Milton Bradley believes he’s under attack:
Bradley believes his strike zone is being widened, forcing him to chase pitches he normally doesn’t swing at or risk being called out on strikes. Asked if there have been repercussions from Vanover’s fellow umpires since the incident, Bradley didn’t mince words . . .
. . . “Unfortunately, I just think it’s a lot of ‘Oh, you did this to my colleague,’ or ‘We’re going to get him any time we can. As soon as he gets two strikes, we’re going to call whatever and see what he does. Let’s try to ruin Milton Bradley.’ It’s just unfortunate. But I’m going to come out on top. I always do.”
This seems like something that could easily be checked via PITCHf/x data, and I assume someone with PITCHf/x-fu will do so at some point (I possess no PITCHf/x-fu). Probably doesn’t matter, though. Bradley seems like the kind of guy who’s going to cast himself as a victim no matter where the pitches are. I found this comment interesting, though:
You lead the American League in OPS (in 2008), and two years in the top three in the league in on-base percentage. All of a sudden now, I come to Chicago and I can’t see the ball no more? I don’t know a strike from a ball?
While I’ve seen guys talk about OPS in the course of articles/interviews that specifically dealt with advanced metrics, this, I think, is the first time I’ve seen a player throw out OPS casually like this.