Tag:Milton Bradley
Posted on: March 9, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: March 9, 2011 10:48 am
 

Pepper: Davis finding his way



By Matt Snyder


Chris Davis may finally be ready.

In a straw poll of Rangers management, the Star-Telegram found Davis was easily the most impressive player thus far in camp. He's flashing power, hitting for a high average and playing solid defense. This follows a good season of winter ball, so it could be a harbinger of things to come in Texas.

We know the power he possesses. He hit 17 home runs in 295 at-bats in 2008 and then 21 in 391 in 2009. Of course, the problem is that his OBP deteriorated to a dreadful .284 in 2009 and his contact rate was embarrassing. He struck out 238 times in those two seasons -- which is a strikeout once in less than every three at-bats.

Most everything got worse last season. Davis hit only one home run in 120 at-bats. He struck out 40 times. He hit .192/.279/.571, good for a 54 OPS-plus.

The funny thing is, Davis has always destroyed minor-league pitching (.939 OPS) and is still only 24.

In terms of how the current Rangers roster is constructed, however, Davis may actually be blocked. Assuming Adrian Beltre is healthy and Michael Young doesn't get traded, there really isn't a spot. You've got Mitch Moreland at first base, Beltre at third, Young in the backup DH/1B/3B role and Mike Napoli also a DH who can fill in at first.

Maybe Davis gives the Rangers further incentive to offload Young? That might even mean eating a good portion of his remaining contract, but a powerful Chris Davis makes it easier to justify. That's just speculation, but it's entirely possible.

SOME TOMMY JOHN STATS: In an article about how the Reds are expecting Edinson Volquez to return to form this season, we're given a stat that 96 percent of the pitchers who undergo "Tommy John" surgery return to the same level of competition they were before the procedure. It makes sense. As long as the rehab and throwing programs are done properly, the newly inserted ligament should actually be stronger than the natural one was before the injury. This article notes that prior to injury, the ulnar-collateral ligament has likely been slowly deteriorated over time, so when the surgery happens, it's like a brand new ligament. There's a lot more interesting stuff in there, and it's a highly recommended click-through. (SI.com )

ON THE OTHER HAND:
Also in SI.com , Tom Verducci talked to a "leader in the field of pitching biomechanics," who said that Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg has a problematic delivery. Specifically, the contention is that Strasburg lands his front foot too early in his pitching motion, which puts in undue amount of torque on both his elbow and shoulder. When you considering how hard he throws, that's an excessive amount of pressure on those two body parts. There is also a moment in his delivery, according to the article, where Strasburg's elbow raises higher than his hand -- which switches the order of how the kinetics of a pitching motion are supposed to happen. This, again, puts a ton of pressure on his elbow. Hey, don't shoot the messenger, Nationals fans. I'm just passing along the info.

ONLY IN THE SPRING: Spring is a slow news time. You've got injuries and positional battles, sure, but otherwise it's mostly meaningless at-bats and killing time looking ahead to the regular season. Thus, Chipper Jones garnered some fan fare for bringing back and old-school look a few weeks ago when he pulled the bottoms of his pants up to knee-high. Of course, this only worked for Chipper with low-top shoes and he wasn't comfortable. So he returned to high-tops and, with those, had to bring the pants back down to ankle-length. (Atlanta-Journal Constitution )

ONLY IN THE SPRING, PART II: The Rays had a longest drive contest. Yes, with golf clubs. The four finalists were Johnny Damon, Cesar Ramos, Andy Sonnanstine and B.J. Upton. Who ya got? Go check it out, as there is video. (TampaBay.com )

SAY WHAT? Try to figure out this quote: "I don't ignore them because I've got to answer them. But I ignore them." That comes courtesy of Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who is frustrated that the MLB Network questioned his team's outfield defense -- even though he apparently ignores them, or doesn't. Whatever. Any defensive metric you see says the outfield defense for the Cardinals will be pretty atrocious. Matt Holliday is fine in left field, though not spectacular. According to Fangraphs.com's ultimate zone rating, only two center fielders were worse than Colby Rasmus last year, who is certainly better suited for a corner spot. In right, they've got Lance Berkman, who was moved to first base in Houston due to becoming too slow for the outfield. He's 35 and hasn't been completely healthy for a full season 2008. To all this, La Russa would likely give the same response he did to MLB Network, "What do people know about our outfield defense?" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch )

