With a first-inning double in tonight’s game against the Cardinals, his 48th of the season, Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy broke the doubles record for catchers, per ESPN Stats & Info on Twitter. Ivan Rodriguez held the record previously, doubling 47 times in 1996 though two of those doubles were hit as a DH. 41 of Lucroy’s 48 doubles have been hit when he has been in the lineup as a catcher (six at first base, one at DH).
Lucroy is having another stand-out year for the Brewers. Along with the ridiculous amount of doubles, he entered the night with a .299/.366/.476 slash line along with 13 home runs and 62 RBI. Add in top-tier defense behind the plate — which includes an elite pitch-framing ability — and he has a case for consideration for the National League MVP award.
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.”