Nori Aoki expected to rejoin Giants on Thursday

7 Comments

Nori Aoki landed on the 7-day concussion disabled list last week, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com that the outfielder is on track to return when he’s first eligible on Thursday.

Aoki passed a concussion test after he was hit in the helmet by a pitch on August 9, but he was forced to leave a game last Wednesday because of lightheadedness. The good news is that Bochy said Monday that he now feels “back to normal.” Aoki did some sprints Monday and was also expected to take some swings.

Aoki, who just recently returned from a fractured right fibula, is batting .302/.368/.387 with four home runs, 24 RBI, and 12 stolen bases over 80 games this season.

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
12 Comments

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.”