Sammy Sosa “shocked” that Mike Remlinger tried to sell his corked bat

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Mike Remlinger’s attempt to sell Sammy Sosa’s corked bat from 2003 failed yesterday when the reserve price he’d set wasn’t met during an auction in which the high bid was $14,407.

Naturally, now Sosa says he’s “shocked” that his former Cubs teammate would do such a thing. Well, technically his “spokesperson” said it, but presumably Sosa told her to do so.

Remlinger explained that he tried to contact Sosa and return the bat to him, but never heard back and decided to auction it off. Sosa claims he was never contacted by Remlinger, although in fairness someone who makes statements to the media through a spokesperson seems more likely to not be aware every attempt people make to contact him.

“If he needed the money, he should have just asked me for some money,” Sosa said via his spokesperson. Remlinger earned around $20 million during his 15-season career in the majors.

UPDATE: Remlinger has decided to sell the bat for the $14,407 bid that didn’t meet the original reserve price. The buyer is Grant DePorter, who’s the CEO of Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group and plans to display the bat first at Harry Caray’s Restaurant and then at the Chicago Sports Museum. Sosa is thrilled, I’m sure.

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

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The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.

Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.

The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”