Many baseball fans find nothing more annoying than the sport’s “unwritten rules,” like the one that says batters can’t admire a ball they hit the ball out of the park.
Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Max Muncy “broke” that rule Sunday when he hit a towering blast off of San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner in the top of the first inning at Oracle Park.
The ball sailed high over the right field wall and landed in McCovey Cove. It would be the only run the Dodgers needed as they won 1-0.
THIS LEAGUE! pic.twitter.com/F7vUuBW7os
— MLB (@MLB) June 9, 2019
Yes, Muncy watched the ball, and yes, he gave the bat a slight flip, but what he did was hardly being obnoxious or demonstrative. Yet Bumgarner flipped out, yelling at Muncy as he rounded the bases.
Munchy said Bumgarner told him, “You don’t watch the ball, you run.”
Muncy didn’t take Bumgarner’s advice in stride, as it were. He said he shot back with his own advice to Bumgarner.
“If you don’t want me to watch the ball, you can go get it out of the ocean,” Muncy said he told the pitcher.
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) June 9, 2019
“Honestly, I thought it was probably one of my tamer bat flips. I didn’t think it was anything outrageous. I just kind of took one or two steps out of the box and started jogging,” Muncy said after the game, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The home plate umpire had to come out and calm Bumgarner down. After the game, the pitcher expanded on why he was upset, according to MLB.com.
“I can’t even say it with a straight face. The more I think about it, I should just let the kids play,” he said, referring to an MLB promotional campaign. “That’s what everybody is saying, but I can’t.
“He just struck a pose and walked further than I liked. That’s fine. If you want to do that, do it, but I’m going to do what I want to do.
“They want to let everybody be themselves. Let me be myself. That’s me. I’d just as sooner fight than walk or whatever. Just do your thing. I’ll do mine.”
Bumgarner took a lot of heat for his reaction on social media.
Bumgarner embodies everything we hate about the old vanguard of baseball “purists”. Muncy just clobbered your pitch 600ft. You don’t get to be “mad” and then chuck it up to “unwritten rules”. You are just a child having a tantrum on the mound.
— Fernando Frontera (@FernanFrontera) June 9, 2019
Live look at Madison Bumgarner. pic.twitter.com/HhQzCiQQnT
— True Blue LA (@truebluela) June 9, 2019
This angle shows how little Muncy actually “admired” the blast.
Such a tired act from bumgarner. Stop giving up bombs and you don’t have to worry about him pimping your hanging breaking ball https://t.co/hsYDQqYyxz
— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) June 9, 2019
The Dodgers improved to 45-21, 18 games ahead of the last-place Giants, who fell to 26-38.
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