The Mark Twain of the Mound has spoken on “Openers”: “If you use an opener in my game I’m walking right out of the ballpark”, and shown exactly why the San Francisco Giants must sign him now.
Madison Bumgarner is both a North Carolina boy and, apparently, a man among boys when it comes to major league starters. Madison Bumgarner is also the heart and soul of the San Francisco Giants. Sure, they have a lot of good core players who have helped them to win 3 World Series in the last 9 years but none of them are like Bumgarner.
Bumgarner is, if not already a legend, most certainly a legend in the making. And I am not only referring to his best in history World Series exploits or his other incredible clutch performances in playoff games but to the little things as well.
For example, while on a rehab assignment in San Jose in 2017 Bumgarner twice failed to strike out the half price “Beer Batter” and then issued this sincere apology to the fans:
"“Yes I am. I’m very sorry, San Jose, Both times, I tried really hard, but I could not do it.”"
Then, after a 2018 rehab start in which he did strike out the “Beer Batter”, he said:
"“I know that’s pretty important around here, So I tried to make an effort to do that.”"
In an age of sometimes nauseatingly appropriate corporate speak Bumgarner is a throwback. Who could ever forget the “Chevy Guy” nervously presenting a pickup to the Ford loving Bumgarner as 2014 World Series MVP prize. Mad Bum has Spoken, and Shown why the San Francisco Giants Must Re-Sign Him
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And, after some rumblings of Bumgarner using it as a field truck, on his ranch, making special arrangements to have it presented to his father so he could carry baseball equipment to the games he umpires in North Carolina.
Bumgarner is also a throwback in terms of his lack of concern over money. Despite being paid a well under market salary by the Giants he has never complained about it but rather thanked the Giants for the contract and been nothing but apologetic when freak injuries have prevented him from being on the field to live up to it.
He is the pure spirit of what it means to be a man who takes pride in his work. He is a throwback to the days when great heroes spoke the truth freely without regard.
And I think every real Giants fan knows he would walk right out of the ballpark if they ever tried to use an “Opener” on his day to start. And, just for the hope of seeing that day alone, I think he is worth a 7 year contract right now (and would not even mind throwing a little bit into the pot to pay for it myself).
The San Francisco Giants need to sign the man, the myth, the legend, Madison Bumgarner right now!