OAKLAND – A’s reliever Ryan Madson received his World Series ring Friday from Royals manager Ned Yost, a final nod to the championship that Madson helped Kansas City capture last season.
“There’s emotions, for sure,” Madson said before Friday’s series opener at the Coliseum. “I went through some battles with those guys.”
The right-hander signed a three-year $22 million deal with the A’s over the winter, but surely the Royals will always hold a soft spot in Madson’s heart. After extensive elbow problems sidelined him 2012-14, even leading Madson to announce his retirement, he signed a minor league deal with Kansas City before last season and enjoyed quite the comeback, filling a key role in the bullpen on the way to helping the team to its first Series crown since 1985.
“It’s always special to give somebody something they’ve worked their whole life to get, and to share a little moment of excitement over accomplishing something special,” Yost said. “He was happy. I’m glad he got it.”
However, nostalgia will take a back seat this weekend for Madson. He said he would definitely chat with any Royals if they approach him on the field before the game, but the reliever wasn’t planning to initiate the contact. Contrary to much of the fraternizing you see between players from different teams these days, Madson said he likes to minimalize pregame socializing when he could be pitching against those same players with a game on the line.
“Once the game starts and they’re swinging off me, the love is lost,” he said. “I’m not a mix-and-mingle guy. I’m more of an old-school guy.”