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SAGA 09-24-09 03:07 AM

Sources: Chicago Cubs' Milton Bradley to accept suspension
 
Updated: September 23, 2009, 11:58 PM ET
Sources: Bradley won't appeal
By Jayson Stark
ESPN.com

Milton Bradley has agreed not to appeal his suspension for the rest of the season, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.com on Wednesday.

That decision came after Bradley formally apologized to the Cubs, and the team informed him it would suspend him with pay for the final 15 games of the season.

"I chose Chicago as a free agent because I wanted to be part of finally bringing a championship to the Cubs' fans. I expected to have a great season and I am deeply disappointed by my performance and the team's struggles," said Bradley, who signed a $30 million, three-year contract in the offseason.

Bradley stood to lose more than $400,000 in salary had the Cubs chosen to suspend him without pay. But had they done so, the players' union almost certainly would have filed a grievance challenging that discipline.

So indications were that Cubs management worked out a more informal resolution of the case with Bradley and his agents, Seth and Sam Levinson.

"We're done," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said, according to the Chicago Sun Times. "MLB has notified the union and everybody has signed off and it's done and Milton has made a statement."

Bradley was suspended Sunday after he lashed out in a story in the Arlington Daily Herald at the "negativity" emanating from Cubs management and fans, and said: "You understand why they haven't won for 100 years."

Bradley said his frustration and disappointment caused him to act in a way he regrets.

"I wish that I handled certain things different and I apologize for those things that did not work out for the better," he said in a statement. "The air has been cleared, and we all want to move on and look forward to better days."

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he appreciated Bradley's comments.

"I'm happy to see that he issued the statement and apologized," said Piniella, who clashed with Bradley several times this season. "You know -- put that behind us and we just go forward."

Hendry wouldn't say before the Cubs took on the Brewers whether the switch-hitting outfielder will return next year.

"We'll worry about next season when this season is over," Hendry said. "We've got the rest of the season to play and we're going to finish it up."

Bradley's mother said on Tuesday that her son would consider returning to the Cubs if they will have him back.

Speaking to the Sun-Times, Charlena Rector said: "All the people on TV keep saying, 'Oh, Milton has played his last game for the Cubs.'" But, she added, that won't be the case if Bradley has any say with management.

"Milton eats, sleeps and drinks baseball. He loves it. That's all he wants to do," Rector told the newspaper.

The mood of the clubhouse in Milwaukee has been upbeat, and the Cubs won three in a row heading into Wednesday's action. Hendry said he hasn't spoken to Bradley, only with his agent, Seth Levinson.

When might Bradley and Hendry talk directly?

"No idea," Hendry said. "Nothing to talk about now. He's home for the rest of the year."

Senior writer Jayson Stark covers MLB for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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