Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Suddenly My Joke Solution Seems More Plausible

I was pretty much joking when I posted earlier this week that the Cubs should keep Milton Bradley suspended for the duration of his contract: 

I was under the impression it was an actual suspension, and that while it may not have involved lost pay, still involved paperwork and potential appeals by the MLBPA, and thus would not be plausible.
Personally, there is part of me that hopes the Cubs don't trade him. I hope they just keep him suspended and let him sit at home not playing baseball for the next two years. Nobody will sign him after two years of sitting around, or he'll have to play for league minimum salary, which will make him extremely expendable if his personality remains at the same level of assholishness. The Cubs will pay him virtually the same amount as they will if they trade him and they'll have the exact same level of talent in their system as they would if they traded him for the PTBNL from hell. Screw him. Don't help another team with only ten fans, a part-time beat reporter, and absolutely no pressure to perform (Pittsburgh?) get better because you save a million dollars.

However, Paul Sullivan informs us today that Bradley is not actually suspended.  The Cubs did not file paperwork, they are not docking his pay, and he is not losing service time, thus there is nothing for the MLBPA to appeal.

Earlier in the day, Bad Kermit at Hire Jim Essian wrote an awesome piece about the whole situation which I tweeted earlier was letter perfect, but Sullivan actually poked a hole in the story, albeit a small one, that doesn't really take much away from the quality of the piece at all, but rather lends some credibility to my idea.

Bad Kermit stated:

"First of all, it is unprecedented for a team to suspend a player for comments he has made to the media. I know one might point to John Rocker’s suspension for his racial comments as precedent, but it is not. Rocker was suspended by Bud Selig and the MLB for his comments, not by the Atlanta Braves. Go do your Googley best and try to find me an MLB team that has ever suspended one of its players for being a dick. I don’t think it’s happened."

Sullivan points out that there is at least one instance, but it is easily forgettable because it happened in Miami where they have two World Series trophies as seemingly the only evidence that there is an actual baseball team down there:
"The Florida Marlins did ["suspend" a player] in 2005 with pitcher A.J. Burnett, who was in his final days with the organization because of his impending free agency.

After a loss to Atlanta on Sept. 27, Burnett blasted the Marlins organization, saying: "We played scared. We managed scared. We coached scared. I'm sick of it, man. It's depressing around here. A 3-0 ballgame, I give up one run and leave guys on base, it's like they expect us to mess up. And when we do, they chew us out. There is no positive, nothing around here for anybody."

Florida general manager Larry Beinfest sent Burnett home for the final six games of the season, but they continued to pay him. The Marlins just wanted Burnett out of their hair, and since it was the Florida Marlins, no one paid much attention. When it's Milton Bradley, everyone pays attention."

Well, if there is nothing to appeal, the Cubs can just let Milton rot in his suspension-that's-not-a-suspension. They will get absolutely nothing of value in return for him. The only thing that happens is they save a little money and Milton goes and becomes productive for another team that no one cares about. Well, I don't want Milton Bradley playing baseball anywhere after going out of his way to torpedo any possibility of rebounding with the Cubs next year. Screw him. If nobody with any sort of interest in the Cubs is happy with how this turned out, neither should he.

The problem is that he would have to use up a roster spot while he is sitting at home, so there is the possibility they would have to have him around the team at least in spring training. If that's the case, they can play him in every inning of every spring training game and when he complains that he's not in shape, his knee is swollen, or his vagina hurts, the Cubs can put him on the 60 Day DL and leave him there.

I have not done an exhaustive search, but the only rule I can find about how a player is placed on a disabled list comes from a site called Sons of Sam Horn that has a Wiki regarding various MLB rules and procedures:

"There are two Disabled Lists: the 15-day Disabled List and the 60-day Disabled List. To be put on a Disabled List, a doctor must certify a player as disabled. Players on the 60-day Disabled List do not count towards the 40-man roster. Players may be moved from the 15-day Disabled List to the 60-day Disabled List. Players may be put on either list retroactively up to ten days, beginning the day after they last played."
So all the Cubs would need is a doctor who is willing to say that Milton Bradley actually is injured. I'd recommend using the same doctor that claimed David Patton was injured after he had spent exactly 90 days on the Cubs roster, thus meeting the minimum requirement for the Cubs to keep him without having to offer him back to his original team.

So here's how it would go next Spring:

Lou: What's the matter Milton, how come you aren't heading out to the field? I know its Spring Training, but we've still got some game left here.

Milton: What the f---, skip? I've played every inning so far this pre-season. It's 110 degrees out there. I'm actually getting more tan! Can't I come out like all the other starters?

Lou: So you're tired?

Milton: F--- yeah. You deaf?

Lou: Otherwise you're fine?

Milton: Sure, everything still feels good, just really tired.

Lou: Well suck it up. You clearly aren't in game shape. Do you think Derrek is tired? I don't hear Ramirez complaining.

Milton: They haven't played since the second inning! They're sitting in the shade over by the Gatorade machine. Can I at least have some Gatorade?

Lou: I think we're out. Now get out on the field.

Milton: Ummm... I... uh... my knee hurts.

Lou:  Well, why didn't you say so?  Sure sit on down.  (calls over to rumply looking guy in the stands with a cell phone glued to his ear and nacho cheese sauce on his shirt)  JIM!!  You can go ahead and make "The Announcement."

Then Hendry would get in front of the cameras and regretfully announce that Milton's knee is sore and that he will be getting placed on the disabled list.  Then they would eventually move him to the 60 Day DL, and get the roster spot on both the 25 and 40 man rosters back.  Done.

He can use the time to homeschool his son so he won't have to deal with racist teachers and racist three-year-olds. Oh, and rehab his knee.


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