Somebody needs to give Jeremy Affeldt his due.
I’m no baseball expert, but when Joe Buck and his sidekicks announced that the official scorer had shared that San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner was the Game 7 winner Wednesday night, they took it as fact and never questioned the statement. Completely unlike Buck. But, the entire baseball world is caught up in Bumgarner-mania and rightfully so. His feats in this World Series have been historic.
It’s a simple formula. Affeldt, the tall lefty and one of the Giants’ “Core Four” relievers over the past five seasons, entered the game with one out in the second inning. The score was 2-2. When he was replaced by Bumgarner, it was 3-2 Giants, the game’s final score. Nothing else constitutes a win.
And yet, throughout the telecast, the information was never rectified, that I saw. Not only that, but we learned the next day that Affeldt’s 22-consecutive postseason appearances without a run scored is the second-longest streak in ML history, trailing only Mariano Rivera’s 23. Again, no mention.
Affeldt once pitched for the Charleston (WV) Alley Cats as he ascended the minors in the Royals organization. He was reserved, gentlemanly, and respectful in his tenure here. I recall interviewing him a number of times. He was always willing to share his insights.
Last night after the win, Affeldt, 35 and with a bad knee, was the most emotional of all those interviewed, stating he now had a third World Series ring for his third son. His voice cracked as he fought back tears. It was genuinely touching. His career had not gone so well in Kansas City. That was part of it. That he has been a rock-solid, sometimes under-appreciated, part of what truly is a dynasty in San Francisco has to be another. Maybe, as he thought of his family, he could also see that his career is nearing its end.
He tweeted, “This is probably my favorite… it means a lot to me.”
Understated, with a great deal of class.