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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hartlaub: For the love of the snot rocket: Why Bumgarner’s Farmer John is good for baseball

Dobbs…get some.

Madison Bumgarner’s grand slam in his last start against the Colorado Rockies was a hell of a statement. But the exclamation point came at the end of his trip around the bases – when the pitcher placed his left index finger on his nose, and emptied the contents of his right nostril near home plate.

As the lefty gets ready to take the mound again tonight, I have a hard time explaining why the Bumgarner snot rocket is pretty much my favorite thing in Bay Area sports right now. In theory, I think it’s disgusting. I would punish one of my children if they did the same thing in front of a single neighbor, much less 43,000 fans. I see the Kleenex stock I’m planning to retire on plummeting like a Tim Hudson sinker ball …

And yet, in a backwards way, I think every time Bumgarner executes a Farmer John, it purifies the game.

...By the time Bumgarner hit the grand slam last Saturday, I knew with 100 percent certainty what was coming at the end. No fist pump. No arms in the air praising God. No secret hand signal to his wife or dad or second grade teacher. Cross the plate. Finger on the nostril. Blow.

I suspect there are people in Bumgarner’s life who have expressed their displeasure with his tradition. His wife, his parents, maybe the Giants organization. It must drive his agent crazy. (I wonder if anyone on the Bumgarner team has tried to turn this into a positive. I’ve got Mucinex on the line! They want to put you on the front of the bottle!)

I hope he never changes. Celebrate your first no-hitter with a double Farmer John before hugging Buster Posey. Fire a snot rocket on ESPN when they announce your retirement. Evacuate the nostrils on the podium at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Baseball is a little more disgusting, and so much better, for your efforts.

Repoz Posted: April 17, 2014 at 09:10 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants

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   1. Howie B. Posted: April 17, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4687590)
In Junior High we used to call that "Billy Bucking" - On the first page of Steinbeck's The Red Pony, the farmhand Billy Buck is described as putting his finger against one nostril and blowing to clear the other one.
   2. Hal Chase School of Professionalism Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4687644)
Jeez... junior high kids making Steinbeck references. Even if it was about snot, you should be proud. I've taught middle school for 15 years now and the jokes rub off. I sometimes get adults looking at me as if to say, "Really? How old are you?"

The immediate response in my head is to refer to them as "boner breath" or tell them they suck.
   3. Tin Angel Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4687645)
Bumgarner is awesome. Someone pointed out yesterday that he's only a month older than George Springer.
   4. just plain joe Posted: April 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4687729)
"Snot Rocket" would be an awesome name for a band.
   5. alilisd Posted: April 17, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4687771)
The immediate response in my head is to refer to them as "boner breath" or tell them they suck.


You should do both.
   6. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 17, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4687913)
Where was Brian McCann?

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