The Mets lineup for tonight’s game was just released. And Juan Lagares is not in it. Eric Young is playing center. For the fourth time in five games. Oh, and Bobby Abreu is in the lineup. Not Lagares, though!
This despite the fact that Lagares is not injured. This despite the fact that Lagares is easily the Mets’ best defensive center fielder. Heck, he may be the best defensive center fielder in the game. This despite the fact that he’s also the Mets’ best offensive center fielder too, hitting .296/.336/.439. This, most notably, despite the fact that Terry Collins said earlier this month that Lagares is his every day center fielder. To this I say:
Why isn’t Lagares starting? Does anyone plan on asking Terry Collins about it today? How about asking Jon Neise how he feels about the team’s best outfielder being benched in favor of defensive whiz Bobby Abreu?
Inquiring minds want to know.
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.”