Madison Bumgarner is A Hypocrite
I wonder if a pitcher can bean himself.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, World Series hero and noted red-ass, has developed a reputation for playing the game in a way that can generously be described as “old school.”
Bumgarner doesn’t like opposing batters doing anything that calls attention to themselves during an at bat. That not only includes celebrations, but also conversations that don’t involve him, hard slides and bunts, batters frustrated with themselves for missing a pitch, or really for nothing at all. In Bumgarner’s world, batters are lucky to face him. If by some magical cosmic alignment they are able to make contact resulting in a base hit, they deserve no credit and should run at full speed with their head down to first base. Otherwise, they risk a fastball to the ribs during their next confrontation.
What a guy.
Which makes Bumgarner’s most recent self-promotion all the more interesting.
According to Buster, Bumgarner considers himself a professional hitter. A guy who might moonlight as a pinch hitter or DH when he isn’t on the mound. In fact, he thinks so much of himself as a hitter, the 2014 World Series MVP thinks he should participate in this year’s Home Run Derby. Good for him. That’d be a hell of a show (although the Giants will never allow it).
But part of me wonders how Bumgarner the Pitcher would react to Bumgarner the Hitter? In Bumgarner’s world, players don’t promote themselves. Players have “respect” for the game and their opponents.
How would Bumgarner feel if crowds went nuts watching Yankee outfielder (i.e., a professional hitter) Aaron Hicks try to crack 100 mph during BP, or God forbid, during a real-life game?
If Padres catcher (i.e., a professional hitter) Christian Bethancourt decided pitching was easy and wanted to run out to the mound on off-days, would Bumgarner take offense? If Bumgarner homered off him, would he be OK if Bethancourt put a warning heater into his back during their next at bat?
I don’t care who wins in the battle of Old School v. New School, mostly because the argument keeps the game interesting. However, if you’re gonna pick a side, don’t be a hypocrite about it, Madison. Keep your head down and just take the freaking base.