Does SFG southpaw Madison Bumgarner ever lose his cool with Caucasian players?
July 31, 2015 10:35 PM   Subscribe

San Francisco Giants star pitcher Madison Bumgarner has won many accolades for his clutch performances. He's also had many notable run-ins with opposing players. Here's one list of conflicts he's had, including today's bench-clearing dustup with the Texas Rangers. As a close follower of the National League West, I've noticed that I've never seen him lose his cool at a non-Hispanic or non-black player. Has he shouted at or admonished a non-Hispanic white player at any point of his Major League career? I'd be delighted if someone could find an instance in which he has done so.
posted by Joseph Gurl to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Being a SF guy but NOT a baseball fan, I decided to do some research.

The reports were all over the place. One guy was basically accusing Bumgarner of body-tackling Wong in the NLCS series in October 2014 when it should have been just a simple tag out. On the other hand Seattle Seahawks QB Russel Wilson (black dude), who's baseball teammate with Bumgarner in 2007 All-Highschool Team, has only good things to say about him. Of course, it could be that he's only remembering the good parts.

Wong was shorter and lighter than Bumgarner, while Wilson is about the same size.

I haven't checked the sizes of Puig / Gomez, and the rest, but there may or may not be a physical factor.

Furthermore, a lot of this supposed racism / rivalry was embellished by the media for sake of a story. Ty Cobb's supposedly racist reputation mostly invented by a reporter who hated him and kinda spread from there.

So, to answer your question, I honestly don't know. Maybe Bumgarner is a redneck racist, or maybe he just can't stand the attitude that some minorities in baseball adopt as an armor against the inequalities.
posted by kschang at 11:46 AM on August 1, 2015

This question got me interested, so I dug around a bit.

I didn't find an instance of an of an on the field argument, but here he called out Max Scherzer via the press when Scherzer dismissed the idea of pitchers hitting in the NL.

I'm afraid I can't come up with more than that, but honestly it seems like he's just a hard ass with a very narrow idea of acceptable on-field behavior. Here's an article following the dust-up wth Puig that says as much.

His stoic post-grand slam celebration (as a pitcher, no less!) after the two blasts seen below seems to corroborate this. He doesn't even seem visibly happy with himself after doing literally the best possible thing a batter can do.

1, 2.
posted by charlemangy at 2:12 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was going to mention that the other thing that Puig and Beltre have in common are that they are Caribbean players but it looks like Bumgarner actually initially had words with Deshields (who is African-American, and had flipped his bat) and Beltre responded.

Mad Bum definitely gets heated over celebrations. Puig has a reputation for non-modesty; Deshields is very young, brand new to MLB. I'd be curious if there's a racial component, could be, but it might be just that Bumgarner's a hard-ass.
posted by vunder at 6:11 PM on August 1, 2015

Response by poster: This is just a note to say that I'm not interested in this thread turning into a referendum on whether or not he's a racist. Just examining a pattern.

(If asked, I'd say I suspect he's just another "unwritten rules" guy whose "rules" seem to be "play like white middle-American dudes or else.")
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:30 PM on August 1, 2015

Best answer: I haven't checked the sizes of Puig / Gomez, and the rest, but there may or may not be a physical factor.

Puig is 6'3" and like 240 pounds of pure muscle. While Madison is taller, Puig definitely is physically more intimidating.

Another thing to keep in mind is Puig is a Los Angeles Dodger, which is the traditional rival of the Giants. So there is that extra winkle. But yeah, country of origin seems to be the biggest trigger for some reason.

Also, another MadBum incident this year is when he said "You're not the fucking good, man" when Alex Guerrero (a Cuban born player for the Dodgers) showed disappointment when he weakly popped out. The implication being that Madison is just so good that Alex should feel euphoric to even get his bat on the ball, or something.
posted by sideshow at 9:59 AM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

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