What's a bit sad about this situation is that Milton Bradley's larger point is (probably) spot-on. I have no doubt that Bradley has heard racist taunts from his own fans, especially considering he plays just below that always drunk rowdy bleacher section. I'm sure LaTroy Hawkins went through something similar during his time here.
Gordon Wittenmyer takes the larger point seriously and takes the time to ask Cubs fans to confirm or rebut Bradley's claim. And Wittenmyer's take includes the following stunner:
even the unimpeachable Derrek Lee said Thursday he's heard racially charged taunts from the Wrigley stands, albeit directed at others.
When Mr. Lee says he has heard racist taunts from the gallery at Wrigley, the story is not whether Milton Bradley is an incompetent malcontent or whether Jim Hendry ought to be hung by his thumbs for signing Bradley long-term. The story is what the Cubs' brass intends to do to insure that this behavior stops immediately.
The belief that this incidents reflect simple drunken boorish immaturity that does not reflect on the vast majority of Cubs' fans is bullsh*t. The unwillingness of other Cubs fans to confront those making such comments allows players to attribute that sentiment to everyone around the offender. More than simple cowardice, the lack of confrontation reflects a fundamental mistrust by the fans that they will be backed by security at Wrigley in making sure that those responsible will be thrown out of the stadium.
Further, forwarding the belief that this merely reflects Cubs' fans unhappiness with the current team (such that the problem would be resolved by a winning side) is pathetic. As fans, I firmly believe we are now getting what we deserve and that we cannot complain until our own house is put in order.
Thanks to O'Donnell and Wittenmyer for taking the point seriously enough to report on it in a reasonable manner. Perhaps it is time to revisit my stance on the Sun Times as well.