[MLB, you know what I mean, it’s just an Anti-Bradley Machine …]

MLB this week came down a day late (Tuesday), and an answer short, of why it merely reduced Bradley’s suspension from 2-games down to 1.  If umpire Larry Vanover is correct, and Bradley made aggressive “contact” during a dispute over a called third strike on April 16, then give Bradley a 2-game benching.  If Bradley is correct, and he’s been targeted for past offenses, and the “contact” of the bill of his cap brushing Vanover’s is an excuse to hand Bradley payback for past offenses, then reverse it.  But a 1-game suspension?  What’s that?  He did it or he didn’t.

One possible explanation:  baseball is in the awkward position of suspending Mets skipper Jerry Manuel for the exact same offense, but only for 1 game.  That is, if Bradley gets a 2-game sit, shouldn’t Manuel?   Or, if Bradley’s is reversed, why not Manuel’s, too?   Bradley is pissed, because MLB has basically upheld his suspension no matter how minor and unintentional the contact.  As far as the Cubs season goes, the delayed decision also means Bradley sits out the opener against Houston this weekend (ppd for today, meaning he sits out tomorrow). If it had come down earlier, the day would have been during the Padres series on the day Piniella rested him anyway.  The Sun-Times’ resident Bradley-baiter, Gordon Wittnemyer, has the story here:

‘Figures,” said Bradley, describing his first reaction. ”Because I never get treated fairly. It’s just me. It’s exactly what I expected.

”I’m Milton Bradley. And you expect me to get crazy and throw stuff and do whatever. But I don’t do anything spur-of-the-moment, although it may seem like that. There’s a reason for everything, and things happen. And you move on.”

General manager Jim Hendry and teammates said they supported Bradley’s decision to appeal, even though it means losing him today when he’s healthy instead of having him serve the full two games last month when he wasn’t playing anyway because of a groin strain.

”Nobody feels like he should have been suspended,” teammate Ryan Dempster said. ”It was unfair.”