Horrible news tonight. A’s reliever Pat Neshek lost his baby son, named Gehrig John, one day after he was born.
Neshek left the A’s on Tuesday to be with his wife, Stephanee, as she went into labor and wasn’t with the team as it celebrated its AL West title Wednesday. Stephanee later tweeted a picture of the baby and reported he weighed eight pounds, five ounces. The Neshek family wasn’t given any explanation for Gehrig’s sudden passing.
Pat Neshek last pitched for the A’s on Sunday. The former Twins reliever had a 1.92 ERA in 19 2/3 innings for Oakland this season, making him an obvious candidate for a spot on the team’s postseason roster. The A’s are set to face the Tigers in the ALDS beginning on Saturday.
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.”