Go White Sox. Eff the cubs, and their chumpy-ass vomiting, dipshit fans.
3
Who cares. Bradley will have more RBIs than Silva will have innings pitched.
4
Can we have a baseball person on SLOG who knows more than H/R/RBI? Seattle is the most sabermetric-inclined baseball community with USSMariner and Lookout Landing. Would be nice to have some representation here.
5
Yes, dinosaur. Walks don't come at the expense of doubles and singles; they come at the expense of outs.

You can't walk on strikes; they get called strikes. And you can't reliably hit balls out of the strike zone. There's really no such thing as a "bad-ball hitter"; there's guys who can occasionally whack one down in the dirt, but those are just the ones you remember, not the dozens of others that they popped up or dribbled to second (or just missed). If it goes for a ball, it wasn't a ball he can hit. Authority on this one: fellow dinosaur Ted Williams, who knew a thing or two about hitting (and walking). Batting average on balls out of the strike zone is WAY WAY DOWN from anywhere in the zone.

Plus, players that let balls go by instead of swinging at them force pitchers to throw in the strike zone, which increases power and average. Walking improves power and average, get it?

This is all 101 stuff from 1985. I'm sorry you don't understand baseball. Maybe that's the problem Bradley had with Chicago: stupid fans? God knows, Wrigley's full of them.

PS: the fans in Old Trafford, Man Utd's stadium, are all midlevel corporate managers. Cubs fans wouldn't survive five minutes at West Ham, let alone the Nazis in the Curva Sud at Stadio Olimpico.
6
I nominate @ 2 for Comment of the Year. Not necessarily for insight, just because that was very entertaining.
7
I wouldn't try to get into any arguments about baseball with fans living in Seattle. We have one of the highest concentrations of stat minded fans in the country.

To answer your question. A non intentional base on balls has a linear weight of .72 when calculating wOBA. A single has a weight of .90. So a single is slightly more valuable than a walk. However, there is also some value to taking lots of pitches. Most pitchers are on a pitch count, and the bull pen of most teams are filled with inferior arms to that of the starters.

Milton didn't even has an awful year last year. His wOBA was .345, which would have made him the third best hitter on the Mariners last year.
8
I grew up in MA but I have to grudgingly admit that Red Sox fans who live in the Seattle area and show up at Safeco for Sox/Mariners games have long eclipsed all other sports fans for pure douchiness.
9
Boy, I sure am happy I live in a city that really does have a team that will be a contender. Go Rox!
10
I do have to agree with CF's general gist; Milton Bradley is a time bomb. Sometimes he manages to stay out of trouble, but if he can't keep his cool in Seattle then your eagerly awaited renaissance isn't happening in 2010. Simple as that. You'll be too far out of the running before the M's cut him loose.
11
(Please read this comment as if it were spoken by Mayor Quimby)

I would like to thank the representative from Denver for his nomination and also for his beautiful state. Continue the good work, my least-obese-in-the-nation friends. For your kindness, I would also like to say say, Go Rockies.

Oh, and eff the cubs. I stand by my slur.
12
Oh, and Peter, nobody compares to Yankees fans when it comes to douchiness.
13
I want Chone Figgins back, assholes!
14
@Fnarf: See 7.

And I am a SABR member and love stats. But stats are not truth, they are evidence for arguments. While drawing a lot of walks can help some players by getting them to focus on only hitting strikes, Bradley isn't Bonds or Pujols: Bradley lets borderline potential strikes go because he thinks he's the umpire. Baseball is the most complex situational game, where in one at bat taking the walk might be the right thing to do, while in the next you should swing the fucking bat: but Bradley will always play for the walk. And since pitchers and their coaches know this, they know if you get ahead in the count on this guy, you can nibble him to death. And if you do walk him, that's less trouble than a double.
15
Matt From Denver,

That's why smart analysts only project him for 400-450 at bats (and the M's front office is filled with smart analysts). That covers injuries, suspensions, and other things that might keep him out of the lineup. That's also why Eric Byrnes, Ryan Langerhans, Griffey, and Ryan Garko are on the team. If he gives you 400 AB's of .360-.370 wOBA, it has to be a success.

