Yoenis Cespedes and Madison Bumgarner Held To Different Standards
When Yoenis Cespedes injured himself on his ranch, there was wild speculation as to what he was doing. Despite a complete lack of evidence on this point, it was assumed this was the result of foul play. Some speculated it was him riding a horse or something else. Overall, the assumption is Cespedes was not being forthright with what happened.
In actuality, Cespedes was quite forthright.
When the New York Post finally broke the story of what led to Cespedes’ breaking his ankle, it was reported “Cespedes reported the injury to the Mets, including immediately that he was trying to sidestep a boar.” The report went on to indicate that not only did the Mets believe his account to be true, but that the Commissioner’s Office and Players’ Association also confirmed this account.
In essence, while Cespedes was being painted by a broad brush about deceit and people questioning his willingness to be a baseball player, to his detriment, Cespedes was an honest person. In fact, Cespedes was honest when it mattered most – when no one was looking and at a time when it could cost him money.
Put another way, Cespedes showed integrity. It’s actually ironic his integrity was questioned during the time frame between his injury and the details of how he was injured was revealed. The people who question how much he really wanted to play baseball and accused him of just wanting to cash checks overlook how he homered against the Yankees when he desperately needed double heel surgery and how he is up at 5 AM everyday to work on being ready for Opening Day.
Through it all, Cespedes has shown he will doing anything to play baseball. That includes how he defected from Cuba. That defection included ” included four countries, six boat rides, two trips to jail, an immigration raid, accusations of human trafficking and a dispute with a Dominican baseball agent.”
Knowing his story, no one should ever question how much Cespedes wants to play baseball of his integrity. It’s an unfair and unfounded criticism. We also see it’s a complete double standard.
The Athletic just broke a story revealing postseason legend Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodoes under the pseudonym of Mason Saunders. This is notable because Bumgarner hurt his left shoulder in 2017 in what he described as a dirt bike accident.
That accident effectively helped cost the San Francisco Giants any opportunity to return to the postseason. Moreover, it really was the the final nail in the coffin in the Giants run as World Series contenders.
Knowing what we know now, maybe we should be questioning how Bumgarner’s 2017 injury really happened. Moreover, maybe we should be questioning just how much Bumgarner actually wants to play baseball. After all, this is the same pitcher who signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for less money to stay closer to his farm and his horses in Arizona.
Whereas people were up in arms over the unfounded presumptions Cespedes hurt himself riding a horse, no one said anything about Bumgarner signing with a team so he could ride his horses. While people use Cespedes and his ranch against him, Bumgarner hasn’t been criticized his at all. In fact, he was celebrated for choosing lifestyle over money.
This is not to say Bumgarner should be challenged or criticized. Rather, this is to say Cespedes and Bumgarner are being held to far different standards, and there is no justifiable reason for doing so. In the end, Cespedes is owed an apology for the unfair, unfounded, and at times, outright wrong criticisms directed at him, especially when those same criticisms are not being directed at Bumgarner.