Yasiel Puig sent Madison Bumgarner a “Don’t Look at Me” t-shirt a day after the San Francisco Giants pitcher uttered those words to the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder immediately before a bench-clearing non-brawl at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers infielder Charlie Culberson, formerly in the Giants organization, engineered the exchange. Puig signed the blue shirt and wrote “I Like You” along with other messages on it. Culberson then directed a clubhouse attendant to deliver the jersey to the opposing team’s locker room. Bumgarner’s teammates received it and hung it in the pitcher’s locker.
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) September 20, 2016
Monday night’s dustup followed a Puig groundout to Bumgarner. The Cuban could not beat the short throw to first. The former World Series MVP snapped his glove and stared in Puig’s direction. Puig glared back, which prompted a “Don’t look at me” response from Bumgarner. Bumgarner and Puig bowed up to each other as teammates stood between. Shoving ensued. Bullpens and benches cleared. But, like so many baseball brawls, not much else happened.
“That don’t make a difference to me, really,” Bumgarner told reporters about Tuesday’s t-shirt. “If it were turned around, I’m sure we’d do the same.”
Puig endures a strange season. Since his return from a humbling stint in the minors, the 25-year-old knocked out a fan’s tooth by throwing a ball into the crowd and jawed with Bumgarner. The former phenom owns three home runs during the September call-up but only six hits in 30 at-bats.
The Dodgers won the fake-fight game while the Giants grabbed the victory after the blue-shirt truce. The Dodgers sit atop the NL West. The Giants, though five games behind their rivals to the south, remain very much in the wild-card race.