Burrell/Bradley bring back 80’s Deja Vu



I am starting to understand the slick marketing mojo of the record companies back in 80’s that had big time players like MTV and FM radio pounding  musical nightmare tunes into our heads over and over again until we all collectively began to hum them or yearn for their stupid lyrics. And maybe their videos were childish and repetitive, but for some odd reason they became one within the bubbling melting pot between our ears.

It was this sly ploy of marketing that made songs like “Safety Dance” a hit so long time ago. And I think that now Major League Baseball teams have begun a revival by borrowing a page from this ancient formula to make all of us see the light during the 2009 “Hot Stove” season. The 80’s seductive music/video mind warp is alive and well in the Winter of 2009.

And it is now using player’s names instead of music to constantly blitzing their persona’s over and over again to form a numbing effect on our brains so we accept their names with subtle refusal instead of stages and fits of outrage over the idea of them joining the ranks of our teams.

And this mojo from the past is beginning to work it magic on me. The Pat Burrell/Milton Bradley song and dance involving the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago Cubs is beginning to play upon my “Achy, Braky Heart”. The wild possibility that either player could possibly be walking into the other’s locker room on the first day of Spring Training( Feb 19th) as a new “breathe of fresh air” instead of a possible ticking time bomb is starting to melt my brain cells. 

The  media scribblings and poetic bloggers’ paragraphs are beginning to show the possible merits of both players getting a chance to again  be reborn upon the other roster and that they can regain some form of normalcy to their careers. It is starting to eat at the hardened enamel of my sensitive side the same way that tune by Men Without Hats burrowed into my mind and became a upbeat tune on my running Ipod. 

We have all heard  by now the negative muses and raves from Bradley about the (alleged)racist Cub fans near his post in rightfield along with his interpretation for his misguided “outs” toss into the stands of a game baseball.  And loud is the volume of the grunts and grumbles from his Cub teammates that he is no longer a welcomed sight in their presence. Some of this might be adulterated  “he said, she said” hearsay, and a perfect example of negative media fodder used to get a high dollar athlete out of a team’s hairs.

 And we all know that once a bridge is burned, it takes more than one person to rebuild any trust and confidence in both sides working together again. And personally, Bradley sent that bridge up ablaze with deadly flammables and is still sitting there silent.

But that type of flammable bridge occurrence has not been burned completely yet by Burrell in Tampa Bay. But his mis-timed  calling out of B J Upton near the end of the 2009 season in the Rays locker room did start the seeds of some clubhouse separation and alienation. But it is not at that critical emergency stage yet, and that might be a good thing, because if the bridge is not burned, then minds can still be open to change.

And the atmosphere within the Rays organization is still conducive to change, and a possible moving of Burrell is not mitigated by urgency, but more by the insistence of  upgrading personnel in his current position with a player the Rays were excited about before he originally signed with the Chicago Cubs.

But as we have seen in the Rays past,the minute a situation looks to become overly dramatic, changes come fast and furious. And as the varied opinions come forward about the lack of productivity from Burrell to possibly becoming a liability to Rays offense,the time might be perfect for a move. This is nothing personal towards the soft-spoken Burrell, but we needed a fire and energy like Bradley in 2009 instead of hearing Elvis’s farts boom louder than your veteran voice.

And with all of the recent sensory pounding of both names on websites and in blogs in recent days doesn’t it seem like the teams themselves are trying to convince themselves without a doubt at the same time that this is a good move? Rays Manager Joe Maddon think he can be a calming and intelligent “X” factor with the soothing rebirth of the combustive Bradley as a Ray.

Of course the Rays never outwardly discuss trades before they are completed, which in this case might be a disadvantage. But the fact that Bradley was highly regarded by the Rays last season might be a perfect appetizer for the Rays to become hungry for Bradley. We all know the two teams have loosely talked and maybe even traded a few parameters towards a deal, but as of right now…it is all just humming and waiting for the next sound byte.

The more and more the fact that this  expected trade is a good thing is being drummed into my mind by words and sound bytes,the more I want to take a step back. Because one of the biggest drawbacks to that 80’s marketing folly was that it created more and more baggage. Cassettes, DVD’s and even records still litter my belongings from those tunes that melted within my brain. And the one thing this Rays team doesn’t need is a change of  players  that produce an even larger set of baggage.

So I guess in the long run, if they can really convince me that Bradley is not more personally like the song “Maniac” and is more like The Little River Band’s “Cool Change”, then maybe there is a place for him in Tampa Bay. Heck maybe I  the trade does get to the finish line I can gather a small collection of the Rays Republic and we all hit the attics for our “Miami Vice” Sonny Crockett white suits and hot pastel-colored t-shirts and meet Bradley at the Tampa International Airport hotel bar for a drink with an umbrella in it while the  old guy at the piano plays the “Pina Colada” song and hope that the 80’s do not come back and bite us in the booty again. (sigh)  


like every Spring that we all have hopes for a better season, the same way I root that Bradley reforms himself. Good luck if he lands in Tampa. He got the talent and is just wasting it away. I really hopes that someone gets thru that thick skull of his. You know he is a local boy from the L.A. area.


In a lot of ways it might just come down swapping bad cantracts for 2010. Both guys are due $ 9 million, so that is a bit of a wash.
But, Bradley has a $ 12 million contract on the books for 2011, so if someone was to take Bradley, some of that would have to be eaten by the Cubs to seal the deal.
Either that or the Rays may look to him being a short term fix to the hole in the dam they have at Designated Hitter.

Rays Renegade


Maybe a new place…a new set of fans is just what Milton Bradley needs to resurrect his career. But I have to be honest – I’m not sure I would want my team investing in him. Loved the videos! Yup – brings back lots of memories…..


I can tell you one thing.
If he says the same thing about the Trop rightfield fans, I will be the loudest and the most constant on his booty.
But, I will also give him a chance if all goes that direction.
I guess now we just have to let the music play ans hope it all grooves out perfect and in tune.

Rays Renegade


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