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Shoo the Bradley Boo Birds

By Brittany Feagans

            As we near the end of the 2009 regular season, which I say with a smidgen of hope that the Cubs will somehow find a way to make it to the post season, there are a lot of questions lingering uncomfortably, like an elephant in the Cubs’ dugout.

            Perhaps one of the most controversial subjects this season has been the Milton Bradley situation.

            When the Cubs signed Bradley in the off-season, they knew what they were getting into. At least I hope they did.

            It’s no secret that Bradley’s attitude and rough-around-the-edges demeanor certainly contributed to his free agent status when the Cubs gobbled him up. His performance in Chicago has been less than stellar, but with the Cubs struggling to win, he shouldn’t be singled out.

            The thing that really eats at me is hearing Cubs fans booing Bradley. Now last I checked, baseball is a team sport. Booing one member is like booing the entire team.

            In my opinion, anyone who boos a Boy in Blue is not a true Cubs fan. A Cubs fan stands up for each team member, whether or not he is playing particularly well.

            Maybe I’m standing up for Bradley because I see a lot of myself in him. When faced with controversy and open disapproval, who wouldn’t verbally retaliate?

            He has that “don’t mess with me” attitude that is such an important aspect of survival. Street smarts, we call it here in Chicago. Unfortunately, Bradley has put up so many walls in his Major League career that he has turned the fans against him.

            I don’t think Cubs fans really hate Bradley. I just don’t think he’s given us the chance to see who he really is; to see that he cares. And while that’s mostly his own fault, Chicago should be scolded for not giving him a proper welcome; for not trying to accept him into our Friendly Confines family.

            Now before you start thinking this was written with bias, it’s time to switch sides and reprimand Bradley. Milton, I understand everyone gets into slumps (I mean we all remember Soriano’s dry spell a few months back), but can you try to make yourself a little more likeable? Maybe try to smile a little, like Sori?

            If you think making comments to reporters saying you hope to never go into extra innings at Wrigley because you can’t wait to leave the place will gain you respect, you’re more ignorant than I thought.

             Come on, man, you’re asking for people to boo you. And what’s with this whole racism nonsense? This is Chicago, Milton. Stop being an ignorant idiot. In 2000, nearly 40 percent of Chicagoans were black. This is 2009. Nobody cares what race you are, they just care that you play your heart out and respect the city you play in.

            A substantial percentage of our roster consists of minority players, so step down from your pedestal and spend some of your hard-earned Monopoly money on a little humility.

            It’s no wonder Wrigley Field boos you, Bradley. Pardon my French, but you’re kind of an asshole.

            But here’s the weird thing: I hope you stay. Not because I like you, but because I want to give you a chance. I hope the Bradley Boo-Birds fly south for the winter and stay there. Hatred is a vicious cycle, and no one deserves to be booed or made to feel uncomfortable. But just remember, hatred is a double-edged sword—by turning your back on your fans, you are in turn doing to us what you accuse us of doing to you—being a disrespectful hater.

            So before the Cubs give up and allow Bradley to pass Go and collect his dough, let’s not forget that he signed a 3-year contract. We’re paying him either way, so why not keep him around a little longer? He needs to learn a lesson— sometimes in life you need to swallow your pride and show people why they should be on your side.





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