San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner looks to third after taking a strike in front of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Erik Kratz, Monday, June 20, 2016, in Pittsburgh.(Keith Srakocic/AP)

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner looks to third after taking a strike in front of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Erik Kratz, Monday, June 20, 2016, in Pittsburgh.(Keith Srakocic/AP)

Hey, now, MadBum is an All-Star — let him hit

Baseball is as boring as darts and waiting rooms. Almost as bad as buying socks. Even Washington Nationals stud Bryce Harper thinks so, and he’s the brash, young face of the game.

So MLB seamheads should jump at the chance to include pitchers in an annual home run derby as a way to spice up the game, right? What better time to have it than All-Star Weekend, which is supposed to be all about the F-words: fans and fun.

When the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner did little more than bat for himself in an interleague game against the Athletics on Thursday night — he doubled in his first at-bat — it created a buzz in baseball circles.

“People like to talk about it,” Bumgarner said.


The Giants won’t allow Bumgarner compete in the real home run derby because they consider it to be a health risk. Don’t blame ’em. Like almost everything else in the game, the event has been known to drag on forever. The longer it lasts, the greater the chance for a less experienced hitter to blow a gasket. MadBum means too much to his team for that to happen.

“And Bum, he’s convinced he could win it,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said recently. “I think he would wear himself down in the first round, he’d try to hit it so hard.”

“If [Bumgarner] is in it, I want to be in it,” Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta said previously.

The players’ union doesn’t want pitchers to play with the big boys, either. After all, there are only a few spots available.

OK, Balls gets that, too.

But why not allow a few of the more qualified pitchers such as Arrieta, Bumgarner and the New York Mets’ Noah Syndargaard to take a round of hacks against each other? Despite what misguided designated hitter supporters claim, not every pitcher is an automatic out. Before they turned pro, several had been the best hitters on their high school or college teams. They take pride in their wood.

As Syndargaard tweeted the other day, “In 2016, I fully endorse a Pitchers Home Run Derby.”

The MLB masterminds have considered a pitchers-only derby, but as usual, they’ve hemmed and hawed about it. See, even when you put the ball on a tee for these people, they’re liable to miss it.

WHATTA COUNTRY! This weekend is the first for NBA free agency, also know as the $illy $eason.

The salary cap stands at $93 million, and each team has 13 or 14 players on its roster. Do the math. The league is so dirty rich because of television, franchises are all but forced to offer outrageous sums of money to a bunch of who-deys.

Take Timofey Mozgov, late of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Please.

Mozgov was the first in line on Friday, when he agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year, $64-million contract.

Roll those figures off your tongue, why don’tcha …

Four years, $64 million.

It’s one thing for Kevin Durant to get a one-year, $26.4-million offer, but this is Timofey Freakin’ Mozgov, for goshsakes. The big lug has career averages of 6.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 0.9 blocked shots per game.

Just wait ’til the salary cap explodes to $113 million or thereabouts at this time next year.

DELLY STRIKES IT RICH(ER): You want more crazy?

OK, here’s more crazy: Matthew Dellavedova agreed to an offer sheet with the Milwaukee Bucks for $38.4 million over four years.

The Cavaliers had hoped to get something for Dellavedova in a sign-and-trade deal. But the Bucks were confident they wouldn’t match the offer, a decision player-coach-general manager LeBron James apparently made already.

Tweeted James only minutes after the news was announced, “Congrats to my brother! @matthewdelly on his deal! Good luck in Milwaukee! Very deserving to you and your family.”

Dellavedova averaged 7.5 points and 4.4 off the bench for the Cavaliers last season. He also played a pivotal role in the NBA Finals — when coach Tyronn Lue came to his senses after Game 3 and removed the St. Mary’s product from the rotation.

TWEET(S) OF THE WEEK: After the Cleveland Indians went on a tear, the Cavaliers replied, “Oh hey, @Indians … your schedule looks familiar.”

“It’s almost like our schedule was rigged . . .,” the Indians responded. Then they cleared up any confusion with this tweet: “1. Google, 2. Ayesha Curry rigged.”

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE: Next month, the Santa Clara 49ers will hold an open practice at Kezar Stadium, where the real ones played for decades, but the olive branch shouldn’t fool anyone. The move reeks of concern for their brand in The City that the Phony-Niners deserted three years ago.

Don’t think the pigeons haven’t forgotten it, either. Bet they won’t wait until the fourth quarter to exact revenge this time.

JUST SAYIN’: No sooner did Clayton Kershaw head to the disabled list because of a bum back than Los Angeles Dodgers left the West Division race with a bum team …

• Now Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti have three months to decide on an NLDS rotation.

• The A’s brought up Dillon Overton, sent down Dillon Overhishead.

• The Niners’ depth chart at wide receiver includes Torrey Smith, Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington … So who gets the first call — 35-year-old free agent Anquan Boldin or 32-year-old free agent James Jones?

• How nice of Patrick Marleau to adopt the black cat that found its away onto the SAP Center ice in the playoffs. But that was a disappointment for Sharks fans who hoped another team would adopt him.Bryce HarperKevin DurantMadison BumgarnerPaul LadewskiSan Francisco GiantsWashington Nationals

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

A view of Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
CCSF begins search for next chancellor amid new challenges

‘It’s arguably the biggest single responsibility the board has,’ trustee says

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

From left, Natasha Dennerstein, Gar McVey-Russell, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Jan Steckel and Miah Jeffra appear in Perfectly Queer’s fifth anniversary reading on Jan. 20.<ins> (Courtesy photo)</ins>
Perfectly Queer reading series celebrates fifth anniversary

Online event features five writers, games, prizes

(Robert Greene/Tribune News Service)
As tensions grow over vaccinations and politics, California lawmakers face threats from public

Anti-vaccine speakers hint at gun violence during routine budget hearing at state Capitol

Dr. Martin Luther King in Sam Pollard’s ‘MLK/FBI’. (Courtesy of IFC Films/TNS)
The superb documentary ‘MLK/FBI’ clearly connects the past to our troubling present

Justin Chang Los Angeles Times Among the many archival materials excerpted in… Continue reading

Most Read