Milton Bradley’s initial hearing is put off

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Milton Bradley is still charged with making felony threats, but there’s a chance that things are looking up.  As Geoff Baker reports, Bradley’s initial hearing has been postponed until March 9th in lieu of a hearing with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.  It’s apparently a standard thing in domestic violence cases, done after the heat of the initial incident has died down.  At the hearing both Bradley and his alleged victim — his estranged wife — will be interviewed, and then officials will decide whether or not to proceed with the case.

As I noted when this all broke, the law Bradley is charged with violating carries a subjective element. Specifically, his wife 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.”  It’s not like there can be hard physical evidence of such things. If so, it would be an assault case or something else.

So, while we have no idea about the facts of this case, we do know that because of the subjectivity of it the law is one that is way harder to charge and prosecute than many others, and may be one that with the passage of time, renders the complained-of behavior less stark than it seemed in the heat of the moment.

All of which is to say that the interview with the D.A. is no mere formality on the way to a prosecution.  The prosecution could very well proceed. Or it could, depending on what the prosecutors hear, end on March 9th.

Pirates activate Starling Marte

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.

Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.