I write this not merely because I would love to see him, shall we say, hook up with Wally Matthews, but who would you rather see patrolling the outfield at Shea right now, Ricky Ledee, the suddenly all-too-moral Shawn Green, or the newly available Milton Bradley? From the SF Chronicle’s Susan Slusser.

The A’s designated outfielder Milton Bradley for assignment on Thursday morning, a day after general manager Billy Beane met with Bradley to let him know that the transaction was coming. Bradley left the clubhouse upset, and he also had expressed dissatisfaction on Tuesday after not being activated when he felt he was ready to return from a calf injury.

There was a good chance of more discontent in the future, with an increasingly crowded outfield in the offing. Chris Snelling is likely coming off the disabled list soon and he is out of options, while Bobby Kielty is also expected to be available by the end of the month. Bradley, who will be a free agent after this season, would have seen a decrease in playing time, according to a source, largely because most of the rest of the outfielders are part of the team’s future, while Bradley was not.

“He wasn’t going to be happy playing a couple of times a week,” a team source said.

The A’s have 10 days in which to trade Bradley, waive him or release him. A trade remains a possibility, although by designating him, the team has signaled its intention to part with him, which usually lessens a player’s value. Once a player has been designated, interested teams often just wait to see if he is placed on waivers or wait until he is released, but if multiple clubs are after Bradley, the A’s might be able to move him within the 10-day span.

Over at A’s Nation — where they are taking no small satisfaction in Surfin’ Barry’s terrible first half — Nico concludes that Billy Beane “did not see Bradley playing much the rest of the season.”

Beane will probably try to trade him for a bucket of balls just to get Bradley’s salary off the books. Meanwhile, the A’s have their backup infielder up in Kevin Melillo. If there are no takers in the proposed Bradley-Bucket deal, Beane may be forced to eat Bradley’s salary in exchange for opening up a spot on the 25 and 40 man rosters. Perhaps this is where Piazza and Cust can both fit in. Maybe we’ll see Cust in LF after the All-Star Break–hopefully following daily 5-hour practice sessions between now and then.

All I know right now is that as with the Mulder-Hudson deals, I’m surprised now and expect to be appreciative later. The A’s do know what they’re doing–even if we don’t know what they’re doing.

The reigning NL Manager Of The Year has rebuffed the Orioles overtures, and Bugs & Cranks’ Patrick Smith tries to determine “since when is it not right for him and his family? He sure dug the idea on Tuesday.”

Maybe Girardi took a peek into the organization and didn™t like what he saw. A promising but unpredictable stable of starting pitchers. Some youngish stars like Brian Roberts, Ramon Hernandez and Nick Markakis. Some aging ex-all-stars like Miguel Tejada, Jay Payton and Aubrey Huff. A bullpen freakshow. What™s not to love?

Ah, what the hell. On to Plan B.

Hello, Davey Johnson.