The bigger worry is Cliff Lee and Felix. If either of those two spends any amount of time on the DL, we probably aren't winning.
16
5280, while it's true that Yankees fans are horrible human beings, Boston Red Sox fans, or at least the ones out here that put on brand-new Red Sox paraphernalia that they never otherwise wear when "their" team is in town, just *act* worse during those three or four days stretches.

Yankees fans, though, make no mistake, are despicable filth all 365 days of the year. I can't hate Cubs fans, and I still have a soft spot for Sweet Lou.
17
@ 15, I hope you're right. My time in Seattle made me an M's fan, and I'd like to see them go back to the winning ways they had when Piniella was managing. But I'm a longtime Rockies fan and Milton's played for two of our divisional rivals, so I got to see a lot more of him and the bad affect his personality had on team chemistry.
18
Oops, I wrote "affect" when I meant "effect."
19
Chicago Fan,

It's almost never the right idea to swing at a borderline strike. If you look at out of zone contact rates for players, out of zone BABIP, out of zone Slugging, and out of zone wOBA; you'd see that swinging at those pitches is almost always a losing situation (there are certain players who this isn't the case for, but they are the exceptions and not the rules).

Bradley's plate discipline numbers are almost identical to ARod's, so I'd say his approach at the plate has to be more right than it is wrong. Bradley isn't a super high BABIP guy; he averages just over .300. That means over 65% of his balls in play are going to be outs. When you factor in his out of zone contact rate is only around 50%, that means swinging at bad pitches is a losing proposition for him.
20
Matt from Denver,

Chemistry is over rated. No one has ever been able to figure out how to build great chemistry teams. There have been teams who absolutely hated each other that had great success. In general though, good chemistry comes from good play. When things are going well chemistry is easy.
21
Speak of the devil, pizzacutter just summed it all up at ESPN:

http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/tmi-mlb/…
22
@ 21, thanks for sharing a link to something you have to be a paying subscriber to read.

Regarding your comment @ 20, I don't know which teams you mean, or what exactly constitutes "success" when you say it, but if you're speaking of World Series winning teams, I'm willing to bet that none of them featured such a tempermental player like Bradley. Sure, Manny Ramirez is an asshole, but he doesn't have Milton's anger issues.
23
I went to a Fulham match once. Though my only real barometer for excitable fans is riding BART to the airport on Raider's game days, the fans in Fulham were... more intense.

Unrelated to actually attending games, more than any other merchandise franchise in the area, dudes who wear Giants gear are the sketchiest out of any of'em anyone.

Gross generalizations, but the stats talk needed breaking up, sorry.
24
@16, if you find it hard to hate cub fans, you have never been to Dumpley Field as an opposing fan. A story.... The place, Dumpley Field, the month and year, April 2008. The Brewers had jumped to an 8 run lead, the place was dead in the 8th except for Brewer fans and random drunk cub fan chumps. My friend and I had made our way to 4 sections over so we could sit in the sun, escape the chill of the shadows a little. A wasted cub fan chump sees my friend's Brewer hat and says, "hey you guys weren't here the whole game!" Assuming incorrectly that it was no big deal, I said, "we came over here to sit in the sun." He says "I'm gonna tell!", staggers off, and brings back a 75 year old grandma usher to tell us to go back to our seats. we were bothering no one, minding our own business, and this colossal d-bag chump ass punk outs us. Since it was an old lady, I did not direct any ire toward her, as she looked nervous like it would kick off when she was there. I said to the chump "That had to be the biggest bitch move I have ever seen" and then we went back to our seats. Typical. Oh, and speaking of typical idiots....

http://failblog.org/2009/07/24/hat-fail/

Shitheads.
25
@22

The Oakland A's teams and Yankee's teams of the 70's had people that would put Bradley to shame. If you want to know more about chemistry, a good read is this:

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/200…
26
I predict a positive attitude for Bradley this year. Hell, who can resist the Tickler and the Designated Hugger?
27
Fnarf, Vlad Guererro is a board-certified bad-ball hitter. I've seen him hit a home run off a pitch that bounced in front of home plate.

Cur Bradley some slack, folks. Jose Guillen had the same rap against him when he arrived here, and was one of the high points of the 2007 season.
28
@25, yeah, those 70s A's teams had guys fist-fighting in the dugout.

