Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Aubrey Huff, 2009 Topps Allen and Ginter #349

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)


-Hitting the 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.


Commishbob said...

Kevin I humbly request you feature a Jim Palmer card soon. Why? Because On June 13 we saw your awesome Upper Deck '07 Orange uni patch Palmer card. And on that day the O's started a five game win streak. And man, we can use every bit of karma we can dig up at this point. I mean, what could it hurt, right?

And someone should tell Baseball Almanac that Joe Kennedy is no longer 'active'. :-(

Stacey said...

Now that Huff and Millar are gone, I don't think there are any O's left that I'd like to go with to Hooters.

Andy said...

Overrated Joba Chamberlain? The numbers suggest otherwise. I'm guessing in 5 years when you page back through this blog, you'll be embarrassed by that comment. I was recently reminded that in the mid 1990s I once told a roomful of people that I thought A-Rod was overrated and wouldn't amount to anything in MLB. Oops.

Kevin said...

Bob - Hey, any excuse to run a Jim Palmer card is fine by me. I'm certainly not going to run out of them any time soon!

Stacey - I for one think it would be hi-LARIOUS to go to Hooters with Felix Pie.

Andy - Am I letting my virulent anti-Yankee bias speak too loudly? Perhaps :)

Tigers68 said...

I'll miss hearing Fred Manfra refer to him as "Huff Daddy" nearly every time he came up to bat

Andy said...

You can be as anti-Yankees as you like but if you let it color your view of how good their players are, it just makes you look dumb, like all the dumbasses in Boston who walk around wearing "Yankees suck" T-shirts.

FreeTheBirds said...

"I'll miss hearing Fred Manfra refer to him as "Huff Daddy" nearly every time he came up to bat"

Ugh, Manfra's dated references always make me cringe.

Paul said...

How long can we be rebuilding for? There comes a time when this once proud team has to make a stand. Ok we don't have the resources of the other teams so let's try and outsmart them. Over time, to give away our assets doesn't make any sense.

Kevin said...

Andy - Wow. So a 1.46 WHIP and 7.7 K/9 are completely in line with all of the breathless attention given to Joba? He was a great reliever, but he's yet to show that he can consistently be a top starter. No need for name-calling just yet.

Paul - I wouldn't exactly call Aubrey Huff an "asset". He was mediocre two years ago and awful this year. He's likely not worth what he'd be looking for as a free agent this offseason. We traded 40 games' worth of Huff for a powerful young arm. The only player we traded that was even remotely an "asset" this year was George Sherrill, and we got a much-needed power-hitting minor league 3B for him in addition to another young pitcher (you can never have enough).

Andy said...

If you want to cherry pick stats to support your argument, then it is not worth discussing.

I also want to stress that I was only suggesting that it made you LOOK dumb, not that you ARE dumb. (I think it's quite clear that you are not dumb...)

Kevin said...

Andy - Fair enough. I didn't take any true offense at your comments. Maybe "overrated" was a poor word choice for me, and I certainly appreciate you challenging me on it. I'm not always the most rational sports fan, particularly where enemy teams are concerned. But for now, we'll agree to disagree, and if I could retreat to common ground:

Mariano Rivera is one hell of a pitcher.

Rounding Thirty 3rd said...

And given all the hoopla and hype that Joba has received, you would expect him to be the next Mariano and Ron Guidry all rolled into one. I don't think he will live up to be either of those. Hence, because of this crazy over-media-cized day that we now live (especially when it revolves around NY), Joba is over-rated. Put him on 26 other teams in MLB, and most of America would not even have heard of him.