So, perhaps Milton Bradley's tendency to get in trouble with the law is contagious, as MLB has suspended Mariners' starter Cliff Lee for the first five games of the season for supposedly throwing at Chris Snyder's head the other day.

This is, in a word, bullshit.

Spring training games are meaningless: no one throws at someone on purpose, even if they had a home plate collision beforehand. Lee needed to work on his control inside, and a ball got away from him. It happens. For the last ten or twelve years, the powers-that-be (ie, Selig and his Mopes) have changed what used to be a key part of the game, players policing dirty play, and turned it over to umpires and league disciplinarians. This has made the pitcher who throws inside a rarity, and Hall of Famers like Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale would spend most of the year suspended if they played under this regime. Nonstop Sports Talk Assholes fuel this fire, by making every bit of chin music into grand opera, which is one thing that makes Slog sports coverage seem such a fine oasis of reasonable conversation.

For the M's It might not mean much in the big picture. Lee might be able to make up the missed start later, but it also means that in the race for the AL Cy Young, Felix Hernandez might have two wins before Lee has a chance for his first. This one-two combo of stud starters makes the Mariners a force to be cliched with this season.

Meanwhile, erstwhile Mariners' starter Carlos Silva has had two no-run outings after a horrific first start. Theoretically, Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild has changed his motion, and now his Mom has a 10 year visa to come to the US from Venezuela, so he can stop pining for home cooking and fill out that skinny-ass frame of his. And JJ Putz is putting up good numbers for the White Sox as well.

Less than three weeks till Opening Day, when stats will count and arguments can begin in force. . . Oh, and Milton Bradley's most vocal supporter, Texas Rangers Manager Ron Washington, tested positive for cocaine use. I suspected he might be on drugs whenever he talked about how great Milton was, but who knew they tested coaches?