In the afterglow of the 2010 World Series, with throngs waving and fans gearing up for a repeat, the Giants had to decide whether to bring back two heroes from that once-in-a-lifetime playoff run.
Both Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe were career journeymen coming off unbelievable years. Uribe was an average utility infielder forced into the starting shortstop role while also spending significant time filling in for an overweight and unproductive Pablo Sandoval.
Huff was a former semi-slugger, filling a gap at first base, all the while shocking fans everywhere by putting up career numbers and finishing seventh in the MVP voting.
Then came the morning after. The Giants woke up with a World Series hangover and Huff signed to a two-year, $22 million contract, by far the most money he has ever made in the big leagues. How did this happen? We can't remember. Where's Uribe? Oh, he's in LA batting .194. At least we avoided that pothole.
As Huff prepares to come back from the DL and play out the string, he joins an amazing list of fleeting World Series heroes from that unlikely 2010 run (Burrell, Ross, Renteria, Sanchez, Uribe). It's hard to believe it ever happened.
Huff can't catch a break either. His latest DL stint is a result of a sprained knee suffered while running out to the mound to pile on Matt Cain after his perfect game.
Most of us didn't even notice he was gone. Huff is batting .155 this season, he's only started four games since May 1, and he bats from the same side of the plate as current first baseman Brandon Belt. At age 35, could there be one more redemption run for Aubrey Huff?
Speaking to reporters recently, Huff said, “I’ve never been a quitter,” he said. “I’ve always tried to finish something I’ve started. I don’t want to raise my kids thinking it’s OK to quit. You never know what can happen. You can get to the playoffs and you can get a big hit at the end. Look at what (Edgar) Renteria did after his 2010 season.”
With the World Series run buying Huff more goodwill than he could ever use up, a Huff resurgence is one storyline we should all root for in the second half. Could he hit .280 the rest of the way? Perhaps a big September pinch hit home run? As unlikely a Giants legend as you will ever find, Huff at least deserves a shot.
And San Francisco fans will definitely be there to celebrate if he does.