Tag: Aubrey Huff

San Francisco Giants: Is Aubrey Huff Getting Cut?


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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San Francisco Giants: 5 Bold Predictions for Giants’ 2012 Season

From winning the World Series in 2010 to missing the playoffs in 2011, the San Francisco Giants have experienced euphoria and crashed back to earth.

The Giants are a pitching-rich, offensively depleted team. They enter 2012 with one mission in mind: to prove their championship a season ago was not a fluke. It won’t be easy. Everything that seemed to go right on their path to the World Series went wrong the following season.

Will Buster Posey return to form? Can Aubrey Huff find his swing? Does Tim Lincecum have another Cy Young season in the tank? Fans are eager to see if a team largely unchanged during the offseason can overcome the hardships and disappointments of 2011.

Let’s take a look at five major possibilities for the 2012 season.

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San Francisco Giants: Brandon Belt Seems Bound for Triple-A Fresno

So the San Francisco Giants made a mistake.

The hype was so huge coming out of Spring Training that the Giants ultimately had no choice but to start Brandon Belt on Opening Day at first base.

The Giants went against everything they have ever preached about their prospects by bringing up Belt to the majors to start the season.

Buster Posey waited until mid-season, now look at him; so did Madison Bumgarner and a host of other players who now make up the young core of the Giants’ competitive ball club.

Which is why murmurs of Belt’s imminent departure for Fresno seems just about right for this situation.

Andrew Baggarley of the San Jose Mercury News says that Belt has until April 26 to make a splash in The Bigs or he’ll be splashing in Fresno. That would be the date that Andres Torres is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.

Honestly, this seems like a done deal already and the Giants really don’t have any other options for this situation at this point, if you look at it.

If the Giants choose not to send Belt down to Fresno, that would mean they would have to designate someone like Nate Schierhotlz for assignment to make room for Torres on the roster.

Why would the Giants choose to lose Schierholtz when Belt can just be optioned to AAA and possibly brought back up again?

At this point in the season, it betters the team for Belt to be sent down.

His .196 BA isn’t helping anyone right now and he seems a little overwhelmed at the plate at the moment.

With that move, Aubrey Huff can now make a home back at first base and the one-man circus that he was in right field comes to an end.

Plus, it gives Aaron Rowand and Schierhotz, guys who have played well when called upon, chances in the outfield until Cody Ross returns.

There are more pros than cons when it comes to Belt being sent down to AAA-Fresno, which is why it seems the Giants have already made up their mind.

Mark it down: Torres up and Belt sent down on April 26.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Brian Wilson: How Long Will the Beard Grow for the San Francisco Giants Closer?

The Beard.

We know it’s power—power to intimidate and power to inspire.  The Beard was a big part of the 2010 San Francisco Giants and their World Series victory.  It spawned a whole new fashion statement for Giants players and fans alike.

But how long will it grow?

Brian Wilson told the world that he decided to grow out the beard during the regular season in 2010 and not shave it until the Giants were eliminated from contention or from the postseason.

But the Giants weren’t eliminated.

Now it’s a new season, and it’s pretty clear that Wilson was dead serious about what he said last year, because that thing is longer than ever.  Wilson looks like he belongs on the cover of the movie “300,” next to Leonidas with the jet-black beard.  In fact, looking at pictures of Wilson pre-beard, I don’t even recognize the guy.

Aubrey Huff, another Giant with an eccentric addition to his person—the “rally thong”—shed that after the Giants won it all last year.  But Wilson is following a long line of baseball superstition-sensitivity.

Perhaps the bigger question is, will the Giants closer continue to grow it if they repeat as World Series champions?  Technically, if he’s going to stick to his guns, he’d have to keep growing it, and it could become the facial version of Manny Ramirez‘s dreadlocks.

There really are a lot of questions about the Beard:

At some point, won’t it start to get in the way of Wilson’s delivery?  Well, I guess if Manny Ramirez could run around the bases with his hair flying around the way it did, Wilson’s task looks like a piece of cake.

What brand of hair dye does Wilson use on it?  (Hair dye manufacturers: jackpot—time for a Brian Wilson commercial with your product)

Does Wilson’s neck get sore with the beard becoming heavier and heavier?

Well, whatever happens, it’ll be fun to watch.  As if we didn’t have enough reasons to want the Giants to go all the way and repeat as champions this year, add one more to the list: the continued reign of the Beard.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Tampa Bay Rays: All-Franchise Team

This is the sixth offering in my series of All-Franchise teams. Since Tampa Bay along with Florida are relatively new franchises, I have relaxed the rules a tad for the two. There is no minimum requirement as to tenure with the franchise. Unlike most franchises you will not find any current Hall of Famers on this list.

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Uribe, DeRosa, and the San Francisco Giants Water Buffalo Defense in 2011

Henry Schulman, who covers the Giants beat for the San Francisco Chronicle, published this via Twitter last night. 
Mmmm…candy bar.
It reminded me of a word that has been thrown around Giants camp for the last few years, really since Pablo Sandoval came onto the scene. 

1. Used, serving, or working in several capacities as needed, especially

a. Prepared to play any of the smaller theatrical roles on short notice: a utility cast member.
b. Capable of playing as a substitute in any of several positions: a utility infielder.

Look at that. It’s in the dictionary!


a. Exceeding a norm: supersaturate.
b. Excessive in degree or intensity: supersubtle.
c. Containing a specified ingredient in an unusually high proportion: superphosphate.

That one’s in the dictionary, too.

