Cubs' Bradley up to old tricks

June, 26, 2009
6/26/09
7:20
PM ET
Hey, at least they won the game:
    Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella and Milton Bradley had words in the dugout after the right fielder's at-bat in the sixth inning of Friday's game against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, several sources told ESPNChicago.

    Bradley, who was not injured, according to a Cubs spokesperson, was removed from the game.

    Bradley was spotted in street clothes heading to the players' parking lot, the Chicago Tribune reported. Sources confirmed to ESPNChicago that Bradley has left the park.

    Bradley has had trouble getting his offensive game together this season. The $30 million man has been stuck on 16 RBIs since June 12. Before the game, Piniella said he and hitting coach Von Joshua had given Bradley some tools to get out of his slump.

    Bradley went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in Friday's game before being removed after his at bat in the sixth inning.

Leaving aside Bradley's contract -- he's still got $24 million coming, if he can somehow play 75 games this season -- there's one really good reason for the Cubs to tolerate his shenanigans: Sad as this may seem, they sort of need his "production."

Sure, his .746 OPS is terribly disappointing, but it's better than those of third baseman Mike Fontenot, catcher Geovany Soto, and left fielder Alfonso Soriano (who still has $100 million coming to him).

As good as it might feel to just release Bradley -- which might, by the way, save many millions of dollars -- the Cubs really can't do that unless they figure out who else is going to play right field and give them at least a modicum of production from that slot.

Considering all their other problems, I doubt if that's a high priority at the moment.

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