Speaking of horrible fans, I used to go see the A's play back when they drew a few thousand fans to the games. Walk right up to the gate at game time, get a ticket for the sixth row behind the dugout. I'd root for the A's unless the Mariners were playing. Once I was there with my M's cap on and a guy came over and sat right behind me and blew a plastic horn -- one of those vuvuzelas, they call them now -- directly into my ear the whole game. I moved, he moved. Ushers? There were maybe two ushers in the whole stadium; there was no one there. A few years earlier they had set a record with I believe 288 paying fans at a game.

Less painful but uglier was the Red Sox game in the Yankee bleachers, on a brutally hot day, for what turned out to be a then-record (for nine innings) four hours and 56 minutes. featuring an immensely fat, immensely drunk Red Sox fan two rows in front of me who spent half the game with his shirt off, displaying "NY SUCKS" written on his belly in black marker. He would stand on his chair and turn around, shouting unintelligibly and being shouted at in return. When he went a step further and started tearing up a giveaway Yanks team poster, the beer started to fly directly over my head. More landed on me than him. He was carted away by security, but magically returned, shouting more abuse, and this time bodies flew over our seats and punches were thrown. Again the slow march of twelve security goons up the aisle, again he was led away screaming. Hopefully they took him down to the basement and electrocuted him -- and I say that as a Red Sox rooter at the time.
29
In 2005, when the red sox were in town to play the cubs, it was the all-star douche-off in wrigleyville. I decided to avoid the area at all costs.
30
Fnarf - what would it take to get you the Sports editor role that is so glaringly missing from "Seattle's Only Newspaper"? C'mon Dan - think big tent here. From show tunes to shut outs.... you CAN have it all.
31
@30, I would require a team of trained pigeons to coo and powder my balls all afternoon. And, let's see, about a hundred grand. In euros, and a thousand dollars a day meal allowance, in small bills. And free rum, scotch and Fran's chocolates, and a horse-drawn limo to bring me to and from work and anywhere else in the city I want to go.

In exchange, I would promise to write seven articles a day about brain damage and gridiron football.

I'll be waiting by the phone.
32
Did you mean post hoc ergo propter hoc?
33
Oh, and @14, why are you directing me to @7, which confirms my argument, not yours?
34
The Redsox fans are horrible when they come to Safeco - far worse than Yankees fans, which says volumes. I think it has to do with them being absolute shit for so long, and then suddenly having a few good years, so added to their knee-jerk, defensive, looking-for-a-fight douchebaggery they add entitlement. God forbid the Cubs ever win.

The best fans are Toronto fans. I love those guys. They outcheer the Mariners fans by far, but aren't a bunch of taunting dickheads when they win, or petulant bitches when they lose. Those would be the Redsox fans.
35
@ 25, your link is to an article that tries to apply metrics and measurements to something that can not be measured. Even more absurd, it tries to measure the value of an individual player when clubhouse chemistry is about how everyone gets along. You might belong to the school of thought that says that if something can't be demonstrated, replicated, or measured, then it doesn't exist; I don't.

Regarding the A's, I'll have to take your word for it, but I'd bet money that, even though some players may have hated each other, I bet that at the same time they respected one another, at least as players, and that when it really mattered, they came together and got the wins. If you can show me otherwise, I'll be impressed.
36
Way to keep it classy,Bradley. My bet is he'll blame the Ducks. Or Seafair, which will occur at roughly the same time he is finally benched.
37
Faux Sox fans are the worrrrrrrrrrrrst when they hit Safeco (said before in above comments, but needs repeating). In 2005 my wife & I were at at Safeco surrounded by drunk Faux Sox fans. After hours of racist slurs at Ichiro and comments about "I smell Sasquatch steak" I kindly asked where in MA they were from- Kirkland, WA, CT, and Redmond, WA.

Oh I said...bit far from Boston don't ya think? "red sox nation is everywhere dude! and I've been a fan for years" "oh in that case, spell Yazstremski and I'll buy you a round of beers."

*crickets*
38
That's spelled "Yastrzemski." Grew up in a New Hampshire town about two hours north of Fenway. There are some real pre-2004 BoSox fans around here, although I'll allow that I've met more than a few from Issaquah.