Patrick Mooney of The Athletic reports that someone sent racist messages to Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. via his Instagram account. MLB and the MLBPA are investigating. If they figure out who it is, someone is gonna get a ban hammer from baseball games, I imagine.
A lot of people act as if racism is some historical artifact or a trait limited to the only truly evil and twisted. Meanwhile, all it takes is four bad relief outings in April for some probably normal-seeming guy named Chad or something to drop N-bombs on a relief pitcher’s Instagram page. Racists haven’t gone anyplace. They just try a bit harder to hide it these days. Just a bit, though.
Edwards has had a rough start to the season and was recently sent down to Triple-A Iowa to work on stuff. I’d say that whoever decided that Edwards not pitching as well as he did in past was worth this level of hostility has a lot more to work on.
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.”