To see how pointless five-game suspensions are for starting pitchers and how silly the entire appeal process can be, look no further than Indians right-hander Jeanmar Gomez.
Yesterday he was given a five-game suspension for plunking Mike Moustakas over the weekend. Gomez has appealed, but plans to drop the appeal and serve the suspension as soon as he’s done making his next scheduled start Saturday.
In other words, he’s basically just delaying the suspension long enough to a) take his upcoming normal turn in the rotation interrupted and then b) make it so that having to sit out five games doesn’t inconvenience him beyond pushing back his next start by one extra day.
And the end result is essentially just allowing Gomez to dictate when he serves the suspension and how he can minimize the impact on his normal routine. Helluva system.
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.”