TALKIN' BASEBALL: Willie, Mickey and the Duke. Those words were immortalized in Talkin' Baseball , a song written in 1981 by Terry Cashman. With the recent passing of the Duke, Cashman looks back on writing the song. (MLB.com )

STILL COOL CARLOS: While one Carlos on the Cubs sparred with a teammate over an error this spring, Carlos Zambrano has been a saint in Cubs camp. Tuesday, a defensive miscue allowed the leadoff man on base, but Zambrano never batted an eye. Of course, he won't say he's a changed man -- even though he said earlier in camp he was "cured" -- "Nah, I'm the same, bro," he told reporters. (Chicago Sun-Times ) Really, it's not just the spring, though. Zambrano has been a different man since re-entering the rotation last August 9. He went 8-0 with 1.41 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 11 starts and hasn't had an issue with teammates or management. The guy we're seeing this spring isn't just being good because it's spring. It's a carry over. Of course, with Zambrano, things could turn at any moment.

MEETING THE CHAMP: The White Sox met with Muhammad Ali and his Athletes for Hope foundation Tuesday. He was given a No. 40 jersey with the "Champ" on back, instead of Ali. (Chicago Tribune )

TAKE A BOTTLE, DRINK IT DOWN, PASS IT AROUND: One of the best pastimes of baseball -- for fans, that is -- is having a frothy cold one at the ballpark. Big League Stew breaks down the top 10 beers available at major-league ballparks. If you prefer a simple domestic macrobrew, well, there's something for you in every stadium.

BRADLEY HEARING WEDNESDAY: There will be a private hearing with Milton Bradley, his wife and the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office to attempt to resolve their differences without taking any charges to criminal court. Bradley was arrested for alleged domestic violence and threats against his wife last month. (Seattle Times )

 

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Posted on: March 4, 2011 11:45 am
Edited on: March 4, 2011 11:52 am
 

Bradley's wife claims abuse

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Milton BradleyMariners outfielder Milton Bradley has been accused of hitting his wife with the top of a glass coffee table, according to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com.

Milton's wife, Monique, is seeking a divorce. She requested a restraining order on January 24. The two already have a March 9 scheduled hearing in Los Angeles Attorney's office for making threats against his wife in January. It's unclear if this is related to that incident.

From the report:

"The glass shattered on my head and I started to bleed. As soon as Milton saw me bleeding, he started crying and begging me to forgive him. He stated that he lost it and that he would kill himself if I left him. I did not know what to do."

The incident happened at a hotel in New York when the couple was in town for New Year's Eve. She also says hotel security came to the door, but Milton Bradley said there was no problem. Monique didn't go to the hospital for the incident.

Bradley actually filed for divorce in January of 2006, but never finalized the divorce.

Bradley is off to a hot start for the Mariners this spring, going 5 for 8 with two doubles and three RBI.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 2, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: March 2, 2011 10:19 am
 

Pepper: Teixeira ditches Boras



By Matt Snyder


Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira has decided to part ways with Scott Boras (seen above during happier times), ending a 12-year relationship with the uber-agent.

"There are a lot of things and no reason to go into details," Teixeira said. "We have been together long enough and time to go in a different direction ... When I hired Scott at 18 to help with career there was talk about free agent contract. At times I was Mark Teixeira, Scott Boras client instead of Mark Teixeira, baseball player." (New York Post )

As a Boras client, Teixeira landed an eight-year, $180 million contract. He still has six years left on that deal, so one could argue he doesn't really need an agent's services too much the next few years. He's going to make $22.5 million in 2016 before becoming a free agent.

Boras also lost Alex Rodriguez as a client earlier this offseason.

It's an interesting query: Why are these guys leaving Boras? Both have plenty of years and money left on their contracts -- incredibly lucrative ones that Boras negotiated. Does it show a lack of loyalty or the players tiring of Boras -- or neither, as it could be just a coincidence?

Here's an enlightening quote on the situation.

Bryan Hoch, the MLB.com beat writer for the Yankees, tweets that "Teixeira said he wants to focus more on helping Yankees win and impact in community, not next contract. Feels Boras isn't best fit for that."

