For the third year running, there will be a “Players Weekend,” in which players are allowed to personalize the name on the back of their jerseys, wear colored spikes and gloves, add personalized patches on their uniform and stuff like that. Think of it as extra free time for kids near the end of the school year. Or a means of helping the players forget that they’ve bargained away substantial rights in the past few CBA negotiating sessions. Free agency was nice, but hey, colorful wristbands!
The biggest change this year: the jerseys are monochromatic:
You can get a better look at all of the teams’ uniforms here.
Which seems a bit odd for a weekend in which the players are supposed to stand out. The stated rationale is so that the 15 pieces of flair (or whatever) the players will be wearing stand out. Not that you can really see the details on the customized cleats and wristbands and what have you, but I suppose it’s “Players Weekend” and not “Fan Weekend.”
As Fisher’s tweet above notes, this year there will also be more latitude given players to use mobile devices up until the national anthem, so figure there will be more social media stuff associated with it.
Players Weekend is scheduled for all games over the August 23-25 weekend.
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.”