David Huff signs with the Yakult Swallows

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We’d normally not write about a signing as minor as this, but after a couple of days of excess and time spent in close quarters with family, you gotta do whatever you can to shake off the carbs and ethanol and forced politeness and stuff. David Huff: palette cleanser.

Anyway, the guy who has been most often mentioned on this site in service of my driven-into-the-ground Groucho Marx “a minute and a Huff” bit during And That Happened recaps apparently had an amazing run in Korea in 2016-17, posting a 2.66 ERA in just under 200 innings of mostly starting work for the LG Twins. That got him a one-year deal with the Yakult Swallows of NPB, where he’ll make $1.55 million in 2018.

Last we saw Huff here, he was pitching a grand total of five games between 2015 and 2016 for the Dodgers and Angels, respectively. He did have an excellent stretch run with the Yankees in 2014 in his second stint with the club. Even with that, though, he seemed like a perpetual non-tender candidate here and, in fact, he didn’t make that more in his entire eight-season MLB run than he’ll make in Japan this coming season. In light of all of that, his decision to head to Korea last year was a wise one.

Good luck, David. And good for you. In the past two seasons your career has covered a lot of ground. In fact you’ve covered a lot of ground yourself. You’d better beat it; I hear they’re gonna tear you down and put up an office building where you’re standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can’t get a taxi, you can leave in a Huff. If that’s too soon, you can leave in a minute and a Huff. You know, you haven’t stopped talking since I came here. You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).