Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do Not Pass Go

Do not collect two hundred dollars. Or, really, you can collect two hundred, I don't care, just get your ass out of my clubhouse.

Such was the concept behind a visit to jail in the famous board game Monopoly, and such is the fate of one rage-fueled, insanity-driven Cubs outfielder so unfortunate as to claim the infamous name Milton Bradley.

Earlier this week, Bradley became such a cancer to the Cubs morale that owner Jim Hendry decided that his $10 million annual salary was not reason enough to keep Bradley among the rest of the Cubs players. He was sent home, suspended indefinitely for, basically, throwing one too many straws on the struggling camel's back we call the Chicago Cubs.

What was that straw, you ask? Well, Bradley apparently felt the need to drop a quote on a suburban Chicago newspaper describing the atmosphere among the team as negative and postulating that the poor attitude was the reason the Cubs hadn't won a World Series in over a century. Pretty stupid, but by no means his only infraction.

In a season that has seen Bradley throw a baseball into the stands with 2 outs in an inning, bat under or around .250 for most of the season (though his OBP is still decent), and the coup de gras, call Chicago fans racist, Bradley earned himself an early shower, and he best get comfortable. Andre Dawson and Shawon Dunston were unavailable for comment...

Obviously, Milton will be shopped this offseason, but just like in the board game, no one really wants Baltic Ave. Heading back to Texas seems like the only pairing that won't explode in a fiery blaze, but Texas already has a surplus of outfielders. Maybe the Royals will take on Bradley just to get some attention? I have almost zero clue where he ends up, but wherever it is, get ready for some mayhem.

It really makes you wonder how Bradley will one-up himself. Will he get traded to the Astros and go fisticuffs with Lance Berkman? Will he make a triumphant return to the Athletics (he is a moneyball-type player), only to find out Billy Beane just wanted to have a "Free Parking" night at Oakland-Alameda Colisseum and couldn't get the naming rights? Or will Bradley stay in Chicago, doomed to pinch hit against those who have wronged him in the past?

What does this mean for bettors? I'd say it's a safe bet that the Cubs will play better without him. Ryan Dempster told the media that Bradley needed to, roughly, "start with the man in the mirror" (grabbing his crotch in a clear homage to Michael Jackson) in reference to the negativity, and the mood in the clubhouse should improve dramatically for the final 2 weeks of the season. The Cubs already rattled off a merciless beating of Braden Looper and the Brewers in game one sans-Milton, and the future would seemingly hold a few more visits to Community Chest. We'll keep an eye on the Cubs the rest of the season; hell, there may be some money to be made on "The Milton Effect."

On a ranch somewhere, Jeff Kent is laughing.


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