Madison Bumgarner cannot keep his cool when it comes to Yasiel Puig

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Last night’s barking between Madison Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig sure was fun. Dumb, but fun. As I noted in this morning’s post about the game, this one seemed to be on Bumgarner, as he hooted and yelped at a 1-3 groundout and then repeated “don’t look at me, don’t look at me!” to Puig, which is high comedy.

It’s also nothing exactly new between them. And, like last night’s incidents, they were instigated by Bumgarner. Or, at the very least, escalated by him and his thin skin and, apparently, fragile ego, at least when it comes to Puig.

Take this incident back in May of 2014, when Puig hit a homer off of Bumgarner and then Bumgarner decided to bark at him, Brian-McCann-style:

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Sure, Puig flipped his bat, but what is that if not the hitter’s version of the little hollering and glove-smacking Bumgarner did last night? I guess it’s OK if you’re a pitcher, but not a hitter.

Then there was the time Bumgarner threw at Puig’s feet.

Note: it’s the bottom of the first inning, so it’s not like there was something that led to it in that game. Bumgarner just had a case of the angries, probably held over from the previous May. Throwing a 90 m.p.h. at a hitter’s ankles is totally cool, but DON’T YOU DARE look at a guy!

I know I’m in the bag for Puig, so I must admit, in the interests of fairness, that Puig has been a knucklehead on several occasions himself. He doesn’t play angry like Bumgarner, but he has pissed off a lot of guys. But Ken Rosenthal isn’t in the bag for Puig like I am. As such, it’s probably worth noting what he said about all of this morning more than anything I’m saying:

This is 100% the truth.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. He joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Biden supported Major League Baseball’s decision to pull this summer’s All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law that critics contend is too restrictive.