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LA's Bradley returns after confrontation

wire services
Published October 8, 2004

ST. LOUIS - Milton Bradley was back in the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup Thursday, going 2-for-3 with a home run, double and walk in an 8-3 loss to St. Louis that came one day after a clubhouse confrontation between the outfielder and a reporter he called an "Uncle Tom."

Rich Levin, a spokesman for the commissioner's office, said baseball officials had made several phone calls on the matter. Levin said there will not be an investigation.

"We're satisfied the two sides are working together to resolve the situation," Levin said in New York.

Several fans booed Bradley in his four plate appearances Tuesday, when the Cardinals won 8-3 in the opener of the best-of-five NL playoff series. That was Bradley's first game after a five-game suspension assessed for a bottle-throwing tantrum during a win over Colorado in Los Angeles.

Jason Reid of the Los Angeles Times asked Bradley on Wednesday about his treatment by St. Louis fans.

Bill Dwyre, the Times' sports editor, said several reporters in the Dodgers' clubhouse Wednesday said Bradley didn't like Reid's question. According to eyewitnesses and Reid's tape, Bradley said, "You're an Uncle Tom. You're a sellout."

Reid, who is black, took offense and began yelling at Bradley, who also is black, Dwyre said.

Bradley was not available for comment before Thursday's Game 2, and Reid declined to answer questions. Bradley's fourth-inning homer off Jason Marquis tied the score at 3.

Bradley, speaking to Los Angeles' KCBS-TV on Wednesday, claimed Reid kept pushing the issue.

"He was just one of those guys who wants to keep harping on it," Bradley said. "I told him what I felt about the situation and I told him how I felt about how he was choosing to handle it."

JUST IN TIME: Braves pitcher John Thomson had a successful stint in the bullpen before Game 2 and is on track to start Saturday in Game 3 of the division series in Houston.

Thomson left his last regular-season start after three innings with a pulled a muscle in his side, and he was bumped back from his scheduled start in Game 2.

Manager Bobby Cox watched as Thomson threw in the bullpen.

"He had a very, very good side session," Cox said. "So he's going to be good to go."

But there are no guarantees Thomson won't irritate the injury.

OH, NEVERMIND: The Braves played Game 2 under protest, contending that Houston manager Phil Garner feigned a problem with the phone line to the Astros bullpen to give closer Brad Lidge more time to warm up in the seventh. MISCELLANY: Cardinals manager and Tampa native Tony La Russais in the last year of his contract but figures to return for his 10th season in St. Louis. "I'll tell you what, if we win the world championship, I'll manage for free," La Russa said. ... Braves closer John Smoltz, who singled in the bottom of the ninth Thursday, struck out in his only two at-bats of the regular season. ... Houston OF Carlos Beltran went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts after being plunked in the ribs with a pitch in Game 1.

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