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I Now Pronounce You Ejected
2004-06-01 21:09
by Jon Weisman

"Like rice at a wedding, Milton Bradley is throwing baseballs onto the field."

- Vin Scully, 9 p.m.

Who started it? Depends on your definition of the term, but unless umpire Terry Craft's statements that Bradley had been riding him are completely inaccurate, you might have to point the finger at Bradley.

"He was arguing a pitch I called against him earlier and he had argued a pitch on another batter from the dugout," said Craft on "When he came to the plate, I told him he had better think twice before yelling at me from the dugout. Then he went off on me and I ejected him."

The reports indicate that Craft and second-base umpire Joe West were particularly proactive in trying to keep Bradley quiet, and who knows if they're gifted and sensitive communicators or not.

Anyway, in Craft's opinion, Bradley had given him just about enough. Craft gave Bradley a warning, and the warning itself ignited Bradley. Unless the warning was more than a warning - unless it was truly incendiary - the idea that Bradley was provoked, as Jim Tracy said after the game, is questionable.

I'm capable of a level of anger that sometimes surprises myself, so I can relate to that feeling of injustice Bradley must have had. Even if he was provoked - and I say this dispassionately - he should find a way to handle it better.

"I don't know anyone who wouldn't lose it when provoked," Tracy said. Sure enough - but it's how you lose it that is worth examining.

Perhaps, in his mind, Bradley's anger was a display of civil disobedience against an entity abusing its power.

I can find no such explanation for the behavior of some fans after the ejection. I'd like any of those who threw something on the field Tuesday night to explain to me a possible justification for doing so. Really - I just want to understand, because it utterly perplexes me.

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