Tag:Aubrey Huff
Posted on: October 8, 2010 10:59 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2010 2:28 am
 

Another thumb for Cox

Bobby Cox
If the skipper has one more in him, Bobby Cox can finish with a full season's worth of ejections: 162.

The Braves' manager got tossed during the second inning of Friday night's Game 2 of NLDS against the Giants, his third postseason ejection (also during the 1992 and 1996 World Series). He also has 158 regular-season ejections, by far the most in baseball history. John McGraw is next with 129.

Cox got the thumb Friday when he argued that Alex Gonzalez should have been safe at first after Giants shortstop Juan Uribe made a terrific play on a ground ball. Cox argue that first baseman Aubrey Huff's foot came off the bag, which didn't look to be the case on replays.

But Cox was probably not even really arguing that play -- he was arguing because of a blown call the night before, when umpire Paul Emmel blew a key call at second. The first-base umpire Friday? Emmel. Cox let him have it, throwing his hat and letting loose a string of (apparent) expletives while leaving the field.

Ejections are a big part of the Cox legend. Good to see him get in one more before the end of his storied career.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 6, 2010 9:52 am
 

'Rally Thong' sparks Giants

Aubrey Huff There are certain things that maybe should just stay in the clubhouse. Not for the sanctity of the clubhouse or anything like that -- no, instead just because I'm not sure I wanted to know them. But since I do know it -- now you have to as well.

So, thanks to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News , you will have this picture in your head, too. The Giants' Aubrey Huff is wearing a red thong. A lacy one. One Baggarly says he walks around the clubhouse wearing and sports  during interviews -- with no accompaniment.

"We're 3-1 with it," he yelled after Saturday's victory. "I might never get a hit the rest of the year, though."

Huff said it's the team's lucky thong -- not his own. The team improved to 4-1 with the thong after Sunday's victory over the Dodgers. The thing is, it's not helping Huff. He's just 2 for 19 in the thong's five games.

"It's the Rally Thong," Huff told Baggarly after Sunday's game . "It's not a slump thong. If I was wearing it to break a slump, I would've burned it a long time ago."

Huff was 1 for 4 on Sunday, with a double. He's hitting .200 in 24 games since Aug. 8.

"This is a team thing," Huff said. "When I broke it out [Tuesday], we had 30 games left. I said, 'Guys, here's 20 wins right here.'"

The Giants are now just a game behind the Padres -- who could use a Rally Thong themselves, losing 10 straight. I doubt that this catches on like the Rally Monkey, and for that, I'm grateful.

But a word of advice to the Padres if they're thinking about stealing this superstition --  the rose goes in front, big guy.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 3, 2010 2:26 pm
 

Checking out the NL MVP race

NL MVP
The NL MVP race is essentially a foregone conclusion now that the Cardinals continue to sink deeper and deeper in the NL Central Division, leaving Joey Votto's sublime season to shine as the Reds eye their first postseason appearance since 1995.

Votto is second in batting average, third in home runs and first in RBI, giving him a very real chance at the Triple Crown, although the top candidates in each category are so closely bunched together that it only takes a few games for standings to switch around.

Even if Votto has to be considered the prohibitive favorite, there are others that will leech votes from Votto. Let's break down who appear to be the strongest candidates.

Adrian Gonzalez 1B Adrian Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
.299/.388/.516, 76 R, 26 2B, 27 HR, 87 RBI, 5.5 UZR/150, 4 DRS, 4.9 WAR

Gonzalez hasn't had a season like 2009 -- but it's awfully had to replicate 2009 especially with Petco Park your home for half the games. His average is .05 points off a career high set in 2006, but his walk rate and power numbers have sank just enough that he can't be considered one of the favorites for the MVP. If -- or when -- Gonzo gets out of a Padres uniform, he'll likely win a MVP award.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/CF/ RF Carlos Gonzalez
Colorado Rockies
.332/.367/.610, 89 R, 26 2B, 8 3B, 31 HR, 93 RBI, 20 SB -6.8 UZR/150, -6 DRS, 4.5 WAR

CarGo has had a ridiculous season, and now the Diamondbacks and Athletics have to be kicking themselves for giving up on Gonzalez too soon. The knock on the outfielder was that his poor plate discipline wouldn't be enough to overcome his other attributes... except his power has taken a massive jump to elite status even as he takes a step back in walk rate from a 2009 mark of 8.8 percent to 5.5 percent. Gonzalez will lose votes thanks to his drastic home/road split. At Coors Field, he's bashing to a .391/.436/.790 mark. On the road, he's at .275/.296/.437 and has a walk rate of 3.1 percent as compared to 7.9 percent at home. Seems like he knows he doesn't perform away from Coors and is pressing as a result.

Aubrey Huff 1B/LF/RF Aubrey Huff
San Francisco Giants

.289/.385/.512, 82 R, 30 2B, 4 3B, 22 HR, 77 RBI, 11.5 UZR/150 (1B), 7 DRS (1B), 3.6 UZR/150 (OF), 4 DRS (OF), 4.7 WAR

Huff will garner a ton of "feel-good" votes as the 11-season veteran suffered through the worst OPS of his career in 2009 since his first full season in the majors with Tampa Bay in 2001. A late-season switch to Detroit only depressed his value even more, and he signed a small deal with the Giants with his tail tucked between his legs. Well, his chest is puffed out now as he's cobbled together nothing short of a fantastic year while splitting time between first, left and right and being solid with the glove. That versatility only adds to his value and he could surprise quite a few people with how high he could finish in MVP balloting.

