San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt, right, looks for a new ball as Philadelphia Phillies’ Maikel Franco, left, rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 7, 2015, in Philadelphia. The Phillies won 6-4. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Jeremy Affeldt, a longtime relief pitcher for the Royals, Rockies and Giants, is retiring from baseball at the end of this season. Affeldt, an above-average pitcher in the regular season, amazingly has one of the best postseason ERAs of all time: 0.86. He wrote a column for SI’s The Cauldron today about what he won’t miss about the game.
And the No. 1 thing he won’t miss: Phillies fans. He should know, having pitched against the Phils in the 2007 (with the Rockies) and 2010 (with the Giants) postseasons. The Phillies were actually the only real team to hit Affeldt effectively in the playoffs. Ryan Howard hit a homer off him in Affeldt’s one inning of work in 2007, and the Phillies got to him for a run in 2/3rds of an inning in 2010.
Despite its anti-Philadelphia stance, the column is pretty entertaining. “Hang on, I know what you’re thinking: Jeremy, do you have any idea how dangerous it is to insult the entire city of Philadelphia?! And yes, I know. I know all too well,” he writes. “So first, let me be clear. Philly is a great sports town, with passionate fans and a palpable energy.”
The problem, according to Affeldt, is that Philly fans cross the line too often — and, indeed, encourage each other to cross the line. I don’t think any Philadelphia sports fan can deny this, actually. We’ve all seen examples of people (usually drunk guys) egging each other on, or attempting to one-up each other when yelling at opposing athletes. Sometimes it’s good natured; other times it’s not. Read more »