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.
"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.