Brian McCann C Brian McCann
Atlanta Braves
.285/.392/.492, 55 R, 21 2B, 20 HR, 71 RBI, 3 DRS, 5.1 WAR

McCann has constantly been overlooked as a premium power bat at a position where even a league-average bat is considered fantastic. Perhaps now that McCann has emerged as Atlanta's best hitter as the team leads the division will garner some MVP honors for the lefty. The scary part is that McCann hasn't even sniffed his career season, which came in his first full year as the starting catcher (.333/.388/.572) -- and no MVP votes. What does McCann have to do to get some respect? Is it the counting numbers -- runs and RBI being too low? The fact is that McCann is a catcher, and so naturally loses about 100-200 plate appearances due to needing to be rested more often. The NL lacking a DH compounds the problem for McCann. Don't hold his low counting statistics against him, not when his actual production is so high, and extraordinary for a catcher.

Albert Pujols 1B Albert Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
.313/.407/.593, 92 R, 31 2B, 35 HR, 95 RBI, 12 SB, 1.9 UZR/150, 2 DRS, 5.8 WAR

Pujols is still a fantastic hitter, but has three things working against him in pursuit of a third-straight MVP award: 1) General apathy by voters in voting for him again, 2) The Cardinals slip-slidin' away in the NL Central Division race and 3) Votto's superhuman efforts causing Pujols to no longer be head-and-shoulders above anyone else. Whether deserved or not, the first issue would probably have torpedoed his chances even if the Cards were neck-and-neck with Cincinnati.

Joey Votto 1B Joey Votto
Cincinnati Reds
.325/.424/.603, 91 R, 27 2B, 32 HR, 97 RBI, 12 SB, 3.8 UZR/150, -3 DRS, 6.3 WAR

Yep, Votto's the presumptive favorite for the NL MVP Award -- but this is far from his introduction to being a top hitter. He finished 22nd in MVP balloting last season when he checked in at .322/.414/.567 and lost out on the Rookie of the Year Award in 2008 to the Cubs' Geovany Soto. His rookie season boasted a line of .297/.368/.506 as a 24-year-old, which many veterans would kill to have in just one prime season. He doesn't show any signs of slowing down and will give Pujols a tough road to any future MVP awards.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: August 17, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: August 17, 2010 2:25 pm
 

Moms love Pat Burrell

Pat Burrell For a while, what most people knew about Pat Burrell was that he hated the nickname "Pat the Bat." He is infinitely more likable today because of two stories I read as the Giants and Burrell return to Philadelphia.

The first is from his Giants teammate Aubrey Huff from back when the two were at the University of Miami. The San Jose Mercury News ' Andrew Baggarly has this story :
"After two weeks at Miami, I wanted to go home," Huff said. "So my mom flies out, trying to convince me to stay. I was living with two seniors and they ragged me, too. I just didn't understand all this baseball ragging nonsense. She's in my room one night and I'm sitting on my bed and she's telling me to give it another two weeks.

"Anyway, there's a knock on the door, and before I can even get off the bed, Pat comes barging in with a six-pack in his hand, dripping wet, buck naked.

"So I jumped up and shut the door. Coming from Texas, these things didn't happen. I said, 'See what I'm dealing with here, Mom?'

"She just started laughing and said, 'Actually, Aubrey, that's pretty darn funny.
Burrell then gave his side of the story:

"Yeah, that's pretty much how it happened," he said. "I was looking for the shampoo. There wasn't any in the shower. Obviously, I didn't know his mom was in there."

Long pause.

"I don't know how the six-pack got in my hands."

Huff's mother wasn't available for comment, apparently, to add light on how Burrell got his nickname.

The second story comes from MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, with this story from Aug. 6 when Burrell's sacrifice fly beat gave the Giants a victory over the Braves in the 11th inning.
In fact, shortly after Burrell's sacrifice fly won the game in Atlanta, Phillies director of team travel and clubhouse services Frank Coppenbarger heard his phone buzzing next to his bed. Coppenbarger woke up and checked his phone to find a text message from Burrell:

"You're welcome."
Burrell was released by the Rays in June and has had a resurgence since, hitting .285/.378/.527 with 10 homers and 30 RBI for the Giants in 56 games. In 24 games with the Rays, he hit .202/.292/.333 with two home runs and 13 RBI.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Category: MLB
Posted on: August 1, 2010 10:28 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:28 pm
 

Trade market still open


Adam Dunn Everyone refers to the last day of July as the "trade deadline" even if it's not exactly accurate. It's officially the "non-waiver trade deadline" and that first part may not roll off the tongue, but it's important. It's the reason why one of the most speculated-about players at the deadline, Adam Dunn, told me July 31 "doesn't mean [anything]" to him.