Now, if we combine the two, we get super-utility, which, in the past couple years, has been a label applied to Sandoval (1B/3B/C), Mark DeRosa (1B/3B/SS/2B/LF), Juan Uribe (2B/3B/SS), and even Eugenio Velez (2B/OF/PH/really?).

We’ve seen how it worked out with Uribe (beautifully), especially last season. In Spring Training last year, Uribe didn’t even have a regular starting position, but it was known that he was going to be playing a lot.

Then Freddy Sanchez wasn’t ready for Opening Day, so Uribe played the first 14 games at second base, hitting .320 and driving in 11 runs. Then Edgar Renteria missed the month of May (and June), and Uribe took over at shortstop.

Then Pablo Sandoval decided that he didn’t like hitting anymore, and Uribe stepped in at third for awhile before going back to hitting homeruns from the shortstop position. In the playoffs, Uribe played third, paving the way for Renteria to win the World Series.

Read more »

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell: Veteran Success Key to S.F. Giants’ 2011 Campaign

Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell—after the 2010 season, we feel like we know these guys.

We saw them hit. We watched them orchestrate a dramatic transformation of the Giants clubhouse with their veteran leadership. We know their sense of humor, and we rattle off tales of their college days together with autobiographical familiarity, as if we had tagged along for the shenanigans too.

By God, we even learned their underwear preferences over the course of the 2010 season.

But the players who were so instrumental to the Giants’ championship campaign are largely unknown quantities coming into the 2011 season. With the short-term memory of post-championship fans, we forget that Burrell and Huff weren’t always the same players we saw hoisting the World Series trophy last year.

We don’t really know them as well as we think we do.

Critics are quick to point out that 2010 was a statistical deviation from the recent downward trajectory of Huff and Burrell’s careers.

Huff was jobless until the Giants picked him up off the couch in January. He had just finished a season in which he hit a meager .189 following a trade to Detroit. Burrell had been designated for assignment after hitting only .218 with the Rays when the Giants took a chance on him.

Then in San Francisco, both players spectacularly outplayed their 2010 contracts in a veritable career renaissance.

Will the 2011 season justify critics’ claims that Huff and Burrell’s 2010 numbers aren’t representative of the players they actually are? Or have the Giants found a way to harness their true talent in a way that can be showcased in the coming year as well?

The answer to this question will play a large role in the whether the Giants succeed in 2011. The veteran performances of Huff and Burrell will be crucial in the coming season, and here’s why.

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2011 MLB Preview: Five Common Predictions for the Season That Won’t Happen

Every year, there seems to be some trendy prediction that everyone loves to make before the season. For example, last year, everybody (myself included) seemed to think the Mariners were looking like a playoff team. Or the year before that, when several people were convinced that the Royals had a shot to be that year’s Rays. Granted, sometimes, these risky, yet trendy picks do actually work out, such as two years ago, when several writers were picking the Rays to be 2008’s “this year’s Rays team” before we actually had that term (because, you know, that was the year it first happened). In any case, I have been seeing a couple of predictions recurring much more than they should be for 2011, and I just want to be the person with enough foresight to say why they won’t happen before they happen. Because I pointed these out, they’ll probably all happen just to prove me wrong, but nonetheless, I will begin.

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MLB Preview 2011: Handicapping the San Francisco Giants’ Left-Field Battle

Major League Baseball’s Spring Training is already underway and that means it’s officially time for the World Champion San Francisco Giants to put away the champagne (or Bud Lite), confetti and late-night talk show laurels.

The thong can stay, though (Aubrey’s, not the Machine’s).

Down in Arizona, the first PFP drills have been run so you know two things.

First, someone has already embarrassed himself.

Most pitchers aren’t Tim Lincecum-type athletes anyway, so asking them to field their position is a dicey proposition. Then you toss in set-up men and specialty relievers? Look out, here comes the circus. Although in truth, the Gents have a pretty athletic stable from top to bottom so maybe it’s a muted show.

Second, and more importantly, our long nightmare is over and BASEBALL is right around the corner.

With all due respect, the NFL is slowly becoming a 20-week episode of Hard Knocks so part of me is rooting for a work stoppage simply for the peace and quiet. At least the League’s tug-o’-war over the fan’s last dollar is easy to process and tune out.

Forget both sides in that nonsense—we all know it will end with each pampered posse getting richer while the fans foot the bill so who really cares? Let the greedy S.O.B.’s shoot themselves in the feet until they realize it hurts.

Like baseball did.

As for the NBA, well, it’s heading into the stretch run and teams are starting to play hard every night so I’ve got no beef with the Association at the moment. Nevertheless, all the coasting up to this point still leaves a sour note in the air.

C’mon, I can’t get 82 games at full throttle for $4 mil a year?

Consequently, it’s the pearl to the rescue.

Before that can happen, however, the exhibition season must play out and each team must answer a few lingering questions. In the Giants’ neck of the woods, there’s only one major unknown and it looms over left field.

And it’s a pretty big one; as in, who will play there?

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San Francisco Giants: Why Aubrey Huff, Not Brandon Belt, Is Best at 1st Base

Brandon Belt has received a lot of buzz, and rightly so. The 6’5″ left-handed slugger has batted for a .352 average in 136 minor league games.

In his debut in spring training yesterday, Belt drove in four RBI on two doubles and one single.

But what about Aubrey Huff and the solid job he did for the team last year? Huff is still the guy, but with each appearance by the young stud, Huff might be counting his reps.

Brandon Belt certainly looks promising, but there’s no need to rush the situation. The time will come for Belt to be a rising star, but for now and in the short term, Aubrey Huff is still the right fit at first base heading into the 2011 season.

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