ESPN Analyst Xavier Scruggs Reacts To Madison Bumgarner Ejection

Madison Bumgarner close up
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Sports

The ejection of Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Madison Bumgarner has had the baseball world talking, even days after the fact. ESPN and MLB Network analyst Xavier Scruggs has also chimed in.

"It was like he was waiting for a reaction," Scruggs said of the umpire on MLB Off Base on Thursday. "That was my issue with it. I could almost care less about the strike zone right now. I care more about the idea of an umpire trying to bait somebody into a reaction so he can throw them out. That's what I didn't like."

Scruggs' Baseball Experience

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Xavier Scruggs
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Scruggs, 34, has experience playing the game at the highest levels. He made his major league debut for the St. Louis Cardinals in September 2014 and hit his only career home run as a member of the Miami Marlins in 2016.

His greatest success came in Korea. In two years with the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization, Scruggs hit 61 home runs and batted in 208 runs. The Dinos went to the 2017 Korean Series but ultimately lost to the Doosan Bears.

The MadBum Ejection

San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner
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The ejection came after the first inning of Wednesday's Diamondbacks-Marlins game. Bumgarner had his hand checked for a foreign substance, a requirement after the MLB cracked down on foreign substances last season.

The umpire, Dan Bellino, checked Bumgarner's hand but wasn't looking at the hand. He was staring daggers at the three-time World Series champion. Bumgarner looked up, exchanged words, and Bellino ran the Diamondbacks starter from the game. Bellino later apologized for the incident.

Not Bumgarner's First Rodeo

San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner pitching during Spring Training
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Bumgarner has had run-ins with umpires before. The most notable encounter came during a September 2015 game against the San Diego Padres. Bumgarner, then with the San Francisco Giants, threw a pitch that home plate umpire Joe West called ball four, walking a batter.

West and Bumgarner proceeded to have a staredown as the next Padres batter walked to the plate. The now 32-year-old southpaw was not ejected in that exchange. These two would have another incident, where Bumgarner struck out looking but didn't realize it was strike three, causing West to laugh.

Bad For The Fans

San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner walking off the field
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Scruggs provided an interesting point that adds to the terribleness of this ejection. "Think about it from a fans' perspective," he said. "It's not too often you get to see Madison Bumgarner come over from Arizona and play in Miami."

With the way the MLB schedule is set up, the Diamondbacks and Marlins are scheduled to play each other just six times this season. The two teams have already played three of those games in Miami, and are set to meet again for three games in Arizona starting on May 9.

A Miami Marlins fan who wanted to see Bumgarner pitch had one opportunity to do so, and it was cut short because of a bruised ego.

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