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The MLBPA won’t let Madison Bumgarner in the Home Run Derby

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Friday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes Madison Bumgarner and the Home Run Derby, the river of lies and sewage that is the Save America’s Pastime Act, and your new College World Series champions.

Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

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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.