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Madison Bumgarner hits a lot of dingers. Not just a lot of dingers for a pitcher, either: in the last three seasons, he’s hit 11 homers in 205 plate appearances, or one in 5.4 percent of his plate appearances, which is the same rate Mike Trout has over his last three campaigns. On Thursday, the Giants eschewed using the designated hitter against the A’s in Oakland so that Bumgarner could hit for himself, and they were rewarded with a double. Sure, he’s not good for a double every time out, but Bumgarner has power, and he wanted to use it in this year’s Home Run Derby. He can’t, though, because the MLB Players Association won’t let him.
Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy told the media as much, that they didn’t feel it was fair for a pitcher to take a position player’s spot in the annual All-Star Game event. That’s disappointing, but there is good news: Bochy also told reporters that this would be brought up again to see if it could be allowed in the future, and that there might even be a separate Derby just for pitchers to compete against each other in the future.
A Derby just for pitchers would be fantastic for its absurdity. Yes, pitchers are generally garbage hitters, but that’s against 95 mile per hour fastballs and curves that buckle the knees and change-ups that throw your timing off. Against batting practice, these former high school and college bats can just let it rip. Forget Bumgarner going yard repeatedly: can you imagine watching Chris Sale trying to hit a ball as hard as he can, with just limbs and elbows all over the place? Or Bartolo Colon swinging so hard his helmet travels further than the ball? Make this happen, MLBPA.
- It’s not like pitchers would fare any worse than this professional hitter, who swung — and swung late! — at a pitch out.
- Here’s why that Save America’s Pastime Act is a river of molten sewage and lies.
- Patrick Redford went in on the Act and minor-league wages over at Deadspin as well, and at The Hardball Times, the issue is brought up that minor-league wages might be deterring talent from joining the league in the first place.
- MLB’s press release on the matter was worse than anyone could have imagined, but don’t worry, Grant Brisbee wrote a helpful translation of what they were actually saying.
- Jay Bruce has a no-trade clause, but he’d be willing to waive it for a contender. Like, say, the Indians, who have won 13 games in a row and lead the AL Central.
- Coastal Carolina won their first national title and the College World Series, and did so in dramatic fashion.
- The Red Sox are expected to face sanctions for their international signings, as MLB was investigating whether they moved money around between signings in order to eschew the $300,000 limit imposed on them for going over budget two signing periods ago.
- The Dodgers lost Clayton Kershaw to the disabled list with a back injury, but don’t worry, they immediately went out to make it more depressing by trading for Bud Norris.
- This, on Jose Reyes and the question of responsibility from Stacey May Fowles, is worth your time and understanding.