The San Francisco Giants are offering kind tributes to 11-year veteran pitcher Madison Bumgarner, calling him a "forever Giant." But Bumgarner didn't exactly mince words in explaining why he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for 2020.
Athletes aren't usually known for their eloquence on the fly, and Bumgarner, bless his heart, offered a bit of an indelicate response when asked by a reporter Tuesday why he's decamping to Arizona. "First and foremost, it's about winning," he said, and he went on to compliment the Diamondbacks as being "a bunch of grinders" and a "hard-nosed group of guys." As the Associated Press reports, Bumgarner added that he wants to be "with a team that in my mind [is playing] my brand of baseball and plays the way I like to play."
The Giants, meanwhile, are trying to be diplomatic and say "thank you" for Bumgarner's 11 seasons with the team. In a statement, the Giants said, "We will always cherish his epic 2014 postseason run when he earned both NLCS and World Series MVP honors by carrying the team and all of Giants nation toward a third and historic world championship. He will be forever recognized as one of the greatest pitchers in the 138-year history of the Giants."
As the Chronicle reports, Bumgarner declined a qualifying offer from the Giants when he reached free agency, and then was offered a $70 million, four-year contract to stay.
Bumgarner helped the Giants win its historic, even-year-threepeat World Series titles in 2010, 2012, and 2014, but the last few years haven't been so great to be a Giant. He's now signed an $85 million, five-year deal with D-backs and will be playing for another side next season in the same division.
Regarding staying in the National League, as the AP reports, Bumgarner said in a press conference, "It was important to me, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker by any means. I’ve said it a number of times during my career that I like the National League style of play better… That’s baseball to me."
Bumgarner did say he was grateful to the Bay Area fans, saying, "It’s tough. The fans in that city mean so much to me. It’s been 10 years there and we won three World championships. Been through a lot together. They have always been as good as they could possibly be to me. I’ll never forget that."
As Arizona Sports station 98.7FM notes today, "The signing of Bumgarner bolsters a D-backs rotation that lost Zack Greinke to the Houston Astros via a trade."
Longtime teammate Buster Posey, who hasn't tweeted since August, has yet to comment on his friend's departure.