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Retiring MLB pitcher: Phillies fans are too mean

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Retiring MLB pitcher: Phillies fans are too mean

Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt is retiring from the game of baseball after 14 years of being one the most consistent lefty relievers in baseball, particularly when it comes to playoff games. Affeldt has one of the best postseason ERAs (0.89) of all time and is no stranger to performing in hostile environments.

But there is one city in particular that Affeldt will not miss traveling to. The southpaw dished to Sports Illustrated on Thursday about what it was like to pitch in Philly and his account feeds into the reputation of their fans being some of the meanest and nastiest in the world of sports.

Here is part of what Affeldt wrote:

"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.

We are out here to play a game, and even though we are paid handsomely to do so, professional athletes should not be subject to vulgarity, personal attacks or epithets. Sadly, in Philadelphia, this kind of fan conduct is far too typical. The irony is, while Phillies fans succeed in making many players dread traveling there, they also (not surprisingly) impact the decision-making process of those same players in free agency."

His last line may be the most interesting of all. He suggests players may not want to sign there based on vitriol from their fans. It does, of course, make plenty of sense. If a fanbase treats a player terribly, what would make that guy then want to go play for their team?

I've personally talked to several Nats relievers over the years who say Philly is the hardest place to pitch. Complicating matters is the fact the visitors bullpen is embedded in the right field stands. It allows fans to yell anything they want within an earshot of a team's relief staff.

Affeldt's comments could be something to keep in mind in the coming years. The Phillies are rebuilding, but at some point could decide to accelerate that process by signing free agents. Money talks, of course, but Affeldt probably has good reason to throw that out there.

Click here to read Affeldt's full story, which has some great insight about what it's like to play in the big leagues.

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

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