Bumgarner’s Actions Speak for Him

“To Be – Or Not To Be,
That’s NOT – my question,
Nor my answer.”
…. Madison Bumgarner

During the ESPN post-game interview with Madison Bumgarner of the Giants last night, the writable storytelling words were few to none. The interviewer first asked the lights-out Giants ace and complete game, 3-0, winner over the Mets last night in the NL wild card play-in game “what he wanted his legacy to be once he retired from the game. Bumgarner flashed a brief “deer-in-the-headlights” look, followed by a quiet sigh. The question came on the heels of several other insight-seeking interviewer queries in which Bumgarner struggled with words in ways he never faced in the game against Met batters.

In the game, Bumgarner gave up only 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6. Noah Syndergaard of the Mets was overpowering for 7, surrendering only 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 10 with lightning bolts from Valhalla.

“Why are you asking me all these complicated questions right now?” Bumgarner finally blurted out in frustration, in words close to those recalled here.

“I just mean – how do you want to be remembered?” The field reporter re-rephrased. And as I write these words, I’m hoping that Bumgarner wants for something a register above my inability to recall the name of his last night interviewing nemesis.

And, yes he does!

“I’m a winner.” Bumgarner answered immediately. “That’s all anybody wants to be.” And those words alone became the re-quotable substance of Madison Bumgarner’s post-game recordable insight. That’s also all that made it into writer Mike Fitzpatrick’s Associated Press game written account as a Bumgarner quote in the Houston Chronicle this morning.

And so what? The guy’s a great pitcher – not a great preacher, actor, or politician. We already know that Billy Graham, Charlton Heston, or Barack Obama could not have lasted nine against the New York Mets and their ace, “Thor” Syndergaard on Wednesday. So, why should we put unfair expectations on a guy like Bumgarner – even if his parents did hang a first name like “Madison” upon him at birth. A name like “Madison” almost buries a kid in the expectation that he will someday be eloquence itself.

Well, guess what? Madison Bumgarner is the personification of eloquence. He just expresses himself with the ability to throw mostly unhittable baseballs. And that was the eloquence he spoke during the game and, in our opinion, the reason he shall be remembered as an exceptional winner under great big game pressure situations.

We fans and media simply have to remember that not all great pitchers, or baseball players in general, for that matter,  come packaged with the intellect, insight, and capacity for both spoken and written expression that simply oozes from the soul of a guy like Larry Dierker. If MLB or the Hall of Fame ever gets around to setting up a Baseball Culture Communications Committee for the sake of reaching the public without the middle man non-athlete media handling the production and distribution phases of all print and digital subjects, Larry Dierker would make a great Board Chair for that not-so-little energizer group activity.

Meanwhile, have a nice Thursday, everybody! – The MLB Playoffs are upon us full blast today!


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas


3 Responses to “Bumgarner’s Actions Speak for Him”

  1. Wayne Chandler Says:

    Bumgarner is down to earth. You may remember the story about the Giants bus breaking down during Spring training one year. The bus driver called his company for aid. Bumgarner asked to look at the bus engine, and in a few minutes had repaired something, and the Giants went on.

  2. Rick B. Says:

    Bumgarner’s words sum how every athlete likely wants to be remembered (at least, as a player): A winner. What more is there to say? What else would he like to be known as? A loser? It’s a silly question to ask in the first place.

    Although . . . it got me to thinking about how some other baseball players (and one manager) might have answered that question:

    Mark McGwire: “I’m not here to talk about the past.”

    Sammy Sosa: “Que? No hablo ingles.”

    Rafael Palmeiro: “I have never taken time to think about my legacy.”

    Sorry, the above three were inspired by the infamous Senate hearings on PED use.

    Let’s try again:

    Ichiro Suzuki: (via his translator) “I want to be remembered as the hitter who made singles sexy.”

    Rougned Odor: “I floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee. I knocked out Bautista, like I was Muhammad Ali.”

    Joe Maddon: “That I’m not Drew Carey. Why do you think I grew the goatee?”

  3. stanfromtacoma Says:

    Good for MadBum. The question invited a boastful answer that he declined to give.

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