Former Giants ace Madison Bumgarner had his longest start of the 2022 MLB season for the Arizona Diamondbacks in their 7-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night at Chase Field, but his performance wasn't the talk of the postgame press conferences.
An inconsequential home run in the top of the eighth inning was, leading to the re-emergence of old-school Bumgarner, who doesn't like opposing players showing any emotion when it comes at his expense.
With the D-backs leading 7-1, Bumgarner gave up a long solo homer to Nationals outfielder Victor Robles, who admired his no-doubter 413-foot homer to left field.
After the D-backs' win, Bumgarner took exception to Robles watching his homer in a blowout game, calling the young outfielder a "clown" while also invoking former Giants slugger and all-time home run king Barry Bonds.
Bumgarner's comments were relayed to Robles, who naturally didn't take kindly to them and had his own response.
Bumgarner has a long history of incidents with his opposition, dating back to his days with the Giants. He had many confrontations with former Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig. And there was the infamous back-and-forth with Dodgers infielder Max Muncy.
In 2019, after Muncy homered into McCovey Cove and, like Robles, admired his work, Bumgarner had this to say after the Giants' 1-0 loss to the Dodgers.
"He struck a pose and walked further than I liked," Bumgarner said of Muncy. "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 by myself -- that's me, you know? I'd just as soon fight than walk or whatever. You just do your thing, I'll do mine. Everybody is different. I can't speak for everybody else, but that's just how I want to play. And that's how I'm going to."
Fast-forward to 2022 and Bumgarner, who pitched eight strong innings Saturday night, did what he wanted to do after Robles did what he did.
This is a part of Bumgarner's persona that isn't going to go away until he retires. As long as he's playing, as unappealing as it might be to younger players and MLB fans, he going to continue to take umbrage with what he perceives to be showboating.
Bumgarner's war of words with Robles definitely won't be the last of his storied career.