Justin Turner: Madison Bumgarner Known As ‘The Sheriff’

Madison Bumgarner has long held a reputation of wanting to be an enforcer on the field, both of baseball’s unwritten rules and in trying to pitch his team to win, and that boiled over recently when the fiery left-hander was ejected after just one inning pitched.

Bumgarner and the Arizona Diamondbacks were facing the Miami Marlins on May 4, when he had an exchange with umpire Dan Bellino that led to getting ejected. Bellino was conducting the check for foreign substances, but did so for a much longer time than most umpires and while staring Bumgarner in the eyes.

The 32-year-old shared words for Bellino, who promptly threw him out of the game. Bellino since went on to issue an apology for his actions.

“I would like to address my actions on May 4th involving Madison Bumgarner,” Bellino’s statement began. “When I began my MLB career almost 15 years ago, I received some good advice. I was told to umpire every game as if my children were sitting in the front row. I fell short of those expectations this week.

“While I can’t go back and change what happened, I take full accountability. I will learn from this incident, and I sincerely apologize.”

During a recent episode of the “Holding Kourt Podcast,” Justin Turner revealed Bumgarner is regarded by players as being a Sheriff:

“Madison Bumgarner. The Sheriff. … A lot of people call him The Sheriff. I don’t know if it’s self-proclaimed. He’s The Sheriff. He tells people when they’re supposed to run, not run, yells at people, yells at umpire. He’s like The Sheriff of baseball.”

Turner then offered more background on the ejection and acknowledged Bellino’s actions were unwarranted:

“For more context, there were some pitches in that first inning that he wasn’t happy about. So he was kind of barking at the home-plate umpire. He was being The Sheriff to the home-plate umpire as he was coming off the field and kind of telling him that he felt, whatever, that he missed a couple pitches. And then as he’s walking over, the umpire comes over to do the sticky check and I think he overextended his welcome on the hand check. He literally was petting his hand for 30 seconds.”

Bumgarner’s profile on Baseball-Reference does not list ‘The Sheriff’ as a nickname, but rather only the much more publicly known, ‘MadBum.’ His bio page also includes ‘Mason Saunders’ as an alter ego in reference to Bumgarner’s alias when participating in rodeos.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have certainly found themselves on the opposite end of his outbursts, perhaps most notably when Yasiel Puig was on the roster and Bumgarner was still a member of the San Francisco Giants.

More recently, Bumgarner had a run-in with Max Muncy over an objection of how long a fly ball hit into McCovey Cove should be admired. Muncy’s ‘Go get it out of the ocean’ response went viral and was the basis of a bobblehead pose for a Dodgers giveaway.

The Dodgers get their first look at Bumgarner this season in the series opener against the Diamondbacks on Monday.

Julio Urías tied Madison Bumgarner record

Bumgarner’s antics have at times distracted from his accomplishments on the field, one of which Julio Urías matched last October.

Urías earned a seventh career postseason win in Game 2 of the National League Division Series to tie Bumgarner’s MLB record for most wins by a pitcher in the playoffs at age 25 years or younger.

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