Madison Bumgarner sounds close to philosophical breakthrough

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Giants starter Madison Bumgarner lost a close game on Sunday afternoon against the Dodgers. He gave up a first-inning solo home run to Max Muncy, which turned out to be the deciding factor in a 1-0 loss. He lasted seven innings, giving up the one run on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts, lowering his ERA on the season to 3.83.

Bumgarner wasn’t happy about Muncy’s behavior after hitting the homer into McCovey Cove. Muncy dropped his bat, watching his homer as he slowly began his trot around the bases. The veteran lefty yelled at Muncy, telling him to run the bases rather than gawk at his homer.

After the game, Muncy discussed his conversation with Bumgarner, delivering what may be the quote of the year. Via SportsNet LA, Muncy said he told Bumgarner, “If you don’t want me to watch the ball, you can get it out of the ocean.” Muncy added, “I definitely hope this doesn’t turn into a [Yasiel] Puig thing, because I don’t want that on my shoulders.”

Bumgarner, who has a reputation around the league for being a red-ass, was surprisingly introspective after the game. Via Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, Bumgarner said, “I can’t even say it with a straight face but the more I think about it, I should just let the kids play. But I just … I can’t. … They want to let everybody be themselves, then let me be myself. That’s me.”

In saying “let the kids play,” Bumgarner is referencing Major League Baseball’s ad campaign which featured the league promoting hitters being expressive at the plate. Bumgarner seems very close to a philosophical breakthrough on this issue. He just can’t get over the impulse to yell at players who do anything but look at the dirt solemnly and quickly jog around the bases after homering off of him.

I believe in you, Madison. I believe you can let the kids play.