Why former Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt is so against using an opener

Why former Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt is so against using an opener

In four of his first five MLB seasons, former Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt was used both out of the bullpen and as a starting pitcher. 

He never started a game for the Giants after joining them in 2009, however, and his last start came all the way back in 2006. The way he sees it, a pitcher is either a starter or reliever, and don't even try to say the word "opener" around him. 

"That's not how you play the game," Affeldt said Thursday on KNBR when asked about the Giants' usage of an opener.

Affeldt considers himself a "traditionalist" when it comes to baseball. His next point about the usage of the opener was one that hasn't been thrown around too often, though. 

"Now how am I gonna do a contract? I'm gonna sign as a reliever and I'm gonna sign for $5 million a year. What if I'm a free agent and all of the sudden now I have to do some openers?" Affeldt said. "Now I'm not getting any holds. Everyone's gonna say why's it all about the money? Well I'm sorry, but it is, especially if I'm a free agent because it's all about the money when it comes to the owners, too. 

"Is there a new contract for an opener?" 

The more the opener becomes a regular occurrence in baseball, the more these questions will be brought up. Free agency was a mess this past offseason and the wrinkle could be a tricky one for both sides. 

Giants manager Bruce Bochy used reliever Nick Vincent as an opener on Tuesday against the Blue Jays, and the first attempt didn't quite work. He allowed three runs in a 7-1 loss as the team's issues in the first inning only continued.

[RELATED: A running diary of Giants' failed first opener experiment]

"You're messing with everybody's thought process. ... The opener is not the answer," Affeldt said. "I'm sorry, that's not how the game is played."

Affeldt joins a long list of former players who are against the opener as they unleash their war on analytics. But Bochy and the Giants following Einstein's rule of insanity while in last place and handing over a lead nearly every game in the first inning probably isn't the best idea either.

Buster Posey misses third Giants workout for personal reasons, per Gabe Kapler

Buster Posey misses third Giants workout for personal reasons, per Gabe Kapler

The Giants went through their sixth day of work at Oracle Park on Thursday. For the third time, the longtime franchise star was not in the building. 

Buster Posey again missed the workout Thursday for personal reasons and "is still working through some things," per manager Gabe Kapler. 

"Buster is still working through a personal issue, and I want to respect his privacy," Kapler said. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Posey reported to camp Saturday and spoke with reporters, admitting he still had some reservations about playing this season during the coronavirus pandemic. The Poseys have two young children and he noted he would pay attention to how things looked at camp but also around society in general. 

During an appearance on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks," president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said earlier Thursday that the Giants would respect any decision Posey makes. 

"I think he's continuing to evaluate things on a day-to-day basis and frankly I think there's a few guys in that boat, certainly guys with young families, and certainly Buster is in that boat," Zaidi said. "It's something else to think about. I don't want to get into other personal things that he may be thinking through. Ultimately we're going to respect the decisions that our players make."

Posey isn't the only player mysteriously missing from camp. Center fielder Billy Hamilton and left-handed reliever Jarlin Garcia were both expected to be on the Opening Day roster, but neither has been seen and both were placed on the 10-day Injured List. Kapler has said a couple of times that he cannot reveal more information about the two. 

"That's all I can share on that front," he said Thursday after confirming they were on the IL for medical purposes.

Teams are not allowed to reveal any information related to COVID-19 tests if players do not give permission, although it's not totally clear what the situation is with Hamilton and Garcia. In Posey's case, the initial tests came back negative, and he was a full participant in workouts over the weekend. 

[RELATED: Giants' list of prospects in camp has many intriguing names]

Like Zaidi, Kapler reiterated that the Giants will back any decision Posey makes, regardless of what that means for a team that currently doesn't have a clear favorite to even back up Posey. Rob Brantly and Tyler Heineman are fighting for that job

"Because of what we're up against right now, we're going to take a family-first approach to this," he said. "We will take it on as a responsibility to scramble as necessary but we don't want to rush these personal decisions and we want to respect and honor the stresses that people have that we may not be seeing."

Giants' tentative 2021 MLB schedule includes odd Opening Day quirk

Giants' tentative 2021 MLB schedule includes odd Opening Day quirk

Have you fully digested the 2020 MLB schedule that was released on Monday? Good, because here comes the 2021 schedule! 

MLB released full schedules for next season, and the Giants once again open on the road, but this time in unfamiliar territory. For the first time in club history, the Giants will begin the season in an interleague park with a series in Seattle starting April 1. The Giants play their home opener April 9 against the Rockies. Here's the full schedule:

This will be the 12th consecutive season that the Giants open on the road, something they generally ask for so that they can finish the season at home and have more dates at Oracle Park when kids are out of school over the summer. They will begin the 2020 season in Los Angeles in two weeks (maybe).

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The 2020 season kept teams in their own region as much as possible, which means that the Giants will play the AL West two consecutive years. They were supposed to play the AL Central this season. The Giants will visit the Texas Rangers' new park next June and also have road series in Anaheim and Oakland, in addition to that opener in Seattle. The schedule includes the usual slate of trips to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc., so MLB is at least planning for the likelihood that society and travel are a bit more back to normal next year. 

If fans are allowed back into Oracle Park, there are a few series that stand out. 

[RELATED: Everything to know about the MLB season restart, Giants]

Mike Trout and the Angels visit May 31, Madison Bumgarner's Diamondbacks come for the first time on June 14, and the Houston Astros visit July 31 if you have a lot of pent-up booing you would like to do at some point in 2021.