Madison Bumgarner/Yasiel Puig is arguably baseball’s most famous active rivalry between two individual players. Bumgarner has never quite liked the cut of Puig’s jib since Puig burst onto the scene in 2013, taking it upon himself to dictate how players should act on the field. The Giants’ and Dodgers’ benches have emptied on more than one occasion as a result of Puig and Bumgarner’s distate for one another.
Though the Reds lost to the Giants on Sunday afternoon, Puig got the best of Bumgarner, drilling a solo home run to left-center field leading off the top of the sixth inning.
Puig didn’t even really gawk at his home run, and it would have been completely justified if he had. The ball left the bat at 103 MPH and traveled 388 feet.
Nevertheless, Bumgarner was salty after the game. Per The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, Bumgarner — dripping with sarcasm — said of Puig, “He’s a quick study. It only took him seven years to learn how to hit that pitch.”
Bumgarner has had the lion’s share of success against Puig during their respective careers. Entering Sunday, Bumgarner limited Puig to a .217/.294/.391 triple-slash line with a pair of home runs and three RBI in 51 plate appearances. Bumgarner hasn’t exactly dominated Puig — certainly not to the point where he can chide Puig for taking “seven years to learn” how to hit him. But that’s just Bumgarner being Bumgarner.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been suspended and fined for his actions during Thursday’s doubleheader against the Rays. Boone was ejected from Game 1 after making contact with home plate umpire Brennan Miller and will not be available to manage the Yankees during their series opener against the Rockies on Friday.
The ejection was triggered by a missed strikeout call in the second inning of Game 1, prompting Boone to run out to home plate and deliver one of his lengthier and more bizarre rants of the season. Incensed by Miller’s shaky grasp of the strike zone, Boone repeatedly referred to his players as “f***ing savages” and told the umpire to “tighten this s**t up.”
Exactly when the illicit contact came into play remains unclear, but crew chief Gerry Davis later commented on the situation and said Boone had crossed some boundaries during his tirade. Per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch: “You’re not allowed to argue balls and strikes, so yeah. Yes he did [go too far]. That will all be in the report.”
In his own statements to the press, Boone defended his use of the word “savages,” claiming, “I always just want our guys all the time controlling the strike zone and making it hard on the pitchers. That’s something those guys take a lot of pride in as a lineup.” Several Yankees players, including Luke Voit and Aaron Judge, backed up the skipper’s decision to confront Miller as well, though Voit was the only player to explicitly support Boone’s use of the term.