Interesting. So with six years left on a deal, Boras is still talking about the next one? While that's certainly his job, I can see how it would be a bit exhausting. It's not like Tex is going to be in the poor house anytime soon.

DEJA VU: Milton Bradley is swinging a hot bat in the spring. He's had problems with his current manager before (Eric Wedge), but he's learned from his mistakes and is now focused on doing the right things to help the team win. The manager is singing his praises. And it's March 2. We've heard this song and dance before, even if some specifics are different. Maybe one of these days something will change. Until then, history is the biggest indicator of future behavior. After 11 seasons, you don't even need a whole hand to count the number of times a season has ended on a positive note for Bradley. He's going to have to prove otherwise for a full season before getting the benefit of the doubt here. (MLB.com )

LILLY SCRATCHED: Ted Lilly was supposed to make his spring training debut Wednesday, but he's been scratched due to the flu. No long-term worries here whatsoever, though no new date for Lilly's first spring outing has been set. (MLB.com )

TROUBLE ON THE HOME FRONT? There seems to be some signals crossed in Pirates camp when it comes to Scott Olsen. Sunday, Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said that Olsen was fighting for the fifth rotation spot and could be sent to the bullpen if he loses out. That was news to Olsen. "He hasn’t told me that, I don’t know anything about the bullpen, I’m a starter," Olsen told the Post-Gazette. "They didn’t bring me in here to be a bullpen guy," he continued. "They want to do that, we are going to have to have a conversation about it, and we haven’t had one about it." Um, really? We're talking about a guy with this line in his career as a starting pitcher: 36-49, 4.87 ERA, 1.48 WHIP. In the past two years, he's 6-12 with a 5.76 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. And he apparently thinks he's in a position to make demands? Wow. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette )

STAYING PUT: Brandon Phillips wants to stay with the Reds. The Reds want to keep him. Of course, in baseball we know we have to deal with much more than that, when it comes to dollars the player feels he's worth and the dollars the smallish market team can pay him -- especially with all the young talent the Reds have on the roster. John Fay breaks down how it might shake out. (Cincinnati Enquirer )

HIATUS? Former Tigers pitcher Jeremy Bonderman has still yet to sign a contract. In fact, he may be ready to sit out an entire season. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports via Twitter that he talked to a player who knows Bonderman and "more than likely he's going to sit this year out." Crasnick also offered that Bonderman "doesn't have the energy for more rehabs, or going to camp and having to fight for a spot." In several ways, it's easy to feel bad for Bonderman. First of all, he was thrown into the fire on the worst major-league team in recent memory as a 20 year old -- that 2003 Tigers team that went 43-119. Bonderman took his lumps all year, going 6-19 with a 5.56 ERA. A few years later, he was a quality pitcher on a team that made the World Series. Since then, he's fallen apart with injuries and has never really scratched the surface on his potential. He's still only 28, so maybe a full season of rest can do some long-term good for his baseball potential. (Crasnick on Twitter )

FRIENDS FOREVER: Barry Bonds' ex-trainer is going to jail, again, instead of testifying against Bonds. Loyalty or blind stupidity? You make the call. (Associated Press )

NO LOANS FOR YOU! The Mets will not be receiving any more loans from Major League Baseball. That cool $25 million from last November will have to do. Maybe the Mets could borrow back some of the money Jason Bay didn't earn last year? (New York Times )

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Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:34 am
Edited on: February 24, 2011 3:49 pm
 

Honorary All-Grudzielanek team

Mark Grudzielanek played in 1,802 games over the course of 15 major-league seasons. He appeared in uniform for six different teams, making the NLCS twice -- once with the Cubs and once with the Cardinals. He hit .289 with over 2,000 hits and 946 runs scored. He earned one Gold Glove and made the All-Star team once. He was a good guy who always played hard and was generally liked by teammates. Basically, Grudzielanek had a quality major-league career, but won't be showing up on any all-time lists.

That is, unless you are looking squarely at that stupendous last name.

So, in light of his retirement announcement Wednesday, it only seems fitting to put together an All-Star team of the best names in baseball. We're looking for who will carry the torch on with Grudz's departure, so it's current players only. No real criteria, other than that the name just has to sound interesting or be really hard to spell -- or both. This is completely subjective, so there's definite room for argument.

