Madison Bumgarner speaks to the media on her first day back

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Madison Bumgarner speaks to the media on her first day back

Monday was the official report date for spring training 2022. Madison Bumgarner showed up to camp for the Arizona Diamondbacks with a long beard. It makes him look a little thinner, but he says he hasn’t lost any weight. He just decided to let it grow. Although it resembles the beard of the former San Francisco Giants closer to Brian Wilson, it is not a tribute to him.

Madison Bumgarner spoke to the media Monday afternoon at a press conference. He spoke on several topics.

Press conference

On how he feels:

Good. Really good, actually. Usually I go in and get my feet a little more wet. Today I upped the intensity a touch from what I would usually do on day one, and it all went well.

On what it’s like to make a fresh start after a tough 2021:

I would like to sit here and tell you that I forgot about it and we moved on. That’s the point. We are here, and we have a fresh start, and we are going to enjoy it. But I don’t know if anyone forgot it. It’s quite difficult to go home.

You can learn a lot (lose 110 games), and you can learn a lot every year. Whether you win the World Series or end up in the middle of the road, there’s always a lot to learn.

If he had had the chance to talk to the new pitching coach Brent Strom:

Yeah. Not as much as I would like. I can’t wait to be able to do that. Obviously we haven’t been allowed to do that for most of the offseason, but I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be a really good fit here.

I heard a lot of things (from guys in the league). Nothing bad). I have an idea. But everything is aligned with what you imagine. I think it’s gonna be good.

On whether his off-season pitching schedule was different given the uncertainty of the report date:

No different. I sped up like we were going back to spring training normally and tried to hold on to that. (You want) to keep building as much as you can. It’s tough without pitching in real games, but I think I did a good job.

On how he feels now compared to how he would feel on this date in a regular spring:

Maybe somewhere between where I would right now and the normal start of spring. There’s no way to replicate the games, even the spring training games. But I think everyone did their best.

On his thoughts on the double headers being nine innings again:

It was pretty cool when we had to play a doubleheader knowing it was going to be two sevens instead of two nines. But I’m a traditionalist, so I’d rather it be like we’re doing now, two nine-inning games. It sucks a little more, but I like the traditional baseball style better.

On whether he is responsible for lobbying Torey Lovullo being the designated hitter at certain times:

No. (Laughs) I didn’t (even) bring bats or order bats.

On the National League now having a designated hitter:

Everyone knew it was coming, so it’s no surprise to me or anyone else, I guess. If I was the only fan, then I would go back 20 years. (Note: He later said, “I said 20s, but I meant the 80s.”)

Not being able to hit his 20th career home run:

(Laughs) Yeah, it’s unfortunate. I’m glad you brought that up. I had almost forgotten it until today. (Smile)

On whether he will be asked to pinch in the extra innings:

We’ll see. Hopefully it won’t come to that.

On his favorite memory as a hitter:

If (Luke) Weaver was standing here, I’d say hit a Weaver home run (while Weaver was with the St. Louis Cardinals). (Laughs) I don’t know.

Two circuits on the opening day of Chase Field in 2017?

Yeah, that was pretty good.

On whether his workout routine was different with the shorter ramp-up:

No, it was quite similar. I don’t notice many differences that some people make. I’ve mixed up my workout routine quite a bit, but it’s still somewhat similar. So everything looks pretty much the same from start to finish.

It’s always evolving, trying to find an edge trying to improve. Sometimes these searches lead you in the wrong direction and end up being worse. (Laughs) But it’s always trying to find that advantage somewhere. You always feel like you’re on the right track until you see it’s not, but I feel good where I am.

On how 2022 should compare to 2021:

Everyone thinks a little differently and perceives things differently. But I think everyone knows we’re not the team we showed you last year. I think we can go out and accidentally do better than that.

On why he thinks there isn’t much difference between the first and last place teams:

I do not know. Playing mostly against teams, I would have, early in my career, had some of my worst games against bottom-place teams. (If you are) around that point, you learn pretty quickly that there’s not that big of a difference.

If he sees himself in a leadership role:

I don’t know if I would put it that bluntly. I’m just trying to do what I think is best for each guy and help us be a better team, mostly. Whatever it is, it’s not always fair, and people don’t always handle it, the way I think they would. Often this is the case, it’s just that everyone is different. I’m just trying to do everything I can to help us be a better team and help me be a better teammate.

On the ABC’s quick turnaround being achieved and the start of camp:

I would have liked a bit more time to pack but other than that I don’t think it would be too bad.

(Editor’s note: There were three more questions, but the background noise drowned them out in the recording.)

Main picture:

Embed from Getty Images

Players/managers/coaches mentioned:

Madison Bumgarner, Brian Wilson, Brent Strom, Torey Lovullo

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