Bay Area sports characters say the darndest things

This country has an obsession with power pitchers, home runs and cowboys.

In other words: America loves Madison Bumgarner.

The Giants ace has dominated baseball highlight reels recently by hitting towering shots in batting practice by hitting as many homers as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper over their last 190 plate appearances.

Accordingly, the lefty was peppered with questions about his interest in the home run derby before Tuesday’s game.

When asked if the organization would allow him to risk injury by participating in the All-Star Break contest, he said, “I mean, they had me ride a horse on the field. If they trust me more with something like that with 40-some-thousand people going crazy, I mean, and I can’t do a baseball activity?”

And on the day of California’s primary, Bum wants you to know that he’s no politician.

“I want to make it perfectly clear. It’s being portrayed now like I’m politicking to do it. They asked me if I’d do it, I said, ‘Yes,’” he insisted. “I didn’t go up and say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to get me in the home run derby.’ ”

But would he have more dingers if he got more plate appearances?

“I’d have more, I think,” he said. “I mean, I couldn’t get pitched any tougher than I am right now — I know that. I’ve seen 50,000 breaking balls and maybe three fastballs.”

Chip talks Kap

49ers head coach Chip Kelly met with the media on Tuesday when the team held the first day of its mandatory three-day minicamp.

Kelly lauded the media for waiting before asking the questions that people really care about.

“Ten questions without a Kap question,” Kelly acerbically noted, “that’s pretty good.”

But that just opened the floodgates, and it was then revealed that the Niners quarterback was cleared for seven-on-seven drills and is working his way back to full participation. He’ll start a throwing program soon, and a reporter wanted to know if he would be doing that with a helmet on, opening the door for another Kelly crack.

“I would hope so,” Chip said. “Keep the sun off his head.”

Who said this guy doesn’t care about his players?

Karl Buscheck contributed to this report.

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