Giants fans will never look at a Madison Bumgarner truck ad again without having a violent twitch. After all, now that he’s been beaten up by a dirt bike, who knows what nefarious danger he’s courting in an actual pickup?
Bumgarner, the heart, soul, spleen and pancreas of the San Francisco rotation, is going to miss the next six to eight weeks (the neighborhood of a third of the season) after a dirt bike accident that resulted in a sprained left shoulder and bruised ribs and got him shipped to the disabled list.
In other words, he screwed with the moneymaker, and now the company is locked in a duel with their own worst thoughts.
This should logically take most Giants aficionados, including supervisors and employees, back to that fun-filled evening in 2011 when Buster Posey got trucked by Scott Cousins in a home-plate collision. Or, more distantly, Jeff Kent’s famous O’Rielly Auto Parts loofa injury of 15 years ago.
In fact, if you toss in Posey getting beaned earlier this year, some fans – typically those who believed that even years are somehow magic for them simply by virtue of being divisible by two – will doubtless conclude that the Giants are beset with season-destroying juju that makes low run support seem like skin lotion on an ashy elbow.
Of course, what we’ve done here is taken an internal combustion-related injury, merged it with a heart-of-the-franchise injury and come up with Bumgarner zigging on a dirt bike when sagging was clearly indicated. In fact, the three are unrelated, as anyone with a working knowledge of time and causation/correlation would understand.
But the immediate effect is that the Giants now have a gaping hole in the starting rotation, the thing that was supposed to indemnify him from the roster’s other holes. The team’s working plan, to hold Ty Blach is reserve until it gets a better sense of Matt Cain’s value, is now in shreds, and general manager Bobby Evans now gets to know exactly what Brian Sabean felt in 2011, and what he came close to feeling in 2002.
In other words, now Evans gets to know why general managers drink.
Now there may be more story here, as there was with the Kent cover tale in ’02. Or it may be as simple as Posey’s story in ’11, which couldn’t really be embellished much since it happened under high-visibility lighting.
Either way, the good news here is that if Bumgarner was going to hurt himself, 16 games into the season beats 106 games into the season. Unless the shoulder is damaged significantly (and there’s no need to get out over your medical skis until you need to, kids), the Giants will have time to minimize whatever damage there is to their year. In other words, if eight weeks turns to 12, this is a body blow to a team withgout a lot of margin for body blows.
And maybe Bumgarner, chastened by this incident, will give up any future plans for punching out a cow, wrestling a bear or juggling tractor motors to a medley of Blake Shelton songs.
That’s the good news, as we say. The bad news . . . well, you know that one. So does Buster Posey. We need not get into greater detail.