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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.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?