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Madison Bumgarner: ‘It only took [Yasiel Puig] seven years to learn how to hit that pitch’

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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.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.