Bradley appeals two-game suspension
Cubs outfielder disciplined for contact with umpire
CHICAGO -- In what could be interpreted as a matter of principle, Milton Bradley will appeal the two-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball on Saturday.
Bradley will take that course of action even though he has been limited by a groin injury this week. He was also fined an undisclosed amount.
"He's going to appeal it, and we're going to support him on that. Outside of that, there's not much more to say," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Saturday. "It's kind of harsh -- two days -- and he feels that he wants to get his side heard. We'll go with that."
After leaving Sunday's game in Milwaukee, the outfielder has since made only one pinch-hit appearance, which ended with a called third strike on a 3-2 pitch on Thursday against St. Louis. Bradley began arguing with home-plate umpire Larry Vanover and allegedly made contact with him. Bradley was immediately ejected in the sixth inning of what turned out to be a 7-4 loss.
Why not accept the suspension while Bradley is hurting?
"That's a good question," Piniella said. "But the big thing is that the club and the individual feel two days [is] a heavy penalty to pay for what transpired."
Bradley -- who did not make himself available to reporters for comment -- signed a few autographs for young fans in the Cubs dugout and then launched a couple of batting practice home runs into the Wrigley Field bleachers before Saturday's game against St. Louis.
Bradley received a warm reception when he pinch-hit for closer Kevin Gregg to lead off the ninth inning, but he grounded out to third in his only at-bat.
Piniella acknowledged that the Cubs could use Bradley's bat. That's why the organization signed the free agent to a three-year, $30 million deal over the winter. The switch-hitter finished last season in Texas with 22 home runs and 77 RBIs, batting .321 with a .436 on-base percentage.
"He did a lot of baseball-related [activities today] -- running the bases, catching fly balls and those sort of things," Piniella said. "So he's getting better, getting much closer. When he's ready to play, he'll let us know."
Patrick Mooney is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.