What did Jackie Bradley Jr. do to Ben Cherington?

(AP photo by Michael Dwyer)
Bill Foley (@Foles74)
Contributing Writer

Since Rusney Castillo came through in a big way in Sunday’s seven-run eighth inning, this might not be the best time to ask this question.

I’m going to ask it anyway: What in the blue hell does Ben Cherington have against Jackie Bradley Jr.?

Did the outfielder make fun of the Red Sox general manager’s horrible last 20 months on the job or something? Did he go all Ricky Bobby and point out how badly the Red Sox got taken in the John Lackey-Joe Kelly trade last July?

You know, the trade when Cherington took on Allen Craig’s giant salary while giving St. Louis a proven winner making the veteran minimum?

Mr. Cherington, with all due respect, and remember I'm sayin' it with all due respect, that idea ain't worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin' it on.”

Bradley is absolutely crushing it in Pawtucket. In Sunday’s 7-2 win at Syracuse, Bradley hit two doubles and scored two runs while batting leadoff. That raised his batting average to .340.

He is the No. 2 hitter in the International League, behind only Buffalo’s Matt Hague, who is hitting .347. Bradley has 13 doubles, three home runs and 19 runs scored in 36 games. Bradley is getting on base at a .390 clip, and his OPS is .880.

In his last 10 games, Bradley is batting .366 with two home runs. He is riding an eight-game hitting streak.

Oh, by the way, Bradley is the best defensive centerfielder on the planet.

Remember last year when he was our future? Now he is an afterthought who could be thrown into a trade for yet another outfielder.

Granted, like the rest of the Red Sox roster, Bradley flopped in Boston last season. But his defense in center conjured up memories of Willie Mays (for my dad, anyway), even when his bat was closer to Mario Mendoza.

The 25-year-old Bradley, though, went to work to change his swing, following the advice of the team. As his stats in Pawtucket show, the change has been a success. You would think those results would have called for an extended look with the big club that has been shy on offensive production and defense.

Last month, John Farrell said Bradley was going to platoon with Shane Victorino in right field.

Bradley was called up on May 10, and his stay in Boston lasted 11 at-bats. He was 0 for 11, benched and demoted on May 22.

Of those 11 at bats, four were against Sonny Gray in Oakland and three against Felix Hernandez in Seattle. That’s not necessarily a fair shake for the kid. The actual Kid, Ted Williams, might have gone 0 for 7 against Gray and King Felix.

So why were the Red Sox so quick to give up on Bradley after just 13 plate appearances when they seem to give other so many chances?

That’s a good question, if I do say so myself.

Granted, money factored into the equation, but the Red Sox gave Craig 59 agonizing plate appearances before sending him down to Pawtucket. Daniel Nava, who hit .159 before going on the disabled list, got 73.

Then the Red sox traded for Carlos Peguero and then Alejandro De Aza after the players were designated for assignment by the Rangers and Orioles.

So, Bradley’s immediate future appears to be in Pawtucket, where his “Say Hey” defense is going to waste.

Ben, for the love all things holy, please pull your head from that dark place and bring JBJ back to Boston.

Remember, I say that with all due respect.