Madison Bumgarner once dated someone named Madison Bumgarner

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As we wait for the Baseball Industrial Complex to wake up on this Tuesday morning, it’s worth looking at Sports Illustrated’s article about its Sportsman of the Year, Madison Bumgarner. Much of it is devoted to Madison Bumgarner: country boy who puts on no airs at all. But in the middle of all of that comes a weird fact. See if you can spot it:

It’s all true. That he was so good so young that he started playing coach-pitch baseball at age four against seven-year-olds, and is so adept with either hand that he shoots a bow, bats, writes and ropes righthanded, but throws from the left side. That his father, Kevin, wouldn’t let him throw a curveball until he had a driver’s license. That before he dated Ali, he dated a girl named Madison Bumgarner (“No relation, I’m sure of it”). That he was married in a white, open-collar shirt and blue jeans while carrying a pocket-knife. That he bought Ali a cow just before their wedding (though not specifically as a wedding present), and she loved it.

If I met a girl named Craig Calcaterra I’d marry that girl. Not gonna lie about that. Alex Rodriguez feels the same way about a woman named Alex Rodriguez, I assume. That Bumgarner didn’t marry Madison Bumgarner just makes him different than Alex and me.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.