By Dan Bernstein–
Leave it to the Cubs to complicate something so simple.
Jim Hendry and Mike Quade ultimately did the right thing regarding bloated man-child Carlos Silva — releasing him, eating the remaining salary, starting Andrew Cashner and keeping Marcos Mateo – but only after the aftermath of the move turned ugly.
We urged that this be done 25 days ago; right after Silva’s embarrassing on-field spat with Aramis Ramirez was added to the list of his clashes with teammates, providing another example of his refusal to take responsibility for his struggles.
By dragging out what we now know was the inevitable, they allowed first-year pitching coach Mark Riggins to take fire, left Quade to rant like mid-season Ozzie Guillen, and were forced to take a defensive organizational position.
It’s never good to scorch the earth after a player exits, even one like Silva who deserves every single insult. The club is brought to the lower level when trading unnecessary shots with someone who doesn’t matter.
Silva was fat, loud and bad. He should have been cut on March 3rd with little fanfare. He was never going to be traded for anything.
Instead, Hendry felt he had to justify the obvious, in order to protect his guys from the worthless carping of an idiot.
“We’re dealing with a man that at this particular point in his career is not willing to face the facts that what he’s done over the last few years, except for a two-month period, is well below major-league standards,” Hendry said. “And he seems to have the continual problem [of] blaming everybody but himself.”
Agreed. The first point was just as true at the beginning of the month, and the second was on display as soon as the games began. Silva is expensive baseball detritus, and nothing happened in the last few weeks to make him any less costly or any better at pitching.
Now, Silva has been able to lob grenades at Riggins that caused Hendry to take the low road. This is the first time for many that the new coach is top-of-mind, and the context is not good: he’s being called a liar and a bush-leaguer — heavy stuff for someone so fresh on the job, even if we consider the source.
That’s why Quade was apoplectic, f-bombing like Lee Elia. Too bad the rookie manager’s first explosion had to do with something so meaningless, and that it wasn’t even during the regular season. Better used later, after Ramirez won’t get behind a hard one-hopper, Alfonso Soriano waits in the box watching a long single off the wall, or Carlos Zambrano berates Darwin Barney for dropping a popup.
Riggins himself handled it best, actually, not sounding at all like someone in need of such overblown, public cover.
“Carlos has his opinion, and I’ll leave it at that,” he told the Sun Times. “It’s water under the bridge. It happens. I understand the emotions that go with things. And so I wish him the best, and if I can help him in any way, the door’s always open.”
That’s a nice, easy way to let it go, and get on with bigger, better things.
The Milton Bradley saga is over. Just enjoy.
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
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