The dominoes are still falling as Andy MacPhail's rebuilding plan steams ahead. Today, pending free agent Aubrey Huff is a Tiger, flipped for a 2008 draftee and hard-throwing reliever. While it would be easy to dwell upon the 32-year-old first baseman's disappointing performance this year (which did make it easier to part with him), I prefer to remember the highlights. August in Baltimore is depressing enough as it is. Today, and tomorrow, and the day after, when you think of the "Manhorse" and his two-plus seasons in Baltimore, you should see him:
-Becoming the third player in team history to hit for the cycle, and doing it in just seven innings.
-Driving in seven runs in a two-game span in Yankee Stadium in August 2007, including a game-clinching two-run homer off of Mariano Rivera.
-Switching his uniform number from #19 to #17 to honor ex-teammate Joe Kennedy, who died suddenly in November 2007. A classy and understated gesture.
-Wearing an outstanding shirt at the 2008 FanFest to make amends for his incendiary comments on the radio earlier in the offseason. (Image originally from Orioles Hangout)
game-winning home run off of Baltimore's favorite opposing reliever Eric O'Flaherty to finish off a four-game home sweep of the Mariners in April '08, causing delirium at Camden Chat.
-Silencing the early-season boos in 2008 by having a comeback season that included selections as the Orioles MVP and the American League Silver Slugger (designated hitter). (.304 AVG, .912 OPS, 48 2B, 32 HR, 108 RBI)
-Hitting a three-run homer off of overrated Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain and mocking Joba's trademark fist pump twice - as the ball cleared the fence, and again while crossing home plate.
-During the "player dating advice" video that ran between innings at some recent home games (described here), Aubrey just said, “Melting Pot” (a fondue restaurant for those who don't know). He then sat there staring at the camera with this weird grin on his face for like 30 seconds, just an uncomfortably long time. It was bizarrely entertaining, and it struck me as some sort of clubhouse inside joke that he threw out there to amuse himself and baffle the crowd.
Anyway, that's the stuff that comes to mind. Did I miss your favorite Huff moments? Let me know in the comments.