Just days after accusing umpires of retaliating against him for imperceptible umpire bumping, Milton Bradley called attention to yet another conspiracy against his oft misunderstood self: the baseballs are out to get him.
Bradley fouled a pitch off of the bottom of his foot in Monday’s 10-8 loss to Pittsburgh, and he later told reporters he expects more of the same.
“It was definitely intentional. Ever since I crushed that homer off Peavy, I’ve noticed a lot of foul balls trying to get a piece of me,” Bradley told reporters, his right foot wrapped heavily in ice. “And that fly ball that got away from me when I dove for it in the 7th? I’m pretty sure it laughed at me.”
The ball in question, that Bradley swears “intentionally hopped out” of his glove, allowed the first of three Pittsburgh runs to score in the 7th as Neal Cotts continued to pitch, something that seriously must be stopped if the Cubs are to win. Bradley just wishes the baseballs would stop hating on him.
“It’s definitely one of those things where they’re like, ‘Oh, you hit my friend? Then I’m gonna hit you, see how you like it.’ Well, I don’t like it,” Bradley snapped before shrugging and adding, “But what are you gonna tell ’em? They’re baseballs. Whatever.”
The much maligned right fielder, acquired by the Cubs as a free agent for a reported $30 million over the next three seasons, may use his baseball vendetta to actually earn his salary; he homered in his very next at-bat. But the baseballs don’t understand his rush to judgment.
MLB baseballs’ director of public relations Bobby Spalding called Bradley’s theory “ridiculous.”
“If there’s anybody we don’t have a grudge against, it’s Milton Bradley,” Mr. Spalding posted on the organization’s blog, which speaks out in defense of battered and mishandled balls across the league. “He’s treated us with nothing but the utmost tenderness and caution for most of the year. Maybe two, three of our members at most have been hit hard by Milton. If anything, he’s our favorite hitter; when he’s batting, we know we can breathe easy.”
Meanwhile, Cub fans across the world are desperately hoping the issue doesn’t get resolved and that Bradley has finally put an end to his fair and ethical treatment of baseballs.