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Milton Bradley has done himself no favors, but it would be stupid to give up on him now.
Milton Bradley has had a rough week. On the heels of his comments about Wrigley fans shouting racist taunts -- and his admission that he spends all nine innings hoping the game is over quickly so he can go home Bradley has hit a new Chicago low.
It's no wonder no one, including members of the media, likes the crazy 31-year-old right fielder.
Typically savvy sports radio guys are calling for Bradley's head; fans are frustrated; and Phil Rogers is writing that the Cubs should just up and waive Milton and be done with the problem altogether. Sounds great, right?
Only there's one problem. Cutting Milton Bradley would be incredibly dumb.
Granted, since the Cubs bought Bradley, he has been trending slowly downward. Besides the off-field issues, Bradley hasn't played well. At all. His numbers are some of the lowest of his career; for whatever reason, he hasn't been able to find his swing in 2009. He's been terrible, there's no disputing that.
But historically he's a solid player, who, for a time in 2008, was leading the American League in multiple hitting categories.
It is reasonable to assume that Bradley will perform much better in 2010. And if the Cubs waive him, they won't reap any of the benefits.
Jim Hendry and Cubs fans knew what they were getting when they signed Milton Bradley. They knew he would be a little crazy. Now that it's happened -- what we all assumed would happen anyway -- everyone wants to jump ship. (A horrible team collapse down the stretch doesn't help matters.) The Cubs owe Bradley nothing, but they owe themselves another year of seeing if he can earn his money. Waiving him now would be a satisfying emotional decision but a horrible baseball one.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.