Without further ado, here is the 25-man roster (we also listed all names we considered).

CATCHER: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox. And here's the team captain. There's no better name in baseball. Backup: J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays. Also considered: Francisco Cervelli, Yankees; Taylor Teagarden, Rangers.

FIRST BASE: Pablo Sandoval, Giants. Bonus points for having an awesome nickname. Backup: Kila Ka'aihue, Royals. Also considered: Justin Smoak, Mariners

SECOND BASE: Chone Figgins, Mariners. Real slim pickings here. Nearly every name for a second basemen is bland or common. We'll go with Figgins because "Chone" is pronounced "Sean" or "Shaun" or "Shawn." Also considered: Robinson Cano, Yankees; Dan Uggla, Braves.

THIRD BASE: Kevin Kouzmanoff, A's. Also considered: Placido Polanco, Phillies.

SHORTSTOP:
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies. Alliteration gets him the nod here. Backup: Yuniesky Betancourt. Also considered: Marco Scutaro, Red Sox; Ryan Theriot, Cardinals.

LEFT FIELD: Scott Podsednik, Blue Jays. Also considered: Chris Coghlan, Marlins; Chris Denorfia, Padres; Ryan Langerhans, Mariners.

CENTER FIELD: Coco Crisp, A's. Another no-brainer. Second easiest pick on here after Saltalamacchia. Backup: Colby Rasmus, Cardinals. Also considered: Nyjer Morgan, Nationals; Rajai Davis, Blue Jays; Cameron Maybin, Padres; Denard Span, Twins; Ryan Spilborghs, Rockies.

RIGHT FIELD: Brennan Boesch, Tigers. Tough call here, but I'm a sucker for the alliteration. Plus, that's just a smooth combo. Props to his parents. Also considered: Jeff Francoeur, Royals; Nate Schierholtz, Giants; Nick Markakis, Orioles.

DESIGNATED HITTER: Milton Bradley, Mariners. Personal feelings aside, this was another obvious one.

STARTING ROTATION: CC Sabathia, Yankees; Max Scherzer, Tigers; Brian Matusz, Orioles; Marc Rzepczynski, Blue Jays; Justin Duchscherer, Orioles. CC gets the nod due to his first name being Carsten. Oh, and for losing the periods to his initials. The other four are pretty obvious with those last names. Grudz is surely proud. Also considered: Bronson Arroyo, Reds; Tim Lincecum, Giants; Madison Bumgarner, Giants; Gio Gonzalez, A's; Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals.

BULLPEN: Octavio Dotel, Blue Jays; Jeff Samardzija, Cubs; Fu-Te Ni, Tigers; Boof Bonser, Mets; Burke Badenhop, Marlins. All pretty obvious great names here, and I especially love "The Hopper," as the Marlins' announcers call Badenhop. Also considered: Brian Duensing, Twins; Joba Chamberlain, Yankees; Jeremy Affeldt, Giants; Jason Isringhausen, Mets.

SETUP: David Aardsma, Mariners. Based mostly on the fact that if you listed every major league player of all-time alphabetically, only Aardsma would come before the great Hank Aaron.

CLOSER: J.J. Putz, Diamondbacks. C'mon. He uses a double initial and his last name looks like an insult (though it's actually pronounced "puts," not "putts," for those in the dark).

MANAGER: Mike Scioscia, Angels. Maybe it's all mental at this point, but spelling that thing correctly still trips me up. Give me Grudzielanek any day. Also considered: Mike Quade, Cubs; Ned Yost, Royals; Manny Acta, Indians.

-- Matt Snyder

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Posted on: February 11, 2011 3:57 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 4:38 pm
 

Attorney: Bradley won't be charged

Milton Bradley
Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley will not be charged in connection with an altercation with his wife last month in Los Angeles, according to a statement released by the player's attorney.

"The allegations against Milton Bradley were thoroughly investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office," said the statement from Harland Braun. "Both agencies determined there was no basis to file charges and no charges were filed."

Bradley will, however, have to leave spring training for a March 9 meeting with a Los Angeles City Attorney.

