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Barry Bonds, Brett Saberhagen among athletes fleeing Wine Country fires


The fires raging across multiple California counties have already killed at least eleven people and have destroyed thousands of homes, businesses and vehicles. In light of that the manner in which it has impacted famous, wealthy athletes is not of paramount importance, but this story in the San Francisco Chronicle does give a sense of the speed with which these fires are moving and how tenuous anyone’s sense of safety can be as they continue to burn.

Susan Slusser reports how ex-ballplayers Brett Saberhagen, Barry Bonds and Eric Gagne and Olympic speed skater Dan Jansen have had to evacuate homes and hotels in which they were staying on Sunday and into Monday morning. It’s a harrowing scene:

Saberhagen and the Jansens raced to the car, and hopped on Highway 12, at one point passing a car that was engulfed in flames. They drove all the way to San Martin in southern Santa Clara County to spend the night. Hall of Fame hockey goalie Grant Fuhr and his wife weren’t able to find rides, Saberhagen said, and they had had to flag down a stranger, who drove them to San Francisco — a journey that took six hours.

According to Saberhagen and other attendees, UFC fighter Henry Cejudo didn’t evacuate from the Fountaingrove Inn in Santa Rosa and broke his ankle jumping from a second-story balcony.

Scary stuff. Here’s hoping the death toll doesn’t climb higher.

Madison Bumgarner diagnosed with fractured left hand

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Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner has been diagnosed with a fractured left hand, per a report from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’ll undergo surgery on Saturday to insert pins in his pinky knuckle, adds The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, and is expected miss anywhere from 4-6 weeks in recovery before he’s cleared to throw again. In a best-case scenario, the lefty will be ready to pitch again before the All-Star break, but nothing is set in stone just yet.

Bumgarner suffered the fracture during the third inning of Friday’s Cactus League game against the Royals. Whit Merrifield returned a line drive up the middle and the ball deflected off the top of Bumgarner’s pitching hand before bouncing into the infield. He chased after the ball but was unable to pick it up, and was immediately visited by manager Bruce Bochy and a team trainer before exiting the game.

The 28-year-old southpaw was gearing up for a massive comeback after losing significant playing time with an injury in 2017. During his tumultuous run with the Giants last year, he missed nearly three months on the disabled list after spraining his shoulder and bruising his ribs in a dirt bike accident. He finished the season with a 4-9 record in 17 starts and a 3.32 ERA (his first 3.00+ ERA since 2012), 1.6 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 111 innings. The Giants suffered as well; by season’s end, their pitching staff ranked seventh-worst in the National League with a cumulative 4.58 ERA and 10.1 fWAR.

This is the second massive injury the Giants’ rotation has sustained this week after right-hander Jeff Samardzija was diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle on Thursday. “Horrible news for us,” Bochy told reporters after Friday’s game. “That’s all you can say about it. There’s nothing you can do but push on.”