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writing for godot

Munch versus the Mad Bum - You’ve got a really dirty mind, you know.

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Written by Zepp Jamieson   
Saturday, 15 June 2019 22:50

June 15th, 2019

Y’know, I don’t want to write about fucking Trump. I’m tired of typing with the taste of whatever I ate several hours earlier in the back of my throat. The man is a disgrace, and he makes me sick.

So let’s talk about baseball for a bit. Fun stuff, not scores and stats. The stuff that makes baseball goofy and endearing.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I want to put Trump on a batter’s tee in Oracle field in San Francisco, and have the biggest, meanest hitter in baseball—Cody Bellinger, say, or maybe Mike Trout—and Barry Bonds Trump’s ass right into McCovey Cove.

Well, I’m not going to do that. For one thing, simple physics shows the sheer ridiculousness of this suggestion. Even Babe Ruth at his prime didn’t have the bat speed needed to propel a 239* mass 355 feet in order to land with a splash in McCovey Cove. Also, these are twitchy and paranoid times, and talk of hitting the president with a baseball bat could result in a less-than-friendly visit from the Secret Service.

So let me be clear: I do not advocate hitting Donald Trump with a baseball bat. Don’t do it. Not a good idea. No, not even with an aluminum bat! There’s a fad breaking out of pegging politicians with milkshakes, and while that would be a soul-satisfying event, as mentioned these are twitchy and paranoid times, and the Secret Service would probably pump 250 rounds into you before Trump could figure out what flavor shake you hit him with. If you want to keep Trump twitchy and paranoid, just shout “Impeach!” at him everywhere he goes.

So: cute baseball story.

Oddly enough, it actually does involve Oracle Park and McCovey Cove.

If you’re not a baseball fan and are somehow still reading this, Oracle Park, sometimes known as Corporate-Sponsor-of-the-Month Park, sits right at the juncture of Mission Creek and the San Francisco Bay. It forms a little basin within the Bay that is officially called China Basin but which fans nicknamed McCovey Cove in honor of the famed Giants slugger. It became famous during the splendid but suspicious late-career power surge Barry Bonds enjoyed, when he deposited dozens of balls in the water, where an armada of fans in kayaks and canoes jostled in hopes of catching one of his record-setting homers.

Balls still plonk into the Cove on a regular basis to this day, but to the disgust of the local fans, a large majority of those balls are hit by the opposing team. The Giants are rebuilding, glory days in the past.

They should talk to the Dodgers. They’ve been rebuilding since 1988, and have gotten really good at it.

But the Dodgers and Giants have the most famous rivalry in baseball, so naturally, the Dodgers were the visiting team in this story. And that’s part of the mix. If the Giants had been playing the San Diego Who Deys or the Cincinnati They Still Have a Team?, things might have been different.

The Dodger batter was named Max (“Munch”) Muncy, who kind of exemplifies Dodger luck. Muncy spent his first two years with the Oakland A’s, and he hit .196 (that’s really not good) and hit a total of five home runs, a total most team mascots could match. With a sigh, Oakland released him, and the Dodgers signed him, dirt cheap. In 165 games since, he’s hit 51 homers, hitting a respectable .269. For the Dodgers, it was a bit like ordering a Ford Focus and getting a Ford GT due to a mixup at the dealership. Team management blinked in disbelief but didn’t complain.

As you may have surmised, it was this self-same Max Muncy who hit a ball into McCovey Cove.

Now, the Giant’s pitcher was a fellow named Madison Bumgarner (“Mad Bum”). Thus the title of this piece. For those who were expecting some sleazy anal porn, I’m sorry, and Xhamster is that way. Enjoy.

Now, I know nothing about Bumgarner as a person. For all I know, he’s genial and even jovial, fun at parties, the sort of guy you like to have a beer with. But when he’s on the mound, he pitches with an emotional state that psychiatrists call “Having a large stick up his ass.” (OK, maybe a LITTLE anal porn…). He’s uptight, and a bit too tetchy for his own good. A few years back, he had a verbal exchange with then-Dodger Yasiel Puig when he thought Puig’s bat flip following a moon shot was a bit too enthusiastic, and called him up on it. The Cuban Puig didn’t speak much English then, but picked up on the tone and gargled a couple of quarts of florid Spanish back at him. And it was ON, baby!

Puig probably wasn’t the best choice with whom to start a feud; he has made a cottage industry of trolling uptight pitchers, and from then on, whenever he faced Bumgarner, he did so with an amazing display of twerking, tongue flicking, bat licking and suggestive waggling of the eyebrows. Bumgarner, who really should have known better, was visibly seething at times. Dodger fans were delighted, Giants fans found their liberal values tested.

So when Muncy hit a Bumgarner pitch into the cove, it was probably the first time he had managed that particular feat. He took a couple of moments to admire the flight of the ball. Bumgarner was unamused. Muncy related after the game, “I hit the ball and then he yelled at me. [Bumgarner] 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.’”

As far as trolling goes, this was Harvard Lampoon level pitcher-baiting. “Go Get It Out Of The Ocean” was an instant classic. T-shirts were made, in Pantone 294 and with the word “Ocean” in Dodger script. Several Dodgers, including Muncy, gleefully wore the shirts during practice.

There is an unconfirmed report that Puig, now with the Cincinnati They Still Have a Team?, got a T-shirt and sent it to Bumgarner, but not before signing it, “From your good friend Puig. I like you.”

So this week the Dodgers and the Giants play again, this time in Dodger Stadium. The good news is that there are no large bodies of water near the park, and in fact nobody has ever actually hit a baseball out of the park. Maybe if the hitters imagined Trump’s face on the baseball...nah. I’m already in it deep enough, thanks.

Several outfits are selling variations on the “Go get it out of the ocean” Tees, and they are flying off the shelves. It seems very likely selling the Tees will be a major, if brief industry in the huge Dodger Stadium parking lots before each of the games, especially the one Mad Bum is pitching.

Now there’s two ways Mad Bum could bring this all to a grinding halt. One way is to go out and pitch a perfect game. Given that perfect games happen about once every 10,000 games, and Bumgarner isn’t as overpowering as he used to be, we’ll call that ‘Plan B.’

The other is to show up on the field pre-game wearing one of those shirts. Ideally, he would be wearing the very shirt Puig sent him, assuming a) that such a shirt actually exists and b) Puig didn’t taunt him by sending a shirt that is three sizes too small. Made sure the media notice. Maybe do an interview with a Dodger announcer while wearing it.

It would be self-deprecating and endearing. It would be bad for the T-shirt vendors, but good for Bumgarner and the Giants. It would nullify the original troll, and put Mad Bum up one.

Or he could go whack, um, somebody with a baseball bat. That would be a crowd-pleaser, too.

Nah. I would hate to see Mad Bum get shot. It would be superfluous. Muncy already nailed him.

 

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