Let’s not convict Milton Bradley in the court of public opinion just yet

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As reported last night, Milton Bradley is in some big-time legal trouble as a result of allegedly making threats of bodily harm and/or death against an unidentified female. The charges under California Penal Code section 422 are felony charges, and if they are borne out, he could end up doing time.

It’s important to remember, however, that the law Bradley is charged with violating carries a subjective element. Specifically, the victim had to have taken the threat seriously at the time and had to have been placed “in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family’s safety.”

We have no idea about the facts of this case and in no way am I either doubting or buying his accuser’s allegations. However, because of the subjectivity of it — because it relies on the victim’s own words about what she felt at a specific time as opposed to eyewitness accounts or evidence of physical harm —  it’s a law that can lend itself to specious claims more easily than others. If this were merely a case of Milton Bradley rolling his eyes at someone and breezily saying “One of these days, Alice, bang-zoom, to the moon!” I’m assuming that the police would not have made an arrest. And of course, Milton Bradley has a long and colorful history with anger management issues.

That said, despite his personal history, let’s give Bradley the benefit of the doubt before convicting him in the court of public opinion, OK?  We simply don’t know enough at this time to say anything intelligent about the merits of the claim. Really, we don’t know anything.

Red Sox beat Yankees 11-6 to clinch AL East for third consecutive season

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The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.

AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.

With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.