Dunn should know, in the last year of a two-year deal, Dunn's movement will be speculated upon throughout the next month. He also knows from experience, two years ago the Reds traded him to Arizona after the non-waiver trade deadline.

Waivers are certainly a complication, but deals still get done until the end of the month, when a player has to be on the roster to be eligible for the postseason. So how does it work?

First, most teams put most -- if not all -- their players through the waiver process since you don't have to give up a player who is claimed, you can just pull him off waivers.

Unclaimed players can be traded to any team. Claimed players can be kept, traded or just handed over to the claiming team for nothing but salary relief. That's what happened last year when the Blue Jays put him on waivers, the White Sox claimed him and Toronto was happy to shed his remaining five years for $59.7 million on his contract. So, if some team wanted to claim Carlos Zambrano or Kosuke Fukudome or Alfonso Soriano, the Cubs would likely dance for joy. But that's unlikely to happen (even though I would have said the same thing a year ago about Rios).

Now, if just one team claims a player, he can be dealt only to that team. If more than one team claims a player, he can be traded to the team with the worst record in his league that claims him. If no team in the same league claims the player, but more than one team in the other league claims him, he can be traded to the team with the worst record.

So now with the process out of the way, it's good to keep in mind that this isn't an unusual process. Last season Scott Kazmir, Jim Thome, Carl Pavano, Alex Gonzalez, Brad Penny, Aubrey Huff, Billy Wagner, Jon Garland and Ivan Rodriguez. So who could that be this year?

Obviously, Dunn is still out there. He realizes the real trade deadline is at the end of this month, not the beginning. If the Nationals can't agree to an extension, the Nationals need to get something for Dunn. Based on many of the rumors that were out there, it was hardly surprising he wasn't dealt. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was asking for the moon and nobody was willing to spend the money to get there. White Sox GM Kenny Williams hasn't exactly hidden his desire for Dunn, and a little thing like waivers won't stop him. However, he'll have to hope nearly the rest of the teams pass on the big man, and that's not likely.

The biggest name that could move would be Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers don't know what they're going to get out of him and could shed roughly $7 million. As CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller notes , Ramirez has a full no-trade clause, but would likely waive that to go to the American League and DH. If the White Sox can't get Dunn, Ramirez may be a solid backup option -- albeit a bit expensive.

Andy LaRoche Diamondbacks first baseman Adam LaRoche has a mutual option for 2011 that increases to $9.5 million if he's traded, though the buyout remains at $1.5 million. Kelly Johnson may not get through waivers, but could still be traded. He's arbitration eligible after the season.

The Royals would certainly love for another team to take Jose Guillen and what's left of the $12 million salary for this season. Guillen is a free agent after the season.

Mike Lowell is still -- sorta -- with the Red Sox, but would likely sail through waivers because he's owed the remainder of his $12 million salary this season and nobody's quite sure what they'll get out of him.

The reliever market didn't see much action on Saturday, but Toronto's Kevin Gregg, Seattle's David Aardsma and Colorado's Joe Beimel could be moved before the end of this month.

As for starters, Colorado's Aaron Cook is signed for $9.25 million next season with a mutual option of $11 million in 2012 and a $0.5 million buyout. His annual salary increases by $1 million for each season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 9, 2010 8:09 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 8:11 pm
 

Huff bashes 'sham' All-Star Game

Aubrey Huff Aubrey Huff's numbers border on All-Star status. But no matter how many injury replacements are needed, you probably shouldn't expect to see the Giants outfielder in next week's All-Star Game. Or probably any future All-Star Game.

In a phone interview with CSNBayArea.com on Friday, Huff called the game "retarded" and "a sham," and said it's ridiculous that fans get to vote for the team when home field advantage for the World Series is at stake.

"If the game’s that big of a deal, it should be the managers and players picking the team, because they really know who the best players are," Huff said. "Let the fans pick that last guy in the internet thing. That’s enough. The way they have it now, though, with the fans picking the starters, it’s either the most popular players or the guys on the big-market teams -- the cities with the most fans, like the Yankees and Boston and Philly -- just dominating the voting."

Huff, 33, is on pace for the best season of his 11-year major-league career. He entered Friday batting .298 with 17 homers, 54 RBIs and a .940 OPS. So maybe he's just bitter about not being selected -- pitchers Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson will represent the Giants.

"It’s a sham," Huff said. "To me, the All-Star Game is retarded."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: June 22, 2010 7:26 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 12:24 am
 

Surgery for Giants' DeRosa

Mark DeRosa Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports via Twitter that Giants outfielder Mark DeRosa will have surgery on his troubled left wrist and is done for the year.

DeRosa, 35, is in his first season for San Francisco, his sixth major-league team. The Giants' opening day left fielder, DeRosa hasn't played since May 8. He was hampered by the wrist and batted .194 in 26 games.

DeRosa had surgery last October to repair a torn tendon sheath, but in May he said the surgery was "a total failure." He and the team had been hoping rest would help the numbness in his ring and pinkie fingers.

DeRosa is in the first year of a two-year, $12 million contract with the Giants. The Giants have been playing Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres and Pat Burrell in left.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com