Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Aubrey Huff apologizes for Sunday night spat on Twitter

66 Comments

As Craig pointed out earlier, former major leaguer Aubrey Huff got into hot water on Twitter on Sunday night after criticizing protesters at various airports across the country fighting back against President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. Huff has since deleted his Tweets, but the former slugger categorized the protesters as being jobless, then taunted those who disagreed with him.

Huff wrote, “I mean seriously what the hell is going on? If you have time 2 march, protest and riot. Maybe it’s time for something called a job!”

Responding to someone who called him an overpaid DH, Huff said, “correction. I used to be overpaid. Now I’m just chillin not having to deal with rush hour traffic.” Huff also bragged about his “big house, hot wife,” called a fan a “looser,” and referenced his two World Series rings.

As many rightfully pointed out, Huff didn’t have any problem with people gathering in public during work hours when it was to celebrate the Giants’ championships in 2010 and ’12. Huff happily benefited from his nearly $60 million in lifetime earnings as a result of Curt Flood’s protest in 1969. Many on Twitter were also quick to point out that the protests Huff was talking about took place on a Sunday, which is not a work day for most people. Huff responded sarcastically, “Yeah there hasn’t been any protests or marches Monday thru Friday. My bad.”

Huff apologized on Monday. Via Daniel Brown of the Bay Area News Group:

I fight nasty and I use words I shouldn’t use. I think in the case of last night, I used words that, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have. Honestly, with 10,000 followers, I didn’t think it would be that big a deal.

[…]

I don’t apologize for my political views, but I do apologize for rubbing this fancy little life in people’s faces — making millions of dollars, retired, not having to sit in rush-hour traffic. That was childish. I’m sorry.

Huff attributed his meltdown to a previous social media argument about Trump that took place on Facebook. He said he “just got fed up” and “started firing.” At the conclusion of his phone interview with Brown, Huff said, “But like I said, what I believe in — the way I view my political stances and the way I see my faith in God — that’s never going to change. Nobody is going to ever tell me any different.”

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

Getty Images
Leave a comment

To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.