Saturday, July 28, 2012

Where's the 2010 Aubrey Huff?

I'm pretty sure that the 2010 Aubrey Huff is gone for good. 

In a day where just about everything could go wrong for the Giants, Aubrey Huff came back from the DL. He was back on the field, with Sandoval now on the DL and actually got into the game today in time to replace Brandon Belt on a double switch. Then he went 0-for-2.

To me, Huff was the worst disappointment of the game. I was listening to his second at bat in the 8th with two runners on base and one out and thinking, "What if he just hit one into the bay, because two years ago, he was that kind of player."

Huff then struck out. He is the biggest single reminder that 2010 is a memory, not a destiny. 

He's one of the biggest disappointments in recent memory for Giants fans. He had a stellar year in 2010 and got rewarded, then decided that he didn't need to be in shape. Whether or not he's in shape any more is moot -- he simply isn't able to play at the MLB level any longer.

Grant at McCovey Chronicles has an amusing post about how annoying this game was -- to the point that it was so annnoying that the only thing could have made it worse would have been a season-ending injury. To recap -- 

-- What do you start with? Has to be Zito. Lincecum's season is more depressing, so when he gets knocked around, you feel more of the sting. But if we're talking bad -- objectively bad, distasteful baseball that makes you want to follow indoor lacrosse -- it has to be Zito. At least with Lincecum, there's a small part of you that still hopes the old Lincecum is trapped in there, like John Cusack at the end of Being John Malkovich. But Zito is Zito is Zito. You know these games are coming. And it has to be a Zito start with deflating first-inning runs. No one does deflating quite as well as Zito.

-- The opponent has to be the Dodgers. That's not up for discussion.

-- The offense would need to be feckless. It would need to be a soporific, wholly numbing affair, with groundout after groundout. 

-- Brandon Belt would have to strike out looking. It would need to be on a ball, too, so you couldn't even be mad at him. Mildly disgusted is fine, of course. Then Bruce Bochy would have to double-switch him out early in the middle part of the game for Aubrey Huff, whom I respect and admire, and who will always be a part of Giants lore forever and ever, but who can't play baseball anymore.

--  Leadoff doubles would be hit. Leadoff doubles would be stranded. Grounders to the right at the wrong time. Grounders hit to the left at the worst time. Grounders.

-- The Dodgers' new player would do new, exciting things. He would look like a rejuvenated star, a guy who should have taken three top prospects to acquire. The Giants' new player would look like a Giant. 

-- There'd be a whimper of a rally in the late innings -- nothing that would help the team win, mind you, but maybe they wouldn't get shut out! The easy conquest of lowered expectations. There'd even be a hit with a runner in scoring position. That runner would not score.

-- Brandon Crawford would make an error that would lead to a run. You know, just to remind you of those yips from earlier in the season.

-- George Kontos would have a bad game in a low-leverage situation that would somehow make people forget the 16 good outings he had since joining the Giants.

-- In the seventh inning, a beach ball would onto the field and stop play.

-- Oh, hey, more Dodger runs in the eighth against Brad Penny. I'm sure he'll turn it around. Keep pitching him. Those last several hundred innings were probably just a fluke. Maybe if you let his strikeout rate dip any lower, maybe he'll invite you to hang out in "The Shed."

-- Hanley Ramirez doing a stupid gimmicky thing every time he reached base. "I am a fancy debutante at a fancy ball, and I am looking at you through my bejeweled peacock mask! Aren't we having a delightful time?" More grounders.


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