Jeremy Affeldt will retire after the 2015 season, the Giants announced on Monday. The 36-year-old left-hander played in 14 seasons, seven of them with the Giants. He was a part of a freakishly consistent and stable bullpen that lasted about three or four years longer than the typical bullpen, and he was an instrumental part of three World Series titles. In 26 postseason appearances with the Giants, he allowed just two runs, good for a 0.69 ERA.
Let us celebrate Affeldt's very, very nice Giants career.
Affeldt is finishing up his worst season as a major leaguer, and it's been clear by the way Bruce Bochy has used Josh Osich in the late innings that there's been a transfer of power. While it's going to be hard not to remember the reasons Affeldt has been on the disabled list over the years (playing with kids, frozen hamburgers, sneezing, snapping turtles), he'll be remembered primarily as a rare bird of paradise -- a lefty reliever without platoon splits who could keep the ball on the ground. When he was right, he was so, so much fun to watch.
There's a proper retrospective coming in the near future, something that will attempt to do Affeldt's career justice. Videos will be shared. The time he bailed Jonathan Sanchez out in the 2010 NLCS will be duly noted. Until then, I leave you with that game's B-side: his biggest contribution to the Giants' sweep in 2012.
Somehow, I don't think we're seeing or hearing the last of Affeldt. He seems like a guy who is going to stick around in some capacity, whether we like it or not. Kind of like this:
I figured Affeldt was going to be with another team next year, and that made me a little wistful. Somehow, this is a little sadder, even if we don't have to deal with him on the Padres or something.