Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Meetings Insanity in Indy

As the little ticker above shows by having hit all zeroes, the hushed whispers, scuttlebutt gathering, and all-out rumor-mongering that is the MLB Winter Meetings are underway.  Last year, they got together in Las Vegas where there are plenty of outside distractions to help contain at least a little bit of the crazy speculations that occur whenever someone like Jim Hendry and Brian Cashman get into the same elevator together, stand next to each other at a urinal, or casually acknowledge each other across a crowded lobby.

This year, the site of the Winter Meetings are in Indianapolis which (according to Wikipedia) you might remember from such TV shows as: One Day at a Time and surprisingly, Good Morning, Miss Bliss (which eventually became Saved by the Bell).  

Additionally, Indianapolis is mentioned twelve times in the film Uncle Buck. It is also second only to Washington, D.C. for number of monuments inside a city limits.  Suck on that, Washington.

So when reporters aren't being distracted by the American Legion National Headquarters, the President Benjamin Harrison Home, the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, or the fact that Indianapolis is the only state capital that is located exactly at the center of the state, they are looking for anything they can write and/or tweet about to justify the travel expense of the Super 8 Motel off of I65.

Of course, this offseason means that the Cubs writers are narrowly focused on only a few topics: 
  1. The potential trading of Milton Bradley
  2. The potential of Milton Bradley being traded
  3. Milton Bradley trade potential
  4. Bradley, Milton: potential trades
  5. Curtis Granderson
For actual updates to the goings on at the Winter Meetings, Wrigleyville23 is compiling updates and tweets (with commentary) throughout the day.

I've gone over a number of the rumored Milton Bradley trade scenarios in the past and find them less palatable than a plate of deep-fried horse manure.  I find it ludicrous that a team would trash everything about a player and then trade him when everyone in the world knows they have to in order to clear up payroll space to fit another player to replace him.  It is just asking to have a flaming porcupine shoved up their proverbial backsides.

Billy Williams wants the Cubs to keep Milton and he is not alone anymore.  According to Paul Sullivan:

One major league manager said: "They should just keep him. He's a good hitter and he'll probably have a better year."

But Cubs sources say that option is not being discussed.

I've gone back and forth on this issue myself, so I have to ask:  Why the hell isn't it being discussed?  How is eating millions of dollars and/or receiving back a player whose presence in the lineup can only make the team worse the only course of action that is being considered?  How are the Cubs tacitly acknowledging the fact that Milton Bradley's presence on the team caused Theriot to think he is a power hitter? 

How in the world did Milton Bradley in a Cub uniform cause Aramis Ramirez's arm to come out of its socket?  Is Milton the one who threw Ryan Dempster over the railing of the dugout that broke his toe?  Did he grab Ted Lilly's arm and yank his shoulder?  Did he pull a Tonya Harding on Soriano's knee?  Was he the one that kept telling Soto that there were donuts available in the clubhouse?

Do we really believe that Kevin Gregg would have converted those saves if Bradley wasn't the one in right field watching the homerun balls fly out of the park?  Does he have some sort of electromagnetic pulse that is messing with Carlos Marmol's sense of where the strikezone is?

If any of that is true, yes, Milton Bradley needs to go.  Absolutely.  But if the fact that he's a dick is the only reason to trade him at the absolute lowest value of his career, then DON'T.

Bring Milton back to play out the contract he signed.  If he is insubordinate, suspend him and dock him pay.  If he gets hurt, put him on the DL and clear up a roster spot.  If he just bitches about hearing a couple of drunken louts in the bleachers calling him names and doesn't want to be anyone's friend, then tell the rest of the team to ignore him and focus on their own damn jobs.

The more I realize the only reason to trade him is just to be rid of him, the more it makes me want to strangle someone and now Aaron Miles is no longer available.

If any of us people with normal jobs messed up a presentation, ran over a budget, missed a deadline, or whatever else could go wrong in our jobs, our bosses would not want to hear that the reason we f---ed up was because Milton in the next cube is a jerk and thinks white people hate him.  Milton would not be the one to go.  We would be gone for letting something stupid affect our job performance.

The fact that the Cubs are so willing to throw out millions of dollars and take on another crappy ballplayer just so they can enable a losing attitude makes papercuts on my eyes seem like a more redeeming option.

By the way, I heard Jim Hendry ordered a Grand Slam at the hotel Denny's.  He must be shopping for a power bat.


Anonymous said...

it appears to me that the big issue is between bradley and piniella. for some reason piniella couldn't hanlde milton and he lost control of the situation.

the deal in st. louis where he refused to play and refused to pinch hit was probably not played up enough. i think at that point the team and everyone associated with the cubs had seen enough.

while i don't often subscribe to addition by subtraction, i really don't want to see another year of soap opera surrounding milton bradley. now if he were to hit like he did in texas in 2008, maybe i'd be interested.

at this point i still imagine he is dealt, but the possibility that he stays continues to grow. if he were to stay, early in st i'd hope piniella, bradley and some of his teammates would air out their differences and move on to 2010.

Unknown said...

I completely agree.

Charley said...

You forgot #6 topic:

Trades potentially involving Milton Bradley

Aisle 424 said...

I definitely get the reasons for wanting him gone. Believe me, if I could snap my fingers and make him gone, I would accidentally break them with the force of my enthusiasm.

I just don't see how they can forge ahead and completely disregard the option of keeping him, at least temporarily. Every club out there is waiting for the Cubs to blink. How can they not be discussing the option of giving the finger to every team that has tried to lowball them and plan to move forward at least until the trade deadline?

It sickens me that the Cubs just take the crappy hand they are dealt (usually dealt by themselves) and accept the consequences. Bluff. lie, cheat, steal - do ANYTHING that might throw the other teams off their games.

Hendry can not be the only GM in the world that can be tricked into negotiating against himself.

After all the disappointing seasons, I think this is the hardest part of being a Cubs fan for me. Watching them blunder through offseason after offseason when they have the opportunities to make the team better, but they wuss out, get cheap, or waste money for cosmetic reasons.

Aisle 424 said...

I did forget that one. Thanks, Charley.

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