Aubrey Huff texted in sick, to manager Bruce Bochy before the San Francisco Giants doubleheader with the Mets on April 23.  Apparently a “family emergency” called him urgently back to Florida.

Well, in baseball timing is everything and Huff’s little excursion certainly raises some eyebrows. Huff is currently hitting .182/.300/.333.  During Huff’s last game he was 0-4, but much worse than that was the appalling error he made in the ninth inning that cost the Giants an unearned run in what would be a rather bizarre 5-4 loss.

Manager Bruce Bochy said: “He had to go back for personal reasons, personal issues.”

So how much empathy do we show?  It’s a puzzle, isn’t it?  Fans can run hot and cold on certain players like Aubrey Huff.  He was adored in 2010.  We all loved him, even when he shoved his hand down his pants in front of Willie Mays and the world.  

Now that he isn’t hitting, making rookie mistakes in the field, and blocking first base from younger, hungrier players he is the goat.  People resent his $11 million salary this year, and his apparently laissez faire attitude toward playing and working out.

He lets the team down on the eve of an 18-inning marathon while another player (Theriot) was just released from the hospital with a terrible stomach virus.  That must have been some text message. Don’t you think he should have called or met with Bruce Bochy before leaving?  I mean, isn’t that the professional thing to do, even in an emergency?

Bochy mentioned that Huff was apologetic in his message.  I bet.  He certainly was not apologetic after the loss on Saturday, in fact he was smiling after the error.  Giants’ announcer and former pitcher Mike Krukow told KNBR that Huff’s performance at second was, “a brain-dead play…it’s unacceptable.

The fact that the usual very supportive Krukow was so verbally (and emotionally) critical of Huff to the media is an obvious test balloon from the front office.  The Giants are preparing to make a move with Huff, if you ask me, although none of my inside sources will confirm anything. 

Aubrey Huff was still missing when the Giants came to Cincinnati on Tuesday.  He is now dealing with GM Brian Sabean.  MLB does have a Bereavement List where a player can leave the team for up to seven games, thus freeing the team to call someone up from the 40-man roster.  

This was not used in the case of Aubrey Huff which tells me that no one in his immediate family has passed away.

What’s the emergency?  

Obviously the truth is going to get out sooner or later.  I believe the longer it takes for the real story to get out, the more the fans will be embittered toward Aubrey Huff.  I thought that Huff would probably exit the 25-man roster when Freddy Sanchez came off the DL.  The rumor is that Freddy returns to the majors on May 11th in time to face the D-Backs.

Before all this happened I predicted that Huff would not finish the year as a Giant, but it’s starting to look like he won’t finish April as a Giant.  It was fun while it lasted, Aubrey.  I hope the emergency isn’t really terrible.  I hope Aubrey didn’t really let down his teammates and his fans by abandoning everyone in New York.  I hope he’s a little bit sorry that he lost his mind at second base, and I hope he’s still got his rally thong on because he needs it now more than ever.

We all get older, and we all slow down.  “That’s the law,” as Butch once told Sundance.  I hope there are better days ahead for Aubrey Huff, but I doubt those will be in San Francisco.  

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