Derek Jeter and Paul Konerko weren’t the only ones taking their final cuts in the batter’s box on Sunday afternoon. Mets reserve outfielder Bobby Abreu announced on Friday that he would be retiring at season’s end and ended his career on a high note.
Abreu was 0-for-1 with a walk when he stepped to the plate in the fifth inning. The 40-year-old then lined a 1-2 single to left field. Manager Terry Collins sent in Eric Young, Jr. to pinch-run, allowing Abreu to doff his helmet to the Citi Field crowd giving him a standing ovation. It was a pretty cool moment for a fantastic player.
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Abreu is an interesting case when it comes to the Hall of Fame. He retires with 2,470 hits, including 574 doubles (most among currently-active players and tied for 21st-most all-time), along with a .291/.395/.475 slash line. He has 60 career WAR according to Baseball Reference and 58 per FanGraphs.
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.”