The Milton Bradley-Lou Piniella brouhaha erupted and then more or less resolved itself over the weekend, with the name-calling apparently ending on Saturday and the rapprochement beginning (now they're searching for the leaks). But before we let all of that go, I have to focus for a second on one part of this, and that's one of the things cited in Saturday's Sun-Times article detailing the meltdown:
From the front office to the clubhouse, Cubs personnel sympathize with Bradley's frustration, and nobody blames him for struggling. But an apparent preoccupation with his individual issues over the team's efforts to shake a first-half malaise has worn on teammates, even down to things as simple as working close pitches for walks with runners on base when putting the ball in play with less than two outs might score a rare and needed run.
Is this really a valid reason to be angry at Bradley? That he's trying to get on base? It's be one thing if he were ignoring bunt signs or something (not that I'd bunt with Bradley, but hey, directions are directions) but trying to get on base is pretty much an unequivocal positive, isn't it?
I think the final takeaway from all of this is that, for all of his craziness, there is a pretty rational and self-aware dude somewhere inside of Milton Bradley. Here he is on Saturday, when asked whether Piniella's yelling at him was unfair given that there are a lot of hotheads on that Cubs team:
"Like I've said, I don't have the same set of rules as other people. I've committed mistakes in my past to where you don't get the leeway other guys might get. To a certain extent, I guess that's fair."
(thanks to reader Arun Gupta for catching the on-base bit)