|Is Bradley held to a higher standard?
Milton Bradley made his Wrigley Field debut a memorable one, as he argued balls and strikes with umpire Larry Vanover and then got ejected. After the game it was reported that Bradley is being referred to the Commissioner's Office because it was a "contact" incident, though the umps wouldn't say how contact was made. I didn't see anything worthy of discipline in the replays, and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune agrees with me:
If Bradley is suspended, expect the Cubs to fight it. Replays suggest there may have been incidental contact between the bill of Bradley's hat and Vanover's, though it was so slight you might miss it without a slow-motion replay.
Yesterday I argued against subjective emotional considerations entering into disciplinary actions. Today I'd renew that argument as it relates to subjective personal considerations. Milton Bradley, as you may know, has a colorful history with umpires. In light of that history -- and in light of how minor any contact between Bradley and the ump actually was -- one can't help but wonder how much of that history entered into the umpires' decision to refer him for discipline.