Madison Bumgarner left the Giants in December for $85 million, saying “It’s all about winning.” He hasn’t won a game since, but will try again Saturday at Oracle Park.
There are few things in sports more petulantly gratifying than when your favorite team's star player leaves in free agency, for far more money, and the chance to play for a supposed championship contender — but then he and his new team both absolutely crap the bed. This is precisely what has happened with our dear old friend Madison Bumgarner, the 2014 World Series MVP pitcher known for riding a horse on the field, dressing like a lumberjack, chugging five beers simultaneously, and of course blowing snot rockets on live TV.
Bumgarner broke our hearts and fled for more cash in December, signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks for $85 million, and saying "First and foremost, it's about winning." He has not won a game since, his Diamondbacks are dead last in the division, and just past the mid-season point (and we are already past the mid-season point! There are only 22 games left!), Arizona has already given up on the season. But as the Bay Area News Group points out, Bumgarner will make his first appearance against the Giants in Saturday’s 6:15 game at Oracle Park.
As the Chronicle tells us, Bumgarner should have already pitched against the Giants a few games, as we’ve already played Arizona six times, beating them on five of those occasions. Bumgarner has perhaps been their worst letdown of many disappointments, giving up 18 earned runs in 17 ⅓ innings, and posting a shockingly bad ERA of 9.35. His record is 0-3, and he most recently gave up four home runs in two innings before being sent to the disabled list with back spasms. Saturday will be his first game returning from injury.
Eric Hosmer is making sure Madison Bumgarner doesn't enjoy his first start for Arizona.pic.twitter.com/DXGYLqyIz0— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) July 25, 2020
And the D-Bags are doing terribly this year, so terribly that their general manager wrote fans an apology letter on Tuesday after a fire-sale trade of all their top players indicated they were giving up on the season. "Our motivation for today’s trades was positioning ourselves to be better in 2021," he wrote, coming out and saying it. (Though just for fun, we’ll also mock the defending world champion Washington Nationals, who have collapsed even harder.)
gazing dead-eyed, at the Dodgers on a prorated 119-win pace and staring down the barrel at the goddamn Chaos Giants in a best-of-3 https://t.co/jfdRDrwZ5H— Michael Baumann (@MichaelBaumann) September 3, 2020
Yet our plucky and unpredictable Giants are doing surprisingly well. The playoff standings (yes, they already exist) show the boys are only a half-game out of the final National League Wild Card spot in this year’s new, expanded 16-team postseason. The mad scientist stylings of new manager Gabe Kapler have produced some Jekyll and Hyde results; one night they score 23 runs, the next day they blow a 6-1 lead. But if they do squeak into a Wild Card spot, the first round this year is a best-of-three quickie that an underdog can easily win. In this crazy COVID-19 2020 season, the Giants' even-year magic could make the season even stranger.
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