If you pay attention to baseball or rodeos, you have likely stumbled upon the lore around the mysterious “Mason Saunders,” or Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
Bumgarner, a three-time World Series champion, has reportedly been posing as “Mason Saunders” for many years in order to participate in team-roping events at rodeos. Already known to be a different kind of guy, one who hits dingers from the right side as a left-handed pitcher and gets hurt in a dirt bike incident.
That being said, I got curious and started theorizing who could be the next Mason Saunders from each major sports league?
Mitch Moreland, Boston Red Sox
The MLB pick is easy for me, aside from Bumgarner himself Moreland is widely-known for his country boy stature. A Mississippi native, Moreland can be seen in the clubhouse rocking plaid shirts and firing off hot diet-related quotes.
Back in 2018 he was asked about the TB12 method, created by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, since his teammate at the time, Hanley Ramirez, had started it. His response?
“I don’t even know what the Tom Brady method is, man. Is it steak and potatoes, that’s what I’d do.”
"I don't even know what the Tom Brady method @TB12sports is. Is it steak & potatoes? Because that's what I would do."
LOL!This might be the best sound of the day at @RedSox #SpringTraining from Mitch Moreland. He was asked about #TB12 method because Hanley Ramirez is on it now. pic.twitter.com/gpMDzappwg
— Raul Martinez (@RaulNBCBoston) February 16, 2018
Not only is his diet rooted in pure beef and starch, but he also is an avid deer hunter and lives on a farm, according to Christopher Smith of MassLive.com. He even trained his golden retriever to hunt with him.
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
Now a star in the league, Butler has long been a proponent of country music, even with the ire it draws from his fellow NBA colleagues.
Last year, former teammate Karl-Anthony Towns got into a post-game debate about his musical choices. “It’s terrible. It’s so bad,” Towns said after a game with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to USA Today.
“I just had to chase Russ [Westbrook] around and get hit by Steven Adams. I can listen to whatever (expletive) music I want,” Butler said.
“What do you think about KAT’s defense tonight on Steven Adams?”
Jimmy Butler’s response… pic.twitter.com/t374a3oWad
— John Meyer (@thedailywolf) January 11, 2018
The Athletic reported in October that new Heat teammate Udonis Haslem, a league veteran, wasn’t having any of his music choices.
“Nah, we’re not going to allow that because we’ve got our music playing in the locker room,” Haslem said. “We’re getting ready for a game. We ain’t got time for that foolishness.”
Teammate Goran Dragic chimed in as well, saying:
“It’s happening every day,” guard Goran Dragic said. “As soon as I walk in the locker room or when he walks in, he’s singing all the time. He’s got his phone on and he’s listening to the country music. He’s just positive, always positive. Sometimes you have bad days and you see him and it’s like, ‘OK, let’s go.’”
Butler is a Texas native and I can totally imagine him roping some cattle while Jason Aldean blares in the background. I’m not so sure he could keep it quiet, but alas.
Cam Jordan, New Orleans Saints
While I was tempted to go with Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers with this pick, I ultimately decided to go with Jordan because of his love of fishing.
ESPN did a “Hang Time” feature on Jordan in November, taking him out on the Louisiana Bayou to bowfish in the middle of the night.
— Michael DeMocker (@MichaelDeMocker) February 22, 2020
Jordan also said this about Ndamukong Suh’s decision to join the Los Angeles Rams in free agency in 2018, according to NFL.com:
“We could’ve gone fishing on the weekends in Louisiana. We’ve got things we can do, we’ve got places, we’ve got the mentality of what we’re going to do. We want to go deeper into the playoffs than we did this previous year. I feel like L.A., the Rams have a lot of good things going for them … we made the final three, we just weren’t the finalist.”
He already has experience with fish and bowfishing, so he could probably swing it as a secret rodeo roper. I’d like to see that.