''Captain, Road Prison 36: What we’ve got here is… failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it… well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men. ''

Despite their glaring bullpen deficiencies, the Chicago Cubs are 7-4 and sitting a top the NL Central Division.

Many here already are well aware (and nauseated) by more than a few comments by yours truly directed towards the Northsiders. No, the taste of bile has not yet been extinguished from last season’s 0-3 debacle against the Dodgers. That might take 100 years or so. Or an appearance in the World Series. Whichever comes first. Just to be safe, I’ll continue to diet and exercise.

The Cubs are probably not as bad as prognosticated by this Republican loving seemingly anti-social angry lout. However, it is doubtful that they are as terrific as their zombie-like nation of fanatics presume. Subtracting Wood and De Rosa from the squad still appears unwise.  A long season will judge that assessment in due time.

Truthfully, the quality of this team is somewhere in the middle of the very worst and best of expectations. Last season’s team was full of hope and excitement before derailing itself in the postseason. This year’s team seems skittish, especially every time Lou Piniella hands Neal Cotts the baseball.

And then there is already the Milton Bradley factor.

Perhaps there has been no other free agent arriving to Chicago that has created more divisive thread dialogue here at Jay the Joke than the legendary board game company’s namesake. At his very best, Milton Bradley is an above average fielder with terrific plate presence. However too often in his career, the fiery competitor has been an oft-injured whiner with a self-destructive tendency to tee off against umpires and broadcasters.

A few days ago, Milton Bradley made his Wrigley Field debut memorable. Called upon to pinch hit during a critical junction of the baseball game, Bradley was called out on a very suspect strike call. A balls and strike argument ensued which lead to his automatic ejection.

End of story?

Not quite. Home plate umpire Larry Vanover claimed that Bradley made physical contact during their exchange. An incident report was filed to the league office and Bradley was suspended for 2 games.

Finally, end of story?

Nope. Despite being injured and not available to offer his very best services to the Cubs and defying all common sense, Milton Bradley is appealing this suspension with the coddling support of Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella. This is not for the betterment of the Cubs. at the most, this suspension will be reduced by one game which would be served when Bradley is fully healed. Divisions can be won and lost by 1 game. This is all about the pride and ego of a jilted ballplayer who has always believed that authority figures in MLB conspire against him.

I can not help but recall Bradley’s press conference following his free agent signing. He spoke impressively about his passion to compete and win. He discussed the importance of placing the needs of the team above all else. And perhaps most significant of all was his admittance that he has made bad decisions in the past and a false premise that he was the victim in previous confrontations.

He said all the right things at the time. And was rewarded a $30 million contract.

What happened to that guy?

Milton Bradley is well past being just another immature young player learning the ongoing of playing professional baseball. He is a veteran and knows the deal. You win some battles and lose others. Yes, we all more or less recognize that pitch was a ball and not a strike. But he chose to engage the matter further at the complete expense of the Cubs and look at the ensuing aftermath. It is not worth it. This is not a battle worth waging against MLB.

The ultimate goal should be winning the war. And that is finally making an appearance in the World Series.

Hey Milton, if you really want to show up the man, then take this team on your shoulders and lead it to the promised land.

Otherwise you are just another blowhard punk.

And since it is generally accepted that Milton Bradley marches to his own drum and doesn’t listen to anyone anyway, perhaps he will revisit the above video. It is time for Bradley to live up to those spoken words. Be a man and step up. Because that is something this team sorely needs to clear the next hurdle.

Drop the appeal. Get healthy. Move on. And above all else, just win.

Milton, the choice is yours.

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