Jason Giambi hung on for a 20th season at age 43 as sort of a player/coach for the Indians, spending most of the year on the disabled list and hitting just .133 in 26 games.
Yet when asked if he plans to retire, Giambi was unsure:
I’ve been playing this game since I was five years old. That’s your whole life. If you look at it, it’s 40 years of doing the same thing. It’s been unbelievable. It’s been fun. But, I still haven’t made a decision about what I’m going to do yet. Who knows? Maybe somebody’s looking for a broken down 44-year-old to kind of take a few extra hacks.
It’s hard to imagine the Indians or any other team wanting to devote a roster spot to a 44-year-old pinch-hitter who can’t really hit any more, since Giambi has a .185 batting average in 157 games dating back to 2012.
With that said, don’t expect the former MVP to stay out of MLB dugouts for long. He previously turned down coaching inquiries because he wanted to keep playing, so Giambi can almost certainly snag a big-league coaching gig as soon as he wants one.
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.”