In leaving the game, I walk away secure in the knowledge that I accomplished nearly everything I ever set out to do. With the Giants trying to clinch against the Tigers, Affeldt entered in the eighth inning of a 3-3 game and walked the leadoff batter.
Then, there are the goofier off-field moments. Bochy pointed to Affeldt’s contributions in Game 6 of the 2010 NLCS and and also his brilliant outings in the 2012 World Series and Game 7 a year ago as highlights. The lineups and the rotations would change, but one constant during that run would be the presence – and the consistency – of Affeldt in the Giants bullpen.
“I feel like I’ve put together a career where I don’t have to play or I can play”, Affeldt told the San Francisco Chronicle. I know all too well.
Teammates have good-naturedly made him a punching bag for years and Affeldt dishes it out just as hard. He spent one more season there before joining the Cincinnati Reds on a one-year deal in 2008. He has pitched the last month with braces on both his knees. He’ll now have extra time with his wife, Larisa, and three sons in their Spokane, Washington home.
“I know that once you leave the clubhouse, you’re out”, he said. “I’m going to take my ball and go home”. And there were times I was at the field that I wanted to be home. I’m not going to lie. Nowhere else in this country-again, based on my experience as a 14-year major leaguer and the conversations I’ve had with other players-is the opposition treated in such a repeatedly vile and borderline threatening manner.
While it’s often hard for a middle reliever to stand out from the crowd, Affeldt has definitely left his mark on the Giants organization.
Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo have been part of four core relievers on each title team three of the past five years. We have three rings and he played a critical role in all three. “And I’m certainly thankful for all he did for me”.
Affeldt has done just about everything you can do in this game. Last season, Affeldt posted a 2.28 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.
The best part about all this is Affeldt never shied away from his weird luck with injuries. Missing 34 games this season while serving two separate stints in the disabled list, Affeldt added to his bad luck when he injured his knee while playing with his children on an August 24 off day.
Yeah, that’s right, I said it. “With the amount of free time I have now to be around outdoor things and knives and barbecues, she’s really, really concerned”.
“He’s going to have to hire a full-time trainer”, Bochy joked.
The 36-year-old left-hander announced his retirement Thursday morning.
“He takes it well, gives it back very well, he’s the go-to guy when you want to have a laugh”, Bochy said. Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also share what I won’t miss about life in the Bigs.
I m playing, Vogelsong said. And, of course, he was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the World Series last October in Kansas City – the same place where he began his career and coped with feelings of failure and insecurity. He said he has several teammates on the Giants, including Matt Cain and Buster Posey, whom he considers “closer than a brother”. And that makes them subject to more frequent testing. We ll see where the wind blows me.