"As is customary in domestic cases, the City Attorney's Office has scheduled a private meeting with Milton and his wife to make sure that this type of misunderstanding does not occur again," the statement read.

The temperamental outfielder's first year in Seattle was a disaster. He left the team in the middle of a game, leading to a leave of absence, batted .205 and played in just 73 games before August knee surgery ended his season. He's scheduled to make $12 million this season and doesn't even have a starting job, with Michael Saunders penciled in as the left fielder and Jack Cust signed as the everyday designated hitter.

UPDATE: Hold the phones. The city attorney's office tells Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that the status of Bradley's case hasn't changed, and no formal decision on charges will be made until after the March 9 hearing.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: February 9, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Bradley's court date postponed

It appears Milton Bradley will be able to attend at least the beginning of spring training without interruption.

A court date for a felony charge stemming from an incident with his wife last month that was schedule for Tuesday was cancelled. Instead of that arraignment, Bradley will have to go to a hearing with the Los Angeles City Attorney's office on March 9, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes .

Bradley and his wife will both be interviewed and advised about domestic violence issues and at that point officials will decide on whether or not to proceed with the case.

"It's a tool that we use where it may not be crystal clear whether a criminal charge is warranted," Frank Mateljian, a spokesman for the city attorney's office, told the newspaper.

Bradley and his wife had filed for divorce in 2006, but was never finalized.

The outfielder will make $12 million this season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 27, 2011 3:15 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 7:36 pm
 

M's Adam Kennedy arrested for DUI

Adam Kennedy There's an old joke that pornography is the only place where you have to just show up in one movie and you're automatically a "star." Well, according to TMZ.com , baseball may fit in that same group. The gossip site calls Adam Kennedy -- the former Angel and current holder of a minor-league contract with an invite to big league camp for the Seattle Mariners -- a star.

Oh, and Kennedy was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence on Thursday, TMZ.com reported. This isn't to try to make light of the charge -- a serious one that is all too common in our society -- but it's just what jumped out to me. Kennedy was stopped by the California Highway Patrol (cue the music) around 9 p.m. on the freeway near Newport Beach, arrested, booked and released several hours later.

It's the second arrest of the offseason for the Mariners. Milton Bradley was arrested on a felony charge of making a threat against a woman earlier this month. But this is the team that traded for Josh Lueke, so there's that.

Kennedy hit .249/.327/.327 in 135 games for the Nationals last season.

UPDATE: The Seattle Times ' Larry Stone has confirmed the report and spoken to general manager Jack Zduriencik, who gave a no comment: "I don't have any details,'' he said. "Until I get some information, I'm going to refrain from commenting.''

UPDATE: Kennedy's at least saying the right things right now. Stone talked to him and he was contrite .

"I want to let you know this is not the typical character of me,'' he said. "It's something I'm really ashamed of, and not proud to bring to the Seattle Mariners, especially not having put on the uniform. It's my first legal trouble -- something I'm definitely not looking to ever do again.''

Kennedy said he was at dinner with friends and pulled over for speeding. When he took a breathalyzer test, he came up "a little above the limit." However, he added that it was "not acceptable" to be driving in that condition.

He said he's already talked to Zduriencik and the message was clear from the front office that it was unacceptable. He said his lawyer would take care of the legal side.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 25, 2011 6:12 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 6:13 pm
 

Mariners expect Bradley in camp

Milton Bradley The Mariners expect Milton Bradley to be in Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 18 when the full squad reports despite his Feb. 8 court date for his arrest for a felony last week.

"Obviously, there's a legal process that Milton has to go through," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told the Seattle Times ' Larry Stone . "As of right now, he's a part of the organization, and we're planning on him coming into spring training and competing for a job."

Zduriencik says he expects Bradley to play the same role he did last season -- no, not malcontent, he's got that one wrapped up -- but left field and designated hitter.

Bradley is scheduled to make $12 million next season, the last of his three-year, $30 million contract. The Mariners had been looking to find a way to void his contract in connection with his recent arrest, but the way Zduriencik is talking now, it appears they've not been able to find a way to do that.

Bradley played just 73 games last season and hit .205/.292/.348 with eight home runs, by far the worst season of his career since establishing himself as a big leaguer. He underwent knee surgery in August and is expected to be healthy for this season. He will be 33 in April.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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