05/14/2009 2:24 PM ET
Jeremy Affeldt: Camaraderie counts
Left-hander has fit in well with new team on and off field
One of the reasons I came to San Francisco is because I want to win. There hasn't been too much success for the Giants in recent years, but I considered it a plus that the club is looking for a fresh start and that I could be here on the front end when it happens.
I saw a young, talented roster and a strong pitching staff. Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito and Matt Cain are all guys who can give you big innings, so I figured the bullpen wouldn't be overused. And with Brian Wilson as the closer, a big piece of the bullpen was already in place.
I think I can contribute to this club on and off the field. I was on a winning club in 2007 with the Rockies, so I think I know what it takes to help keep guys upbeat, too. Winning makes everything fun, of course, so I'm looking forward to winning and having that fun in our clubhouse and the bullpen.
Initially, it was important to me to get to know the guys. I wanted to help make sure we got some camaraderie established right away. Obviously, coming to a new team, so many guys already have friendships developed, and they have their own stories, so you want to come in and get to know guys quickly. Luckily, I tend to be an out-going guy so I can usually blend in well.
A lot of camaraderie takes part in a bullpen. I'm one of four new relievers who joined this club prior to the start of the season. That brings a different dynamic to a team but it also hasn't taken me too long to figure out that this a bullpen core we can win with.
A lot of times, games are won and lost late. That's why it's so important for us relievers to pick one another up. A big part of that bullpen mentality starts with the first reliever -- everyone is important. It's about a connection and being focused. The middle relievers connect from the starter to the closer. The first guy coming in into a game wants to pick up that starter, strand any base runners.
That carries on through to when one of our relievers replaces another one of our relievers. Everyone pushes everybody. You want them to do good, and they want you to do good. It's a friendship, a band-of-brother-type feeling down there because we're sort of our own little group.
Jeremy Affeldt, who had six holds and a 3.00 ERA through his first 18 appearances, joins Bob Howry, Brandon Medders and Justin Miller in a new-look Giants bullpen that helps set-up All-Star closer Brian Wilson.