In an incredibly on-brand story, Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan reported at The Athletic that new Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in roping events at rodeos under a series of aliases.
Including December 2019, when he competing as Mason Saunders) and his partner took home a $26,560 prize at the Rio Rancho Arena.
Obviously this is on brand for Bumgarner, who has a history of doing things that aren’t baseball and are somewhat risky. A dirt bike accident in 2017, for example, helped limit him to just over 100 innings during a disastrous Giants season. Bumgarner’s deal with Arizona wasn’t official until after the Rio Rancho event, so for that one he was a free agent. And as The Athletic notes, he’s said before that he ropes right-handed anyway.
And, hey, if you love doing things, there’s hardly ever a reason not to do them! Riding dirt bikes in the mountains is one thing, and a team roping event does involve riding horses, so it’s not without risk. But what in life isn’t without risk, anyway? You could get hurt playing golf, too. Still, with the secret out, Mason Saunders might have to ride into the sunset.