In addition to swinging strikes and weak contact, San Francisco Giants fans will be counting on something else this evening when Madison Bumgarner makes his third start of the postseason. The 23-year-old left-hander’s penchant for clearing his nasal passages on the mound has become an endearing characteristic to supporters in San Francisco who go so far as to keep running tallies of his snot rockets throughout the season.
Your fans really are weird, San Francisco.
— Grey (@spacemnkymafia) October 25, 2012
According to @Fawn_Liebowitz, the operator of bumgarnersnotrockets.mlblogs.com, Bumgarner blew 348 snot rockets during the 2012 regular season and 13 more in the post season prior to tonight’s start. That measures out to one farmer’s blow for every 2.5 batters faced, or almost one for as many species of wildlife that Chipper Jones has killed.
While snot rockets aren’t tracked for all pitchers, it’s unlikely that any human being or Hunter Pence is anywhere nearly as active with clearing personal nasal passages as Bumgarner. Even if you were to find someone who compares with Bumgarner in terms of snot-blowing quantity, they’re unlikely to come anywhere close to the tall southpaw in terms of quality. I spoke with one unnamed National League scout who called his sinus clearing technique “plus plus. An 80 all the way.”
Let’s break it down.
Step One: Gasp
Step Two: Finger-Plug
Step Three: Head-Cock
Step Four: Evacuate
Put it together, and what have you got?
A Madison Bumgarner patented snot rocket: