John Lackey and Willson Contreras were ejected from this afternoon’s Cardinals-Cubs game following an argument with home plate umpire Jordan Baker that was, suffice it to say, colorful. Contreras is likely going to face a suspension for his too.
Baker blew a call on what should have been strike three on Carlos Martinez in the top of the fifth inning. There were two outs, so the inning should’ve been over. Martinez stayed alive on the blown call, however, and singled in a run on the next pitch to make it 2-1 Cardinals. That caused John Lackey and Contreras to go nuts. Watch:
Watch Contrereas spike his helmet here, which bounded up and hit Baker:
Both were ejected, because you can’t argue balls and strikes. For his part, Contreras will likely face a suspension for his spike. You may recall that Brett Lawrie was suspended a a couple of years back after slamming his batting helmet down, hitting an umpire. Same thing will likely apply here.
For the record, here’s the pitch chart, showing that Baker did miss the call badly. Not that it justified Lackey and Contreras’ meltdown.
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.”