Saturday, April 21, 2012

We're all in a Huff now

I'm relaxed about things. It's April. I'm old enough, perhaps mature enough now, to take the long view. I could live with a little Brandon Belt yo-yo if Aubrey Huff and/or Brett Pill (and/or Buster Posey) were giving us production at first base. Belt may look like a damn rook half the time, but at least you know it will get better. With Huff, you get the feeling he's hit the ceiling. He certainly has plenty of time to get it together and produce something close to his career line (.279/.342/.466), but at the cost of chancing it with Belt the rest of the way it looks less and less worth it. I don't blame Huff for not being a second baseman, and I don't blame Ol' Boch for sticking him there. Desperate times, desperate measures. It was one of those games that was going to end with a whimper and a fluke bit of wind blew the ball into no-man's land and the Giants, improbably, forced another frame. The skipper had pulled out all the stops and got a lucky break with some guys on in the top of the 9th and he was caught short-handed in the bottom half. I can live with that. The odds of actually tying the game were damn close to nil, and you had to go for broke. It almost worked. Bochy gambled earlier, too, leaving Ryan Vogelsong in to pitch the 7th inning. He dominated the first six, it was a reasonable bet, and the 'pen had been taxed the night before. And I like that move. Vogie is tough, and his stuff looks great. He was given the ball and a vote of confidence--that's what these guys want, even if they fail to deliver. I like the mind-set. Pitching is the team strength--show faith in your guys and be willing to sink or swim with them. The real crime was not scoring enough behind him, but that's Giants baseball.

Back to Belt. Or Huff. However you want to frame it, it comes down the to big bucks Aubrey is owed. Management sometimes has to answer to the bean-counters, that's what state-sponsored monopoly capitalism is all about. Huff is going to play because they are paying him to play, and they will take their time about it when it comes to axe-falling. Most of us were ready to cut Huff loose last season, so our time frames are skewed compared to our corporate masters, er, entertainment providers. Baseball decisions aren't always baseball decisions, this I think we've learned over the years, the grey in our beards attest to it. So take a deep breath, a puff for Huff if you will, and realize that it ain't gonna play out the way you want it. Brandon Belt is the 1B/LF of the future, even if he has to be Matt Williams* for a while, but Huff is the Daddy of Now. Perhaps a game like today will speed up the decision-making. It doesn't look like early-season rust any more. It looks like number 17 is done, and I hope that LarryB & The Consortium start to see it sooner rather than later.


*Year  Age  G  PA  AB  R  H BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG
1987    21 84 266 245 28 46 16 68 .188 .240 .339
1988    22 52 170 156 17 32  8 41 .205 .251 .410
1989    23 84 311 292 31 59 14 72 .202 .242 .455

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/21/2012.


Shankbone said...

Well said. The Giants are a slow moving bunch. Hopefully by June 1st, if Huff is doing what he's done so far this year, they'll react. They were a day late and a dollar short on the Tejada/Rowand jettisons, but it did get done. I am in complete agreement with the Belt as Matt Williams comp. Long term, he's our guy. We hope.

Zo said...

Let us not forget that Huff's error in the eighth allowed Murphy to get to third, subsequently scoring. Or the GIDP. I'm piling on.

Brother Bob said...

MC, I admire your zen-like acceptance of your fate r/t "our corporate masters." Why fight it? Just assume the position, relax and enjoy it.
I'm watching the rain-delay filler about 2010. They made it clear that THE turning point was the 4 game series in San Diego, specifically Lincecum's start. I was there for that game, and I am incredibly psyched by that fact.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah even without the lapse at 2B Huff had a terrible game. The Giants still had a shot with the 1st to home to 1st DP that didn't quite come off. It's just that non-play by Huff really showed me the futility of sticking with him. You had to figure Boch thought he had the VSC to pull it off--if he'd broke late for 2nd and blew the play it would have been OK. But he never had a clue what to do when the ball was hit. VSC is elusive stuff, and Aubrey seems to have run out of his allotment. I hope the news about FSanchez means we'll get him back soon.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I should note that whenever I give up on a player said player usually goes on to be Player of the Month and rejuvenates his career.