Sports Outside the Beltway

A’s Designate Milton Bradley for Assignment

According to ESPN, the A’s have designated OF Milton Bradley for assignment, which all but ends his career with Oakland.

The Oakland Athletics designated outfielder Milton Bradley for assignment Thursday, cutting ties with a player who was expected to play an important role on the team this season.

Bradley had been on the disabled list three times this year and was frustrated that the team waited two extra days to activate him this week because of uncertainty about third baseman Eric Chavez’s health.

Asked Tuesday how he was feeling, Bradley curtly responded, “I’m healthy and on the bench.” Bradley was activated from the DL the following day and went 0-for-3 with a walk.

The A’s have 10 days to trade or release Bradley. Because he has more than three years of major league service time, Bradley can refuse an assignment to the minor leagues.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” said Bradley’s agent, Sam Levinson. “Milton is healthy and looking forward to helping some club win many games this season.”

I am sure Milton will land with another team as he is a quality ball player. A team like the Twins who need a real bat in LF would be great, although I am not sure many teams would want to put up with his poor clubhouse presence. Another suitor if he made it to the waiver wire could be the Pirates. Bradley would be a huge upgrade in CF over the current platoon of Duffy/Nady/Bautista.

It is a contract year for Bradley, and he would be playing to earn a great contract if he can catch on with a team (and behave himself) for the rest of this season.


McNabb Returns to Practice

PHILADELPHIA — Donovan McNabb took a major step forward in his return from knee surgery, practicing with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday several weeks ahead of schedule.

The five-time Pro Bowl quarterback participated in non-contact drills in his first action on the field since he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last Nov. 19.

Not sure this is a great idea to rush back. Ask Daunte how he is doing. It seems more conceivable for someone like Carson Palmer, who is rather stationery in the pocket anyway to come back more quickly, but mobility is such a part of McNabb’s success. One would hate to risk re-injury, especially given his history.


Roethlisberger Has Short Memory

When asked about the one year anniversary of his near fatal motorcycle crash, Big Ben said,

“Everyone’s forgotten about it except the media, so, hopefully, now that the year is over with, everyone will forget about it.”

Really Ben? Steeler Nation has not forgotten that basically the entire team from Super Bowl XL was returning. Steeler Nation has not forgotten that you went from being a premier quarterback to leading the league in interceptions.

Roethlisberger went on to have his worst season of three in the NFL. He led the league with 23 interceptions and had a 7-8 record as a starter. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, now the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, said in February that, in hindsight, he believes the coaches rushed their injured quarterback into the lineup too soon and it may be why he did not play well. Roethlisberger has vehemently disagreed with that opinion.

I tend to agree with Whisenhunt on this one, especially given how great Charlie Batch did in relief last year. Despite their horrible year, the Steelers lost at least three games they should have won (Bengals, Raiders, Falcons, and arguably the Broncos). If they had won one of those games, they would have been in the playoffs, and perhaps very dangerous.

Ben, Steeler Nation will be happy to forget about all of this providing you don’t. Go out and work hard and have a good year, otherwise you will never be able to forget this, and a hugely promising career will could always have that albatross hanging over it.


Twins to Pursue Wigginton

Ty Wigginton Tampa Bay Devil Rays Photo There are indications that one player the Twins could target is Tampa Bay infielder Ty Wigginton, a righthanded hitter who is batting .263 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI. Wigginton, 29, is making $2.7 million this season, keeping him in the Twins’ price range. Tampa Bay needs pitching, making the Devil Rays a good match for a team flush with pitching prospects. When asked during his pregame session with reporters if his team needed another bat, Gardenhire said, “I think that’s easy to say with any team. … It’s easy to say, but it’s not that easy to go find. “I think our organization is willing to go out there if it’s the right fit and you don’t ask too much for it. So after the draft now, it gets closer to the time when maybe they can start looking around and talking about it.

As a major Twins fan I find this move very compelling. The Twins recent efforts to upgrade the lower part of their lineup with older veterans (Rondell White, Phil Nevin, and Jeff Cirillo) has been nothing short of a failure. Wigginton is not going to be a star in the majors, but he has done admirably with the two worst teams in the major (Pirates and Devil Rays), especially considering where these teams have batted him in the lineup. I think if Wigginton hits seventh or even eighth in the Twins lineup he could be very productive.

A lineup of

    Castillo 2B (Switch)
    Mauer C LH
    Cuddyer RF RH
    Morneau 1B LH
    Hunter CF RH
    Kubel DH LH
    Wiggington 3B RH
    White/Tyner LF RH/LH
    Punto/Bartlett SS SH/RH

would give the Twins great flexibility against the lefthanders in their division, and a nice RH/LH combo The Twins have played horrible baseball this year, are getting healthy, and are still only 5 1/2 back.


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