Hendry lashes out at former Cub Bradley

Updated: March 11, 2010, 3:06 AM ET
ESPNChicago.com

MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Wednesday it's time for Milton Bradley to look in the mirror and accept responsibility for his unsuccessful season in Chicago last year.

Hendry, manager Lou Piniella and some Cubs players responded to an interview Bradley did with ESPN's Colleen Dominguez on Tuesday.

Hendry I think it's time maybe Milton looked at himself in the mirror.

-- Cubs general manager Jim Hendry

During the interview, Bradley described the atmosphere in Chicago as so negative that he felt like a prisoner in his own home because he didn't want to venture out. Bradley talked about the difficulties he perceived for African-American players in Chicago, unless they were the caliber of Ernie Banks or Andre Dawson.

Bradley also talked about receiving hate mail with no postage mark, and when asked if he thought it had come from within the organization, Bradley said: "I would hope not, but ... who knows? I don't know. I don't even care to know."

Hendry responded adamantly.

"That's absolutely ridiculous," Hendry said. "That couldn't be farther from the truth. I think it's time maybe Milton looked at himself in the mirror. It is what it is. He didn't swing the bat; he didn't get the job done. His production was the only negative, or lack of."

Bradley told ESPN's Colleen Dominguez on Wednesday: "I have nothing bad to say about Jim Hendry He gave me $30 million. God bless Jim Hendry and his family."

Bradley hit .257 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs in his one season in Chicago after signing a three-year, $30 million deal. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners in the offseason for Carlos Silva and cash.

"We have a long history of quality people who want to play here," Hendry said. "I don't believe in the last seven or eight years, under this regime, we lost a free-agent player we wanted to keep.

"And that still is the case. We just heard from Aramis [Ramirez] and Derrek Lee [who are in the last year of their contracts], how strongly they would like to end their careers here."

Hendry also pointed out that two free agents he signed during the offseason -- Marlon Byrd and Kevin Millar -- are represented by the Levinson brothers, who also represent Bradley.

"If there were any truth to any of the things that are coming up now ... I don't think [the Levinsons] would have been dying to have their clients come here," Hendry said. "And I think Kevin and Marlon will tell you we were clearly their first choice.

"So it's really unfortunate to get to that situation, to deflect the lack of production you did in the year you were here, to try to use the other areas for excuses."

Bradley also said he wanted Piniella to apologize to him in front of the entire team for reportedly calling him "a piece of [expletive]" during a June series against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

"The next day, he called me into his office and wanted to apologize," Bradley said. "I felt you put me on blast, called me out in front of everybody, you're going to apologize in front of everybody.

"He didn't choose to go that route, but I accepted his apology nonetheless, because as a Christian that's what you do. I don't have time to hold grudges against people. I've got enough stuff I've got to deal with."

Piniella said he just wants to move forward.

"I apologized to Milton," Piniella said. "I did the best I could, and I'm human like everybody else. I think I bent over backwards to make it as comfortable as I possibly could, and that's all I could do, nothing more, nothing less.

"I don't know why we're revisiting these things. This is the year 2010. I say let's turn the page and go forward with this team."

Hendry also wants to move past Bradley.

"We've done our best to move on," Hendry said. "We thought we helped Milton move on, too, by putting him in another place, and that's how we approached it. It's just time to go about our business.

"It was a one-year situation that I brought him to try to help us from the left side. Obviously it was a mistake. He didn't get the job done, and you move on from your mistakes and make life better for both sides, and that's what we did."

Hendry also talked about accepting responsibility.

"We're all brought up in life to accept responsibility when we fail, and also to judge people by how they act and how they carry themselves when things don't go well," he said.

Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano said Bradley is "not a bad person."

"He's a great player, but whatever happened last year, he should think a little bit more about the game ... because he has the talent," Soriano said. "I think sometimes it's his attitude. So I wish good luck to him.

"He's not a bad person. It's something personal with the fans, the game. But in the clubhouse, I didn't see anything negative that he did. He's not a bad person, he just has some things going on in his mind."

Pitcher Ryan Dempster defended Cubs fans.

"The fans, they pay for their ticket to come in [to the ballpark]," Dempster said. "They have every right to boo if they feel you're not giving 100 percent or not your best effort. They love their Cubs. Chicago fans are very forgiving."

Dempster was asked whether African-American players have problems at Wrigley Field.

"I don't know, I'm Caucasian," Dempster said. "[Derrek Lee] seems to really like it here, and I know that Marlon [Byrd] is going to have a blast here.

"Anytime you struggle, it can be tough no matter what the color of your skin is."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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