Who had the greatest relief appearance in postseason history: Pedro Martinez or Madison Bumgarner?
When Madison Bumgarner shut the door on the Kansas City Royals in Game 7 of the World Series, I called it one of the most brilliant baseball moves and performances of all time. Bumgarner’s entire postseason as a whole may be the best ever.
And with Pedro Martinez’s recent induction in the Hall of Fame, I got a chance to relive his career and watch his relief performance in the 1999 ALDS — a performance that could have cost him his career. It was the cherry on top to one of the greatest pitching seasons of all time.
(Click here to read the ongoing debate)
Since then I have debated which relief performance was more impressive. Which would be the greatest of all time. I ended up with the conclusion that they are 1A and 1B — but Martinez’s performance being 1A. I posed this question on Twitter and had a healthy debate as why Bumgarner’s appearance should be higher. I will now defend my stance.
The San Francisco Giants have unveiled a very unnecessary black alternate jersey today. They take a similar approach to what they did with their last black jersey. Except this time it’s not the team name, but their cap logo on the left side. (Oddly, they won’t have an accompanying cap for this jersey.) It’s the idea of their alternate road jersey, but in black.
Along with the black on black logo, they have orange piping and the sleeve stripe. They introduce a new sleeve patch as well. There will be no name on back, much like the home jersey, and the number will be in the same design as the logo in front.
Pablo Sandoval had made it known he wanted to stay with the Giants. The team reportedly offered him a five-year deal worth around $95 million. The Red Sox reportedly offered him the same length for $100 million. Is the extra $5 million the deciding factor? I don’t think so.
Both teams are great situations. With the Giants, he gets to stay with a team he knows in a city he knows. He is already a hero and there is a comfort there. But Boston offers more exposure, more power in the bats and a potentially exciting new career direction.
Madison Bumgarner = Boss
The San Francisco Giants just know how to win. As an A’s fan, I am jealous and I wonder what could have been had the A’s made it out of the Wild Card round against the Royals. But it doesn’t matter. What I just witnessed was one of the greatest managerial performances of my lifetime.
Entering this game, all the talk from fans called for Madison Bumgarner to start Game 7. Bumgarner has been amazing this entire postseason run, but manager Bruce Bochy knew that he wouldn’t do that. He had a plan and stuck with it.
Bochy knew that there was a chance that he would have to go to the bullpen early, but opted to keep starter Tim Hudson as long as possible before going to Jeremy Affeldt. Affeldt has been on of the most reliable guys out the pen and Bochy used him just enough to get through a couple tough stretches.
Then entered Bumgarner.
Couldn’t really do this picture since I don’t own a Giants cap.
I am still sad that my Oakland A’s are no longer in the postseason. But I am still a baseball fan and I care about what happens in this sport. Which leads me to today, Game 1 of the World Series.
Since my team lost to the Royals, naturally I will cheer for the team that eliminated my team. The Royals are exciting and they haven’t had this kind of success since 1985. They play a fun brand of ball and I am an American League guy. I know that team well. They have this really cool fan. I like them. All signs point for me to cheer for the Royals.
On the other hand, the Giants are the Bay Area and I love the city of San Francisco. Any good mojo that comes the Bay Area’s way, is always good. I have no problems with the team. I don’t hate the team like many other A’s fans. I have tons of friends who are Giants fans — with about half of them on the bandwagon — which is annoying. That’s really the only thing I have against the team: all their bandwagon fans.
So who do I root for? Who should I root for? I’m leaning towards the Royals. They are a better storyline. The Giants already had their fun. Let the new team get a slice of the pie. But if it doesn’t, oh well, good for the Giants.
Now that it’s official, the River Cats have announced their new affiliation with the Giants. Much like last time, the Twitter reaction was not nice and NSFW.
The Sacramento River Cats are ending their ties with the Oakland Athletics. The Triple-A team had been with the A’s for 15 years. It is believed that the popularity of the San Francisco Giants and their fan base would be better than what the current situation is with the A’s, despite the already high attendance numbers.
So in essence, this was a move by the River Cats to jump on the Giants bandwagon and abandon the A’s. At least, that’s how some people on Twitter are in reacting to this news. Some of the language is NSFW.