Max Muncy homered into McCovey Cove on Sunday in the only run in the Dodgers’ series finale with over the Giants, a typically close game between the longtime rivals. But what happened after the home run made this one of the moments of the baseball year.
The home run came in the first inning, and Muncy posed briefly at home plate before beginning his home run trot. Madison Bumgarner, prone to redassery at the slightest provocation, immediately jawed at Muncy as he rounded the bases. Muncy did not back down, and kept it going.
Bumgarner was already riled up after a pitch he thought was a strike to leadoff batter Kiké Hernandez, peeved to the point that home plate umpire made a point to demonstratively tell Bumgarner and the Giants dugout to pipe down after the at-bat. Bumgarner was a powderkeg ready to blow at that point, with Muncy providing the spark.
This is nothing new with Bumgarner and the Dodgers, though most of the previous encounters involved Yasiel Puig.
Bumgarner was so mad at Puig’s antics in 2016 that he told him, “Don’t look at me,” which the Dodgers clubhouse made into T-shirts by the very next day. The speedy turnaround for novelty shirts is one of the hidden treasures of baseball.
Time to break out the T-shirts again pic.twitter.com/HDKXnquK3Y— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 9, 2019
It seems like Muncy might spawn the next wave of shirts, thanks to what we found out after the game.
Muncy provided context to his war of words with Bumgarner while rounding the bases, talking with Dodgers reporter Alanna Rizzo.
“I hit the ball and then he yelled at me,” Muncy explained. “He said, ‘Don’t watch the ball, you run.’ I just responded back, ‘If you don’t want me to watch the ball, you can go get it out of the ocean.’”
GO. GET. IT. OUT. OF. THE. OCEAN.
Muncy was more diplomatic later in the interview, explaining that Bumgarner was just upset over making a bad pitch. Muncy even acknowledged Bumgarner’s history with the Dodgers, adding, “I definitely hope this doesn’t turn into a Puig thing. I don’t want that on my shoulders.”
Bumgarner explained his side after the game as well.
Bumgarner: “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.”— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) June 9, 2019
But the damage was done with “You can go get it out of the ocean.”
That quote likely won’t be topped for the rest of the year in MLB. Max Muncy is the champ.