Overall: 34-28 (3rd Place, AL West)
Last Week: 6-1 (3-1 vs. Red Sox, 3-0 vs. Giants)
For the third time this season, Oakland OF Milton Bradley is on the disabled list. In 2007, Bradley has played in just 18 of the teams' 62 games.
Acquired before the 2006 season, Bradley hasn't had the most pristine reputation, but the usual caveats about the media's occasionally manipulative, always self-serving coverage of, uhh…"certain players" applies.
Anyways, here's what I can tell you about "Milton Bradley: the player" after watching him in green and gold. He busts his ass when he's playing at 100% and won't play when he's anything less.
I suppose you could argue that this is a good thing, in so much that the team is always getting him at his best.
But, it's easier to argue that this is a bad thing, since his refusal to grit it out and play in pain means he'll never grow up to be another "Darin Erstad" in the eyes of the media.
Fun Fact: Bradley has a career .351 OBP and .430 SLG. Darin Erstad hasn't reached either of those numbers in a season since his one and only great year in 2000.
So, what's the point of all this?
Easy…Milton Bradley needs a nickname and I'd like to be the first to propose D.L. Bradley. Shut up, it grows on you after a few dozen times. It's appropriate and Afro-centric, if you know of the comedian with the similar name.
That would be D.L. Hughley.
With apologies to the equally unfunny Nick Bakay, a little "tale of the tape" is in order:
Edge - Bradley. I'll take baseball history over general math any day of the week. How's this for historical: the winning pitcher for the Mets was Pat Mahomes and Armando Benitez racked up his 22nd save. Not sure if Mets fans had already turned on Benitez by this point. But, turn they did.
Supporting Cast - Let's see, Bradley's played with future Hall of Famers Frank Thomas and Vladimir Guerrero, while Hughley has shared camera time with Bernie Mac and the remains of Matthew Perry.
Edge - Bradley. Even his most obscure baseball teammates (think Charlie O'Brien or Karim Garcia) trump anything with the words, "Starring Bernie Mac".
Feuding with a White Guy - Bradley had a very public dust up with then-teammate Jeff Kent, while Hughley was p*ssed with ABC-TV executives (fine, let's just assume they're white) for cancelling his show after the 1999-2000 season.
Edge - Hughley. Watching the media rush to defend Jeff Freakin' Kent and his ignorant, good ol' boy ways set journalism back about 10 years.
Wife's Ethnic Name - Although they're going through a divorce, we'll give Bradley credit for marrying "Monique". Meanwhile, Hughley landed a "LaDonna".
Edge - Hughley. What can I say…I'm a sucker for that "La" prefix, plus the attributes of every "Monique" I've ever known have apparently been rolled up (and amplified) into the plus-size comedienne of the same (hyphenated) name.
Uncomfortable Connection with Rap Music - ESPN.com's Alan Schwarz penned this painfully awkward "Afterschool Special" on Bradley that quoted Tupac's universally reviled "Still I Rise" album. On the other hand, Hughley appeared alongside the Cash Money Millionaires in the video for "#1 Stunna".
Edge - Bradley. Any story that tries to humanize an angry Black athlete AND references the poster boy for conservative White America's hatred of rap had to anger more people than Baby, Lil' Wayne and Juvenile.
Well, Milton gets the surprising 3-2 win, as it appears that my "D.L. Bradley" nickname will at least survive the '07 season here on TBG. I encourage all of you to use it when you're talking Oakland A's baseball at your next social function or family gathering. And, while you're at it, just know that I'm still pushing hard for "Allah" Pujols.
That one just rolls off the tongue.