Dirt Bike Brings out the Bum in Bumgarner; Serious Shoulder Injury Could Turn his Future to Dirt

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Hi all.  Here’s how I see baseball on this Saturday, April 22.

I was one of many to tweet about Madison Bumgarner’s injury to his shoulder.  A dirt bike wreck puts his future and that of the Giants in jeopardy.

So imagine,  you’re a man of 27 playing major league baseball and a lefty pitcher at that.  You have so much talent it can’t be measured on any scale. 4 times an All-Star, 3 World Series already.  You have 100 wins against 70 losses and would have even more wins if the game still demanded that starters throw the complete 9 innings. You can even hit home runs.  So what do you do on a Thursday off day?  If you’re a normal human being you kick back and relax.  I traveled the minors for a dozen years so I have more than a layman’s understanding of how tired that travel can make a person. If you’re MadBum your options are many including buying and selling small countries or maybe even hanging with your wife Ali. Putting yourself in harm’s way should have been unthinkable.    Where were you last September when Jose Fernandez was killed along with two others who had the misfortune to be passengers on his speedboat? Did you miss the memo about Yordano Ventura of the Royals losing his life at 25 in a senseless car crash in the Dominican?  With all the world at your feet and the promise of at least another decade of raking in ridiculous money you’re so jaded by normal pleasures that you rent (or maybe purchase) a dirt bike and crash it?   Going out and crashing a dirt bike-something explicitly forbidden in any MLB player’s contract-is so low on the list of passtimes you might consider it’s beyond the pail for most normal humans.  The wreck happened in Colorado where the Giants started a series last night.  Given Bumgarner’s status I can assume he rented or boughtthe the dirt bike rather than hauling it around the league from his North Carolina home.

You would think any member of the Giants knows the story of onetime San Francisco second baseman Jeff Kent who smashed his future to smithereens on a motorcycle, then compounded the idiocy by lying about it. Bumgarner’s injury is described as either a grade 1 or 2 sprain of the AC joint in his pitching shoulder. The shoulder is even more delicate than a pitcher’s elbow, so if he comes back at all it could be in July or later. He’s 0-3 and the team he betrayed is 6–10.

After a dramatic extra-inning win last night the Cubs again face the Reds in today’s earliest game.  For the Reds, it’s another year, another bad bull pen.  The Cubs were down 5-2 in the 9th with two outs when Anthony Rizzo tied the game with a 3-run home run.  The rest was a formality as the visitors scored in the 10th. Today the Cubs send out Jake Arrieta who pitched a no-hitter in Cincinnati a year ago yesterday. The Tigers visit the Twins at 2 PM.

Two hours later the Pirates host the Yankees whom they keel-hauled last night. Michael Pineda tries to bring the Yankees back to even terms in this series. He’s up against Jameson Taillon who came out of the woodwork for the Pirates a year ago.  Seattle visits Oakland in a 4 PM start today.  The Nationals try to keep the momentum against the Mets in another 4 PM tilt.  The Mets were so desperate due to injuries they were using pitchers as pinch-hitters and pinch-runners.  Yet their elderly manager and his brain trust won’t bring up first baseman Dominic Smith or infielder Ahmed Rosario.  As bad as the Mets have been up to now, what do they have to lose by dumping Jose Reyes and letting the kids play as the Yankees are doing.  The Nats send Gio Gonzalez against Jacob DeGrom who was one of the Mets’ casualties yesterday, failing to start because of a stiff neck. If he still can’t go, Sean Gilmartin is available. The rest of the action is under the lights. The Orioles have brought up lefty Jayson Aquino to make his first MLB start against the Red Sox and Steven Wright. Aquino is 24 and had a brief visit to the show last summer. He’s been in the game since 2009 when he signed with the Rockies.  In Anaheim the visiting Blue Jays will start Casey Lawrence who has only one MLB appearance to his name and that came from the bull pen.  He faces the Angels in the latest game tonight.

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