Madison Bumgarner is a good pitcher and a marvelous baseball player, but what he also is is a great big diaper baby. Few pitchers in all of baseball are as likely as Bumgarner to express their sensitivity to the humiliation of allowing a home run by shouting unwritten code commands at triumphant batters. Bumgarner threw another such tantrum Sunday, when Max Muncy of the Dodgers blasted a Bumgarner fastball halfway to China. For his petulance, Bumgarner paid with the very last shreds of his dignity.
Muncy’s smash came in the top of the first inning, and it was a real beauty, sailing 426 feet and splashing down into McCovey Cove. Muncy punctuated the blast with a nice little emphatic bat-dump, and walked his first three steps out of the box, watching the ball exit the stadium. Bumgarner, having just served up a mammoth tater, immediately whipped his head around and started angrily policing Muncy’s post-dinger conduct, like a real wiener:
As our own Albert Burneko pointed out on Twitter, it would be feisty and competitive in a ballsy sort of way for Bumgarner to turn around and chirp at Muncy, to tell him he got lucky or taunt him by promising a future strikeout or something. In general, guys talking honest smack at each other is cool and good, and this would’ve juiced up Muncy’s next plate appearance, big time. But switching from owned pitcher to etiquette scold in the blink of an eye because a dinger hurt your ego is pure cop shit, and in a just and sensible world would be an unrecoverable embarrassment. Unfortunately, in our world, this is a thing Bumgarner gets to claim, in public, with minimal shame:
So you will not be able to talk Bumgarner out of being a sensitive butthole who reacts to giving up a homer like an especially spoiled nine-year-old who lost at checkers. But tonight we can be grateful for this personality flaw, because Bumgarner’s antics in this case provoked an absolutely incredible burn from Muncy, who clapped back at a gesticulating Bumgarner while rounding the bases:
Go fish the ball out of the ocean should be the first thing out of any batter’s mouth the next time Bumgarner pulls this crap, even if it’s not relevant.