No one would have begrudged John Axford had the Milwaukee Brewers closer failed to provide any quotes about seeing the end of his streak of 49 straight saves on Friday night. His wife Nicole had just gone into labor with the couple's second child and Axford could not have been expected to stay until the end of an 8-7 Brewers win over the Cubs that lasted 13 innings and just over five hours. He couldn't dwell over the three runs he surrendered to the Cubs in the top of the ninth because he had to head straight to the hospital.
But because the friendly Canadian is one of the most accessible ballplayers around, Axford actually took the time to pen a note for Milwaukee's hard-working beat writers before leaving. And with the same composure he showed in racking up 49 straight saves — his last blown save had come on April 18, 2011 against the Phillies — Axford actually pulled off a big funny with his "cliche ... cliche ... another cliche" line.
Though I once remember Paul Byrd leaving a note for Royals reporters after he had to head to the hospital for a MRI or X-ray, this sort of thoughtful communication is definitely not the norm and it's not going to go unnoticed by the media. Seriously, about the only way Axford can top it is if he returns to the clubhouse and starts passing out cigars.
Which, come to think of it, seems like a distinct possibility ...
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