Madison Bumgarner's game score on June 21 was two. Two is bad. Two is epically bad. Madison Bumgarner's game score on June 26 was 71. 71 is very good. It is excellent. The performance was a nice bounce back. His score of two isn't the lowest of all time, but it is quite low. The score would have probably dipped into negative territory had he stayed in the game longer, but the performance was one of (if not the) the worst of the year. However, he didn't walk anybody. There were no home runs hit. He just seemed to be the victim of some decently hit balls that made their way to parts of the field where people were not. Things seemed to change for the better Sunday evening.
If any skeptics remained, Bumgarner gave them Exhibit B on Sunday night, when he overcame his historically bad start against Minnesota by going on national television, striking out a career-high 11 and holding Cleveland to one run over seven innings in a 3-1 Giants victory....
Only Bumgarner was not 100 percent sure of himself.
"I'm not going to say there wasn't any doubt," Bumgarner said. "It's tough to forget a start like that, but I tried to put it behind me. I was always taught to feel doubt and (succeed) anyway. That's what I did."
We like it when people bounce back. Bouncing back is an integral part of the mythical invisible intangible fabric that cloaks (and confuses) the consciousness of this great country. In Madison Bumgarner's case, we hope for success. He is young. He really did nothing wrong against the Twins: bad luck and historically devastating fate seemed to be the elements guiding the batted balls with perfectly devastating precision. The terrible outing was nothing more than a hiccup.
Though the comparison might not be perfectly analogous, Frank McCourt is attempting his own sort of bounce back. The problem, is that his hiccup seems to have been brought on by a decade long drinking binge. His Los Angeles Dodgers have filed for bankruptcy.
McCourt defended his running of the team, saying he had made it profitable and successful. He also said the Dodgers have tried for almost a year to get Selig to approve the Fox transaction.
"The Dodgers have delivered time and again since I became owner, and that's been good for baseball," McCourt said. "We turned the team around financially after years of annual losses before I purchased the team. We invested $150 million in the stadium. We've had excellent on-field performance, including playoff appearances four times in seven years.
I know it is a bit of a stretch to make comparisons out of the two wildly different scenarios. Sadly, I do believe that there is something in Frank McCourt that makes him feel like Madison Bumgarner in between starts. The Dodgers have had successes since Frank McCourt became owner, but the successes seem to have happened in spite of Frank McCourt (not because of). Everything bad that has happened in the past two years seems to fall into the because of category.
In a way, he's sort of like General Custer (except for the fact that General Custer was decently well liked). If McCourt is Custer, then I assume Selig would be Sitting Bull. I'll stop with the comparisons, because I wouldn't want the image of Selig as Sitting Bull to distort the Bull's legacy. Flimsy comparisons aside, if the Battle of the Little Bighorn (and the McCourt tenure as Dodger owner) could be rated with a game score, we'd probably have to dip into the negatives (with little hope for bounce back).