SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt paused, silenced briefly by the feelings that rose inside him.Given the subject matter Affeldt was addressing -- basic human decency -- his display of emotion was quite understandable. Affeldt represented the Giants in a pregame ceremony conducted in honor of Bryan Stow, to whom the team dedicated Monday night's game. Stow, a Giants fan, was beaten following San Francisco's March 31 season opener at Los Angeles. He remains hospitalized in critical condition under an induced coma. As a photograph of Stow and his two children appeared on the scoreboard, the Giants and Dodgers gathered at the pitcher's mound in a show of unity shortly before the game's first pitch, reminding fans that fierce competition need not prompt ferocious behavior. "We ask that you respect our rivalry and that you respect each other as fans," Affeldt said. "... When the last out is made, the rivalry ends on the field." Dodgers infielder Jamey Carroll echoed Affeldt's sentiments.
"There's no room in the game for hatred and violence," Carroll said. "This is America's national pastime and let's keep it that way."Earlier, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that the players' remarks were necessary "to remind fans to keep their perspective. It's disturbing what's happened. We're hoping to send a message tonight so it doesn't become a bigger problem." Security in and around AT&T Park was reportedly increased by approximately 30 percent to discourage fans from using one of baseball's most storied rivalries as an excuse to commit senseless acts. The Giants collected donations to benefit a fund established to support Stow and his family. The Giants also partnered with Stow's employer, American Medical Response, to collect donations at the AT&T Park gates and elsewhere inside. Around 100 of Stow's fellow paramedics volunteered for this effort. The Giants Community Fund also conducted a silent auction, featuring numerous items of sports memorabilia, with all proceeds benefiting the Bryan Stow Fund. The Dodgers also did their part Monday. At Dodger Stadium, they held a "drive-through" relief event with all funds being donated directly to the Stow fund. The fund is accepting donations online at www.sfpcu.org.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.