The Rally Thong is property of the San Francisco Giants. At least for another two years.
With the Hot Stove in Major League Baseball just getting started, the new World Champion Giants did not want to keep one of their prized commodities waiting. Aubrey Huff, one of the key components to the Giants’ playoff run, was rewarded for his efforts, receiving a 2-year, $20 million contract.
Huff, a 10-year veteran and an understated first baseman, was picked up by San Francisco in January 2010, coming off a down season with the Detroit Tigers. Considered a minimal-impact signing by many sports writers at the time, some baseball experts and front offices thought the 1-year, $3 million deal was a poor investment. Despite all this, Huff would prove to be the Giants’ most consistent offensive weapon throughout the 2010 regular season. In 157 games, Huff amassed 165 hits, 86 RBI, 26 HR, a .385 on-base percentage, and a .290 batting average, leading the team in all categories.
Huff also contributed heavily in the Giants’ postseason run. Equipped with his fabled “Rally Thong”, Huff provided a boost in morale for the team, on and off the field. Going 15-for-56 with 8 RBI, he also had a .982 fielding percentage at first base, highlighted by a heads-up play on Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler in Game 1 of the World Series. Huff’s contributions were eventually compensated with a world championship for the San Francisco Giants – the franchise’s first since 1954, and the city’s first ever world title.
Personally, I like this deal. However, I’ve heard that the deal was labeled as foolish by some, simply because of Huff’s age, as well as the emergence of 1B prospect Brandon Belt. But, the truth is, the Giants did right by Huff, the franchise, and the fans. Now, I’m sure that Huff knows that he’s reaching the twilight of his career, and he loves playing in the city where he achieved the ultimate success. He appreciates the gesture, and I’m sure the fans do, as well.
And, it’s not like Huff didn’t do anything to get his new contract. This was the guy who led all major offensive statistical categories for the Giants. Are we to believe that he will just fall off completely after getting his new deal? For a team that just won the World Series, I highly doubt it.
Lastly, it’s not like the Giants gave him a five year deal. I’m sure the Giants are perfectly aware that Huff is getting up there in age (he is currently 33), and that Belt is waiting in the wings. I would only assume that, as far as the Giants are concerned, Huff will be a serviceable veteran for the next two years. He will also be a mentor for Belt, when he does end up moving into the majors. Honestly, I don’t see a problem with this. After all, it seems that Huff’s presence in the locker room, as well as the lineup, is welcome by everyone in San Francisco. Why would you want to get rid of that chemistry (at least, for a little while)?
Congratulations, Aubrey. Long live the Rally Thong.