David Price obliterates his October reputation

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David Price — working on short rest, during which he pitched in relief in Game 3 and warmed up in the pen in Game 4 — tossed seven-plus strong innings tonight, giving up one run on three hits. In doing so he won Game 5 and, with it, the World Series for the 2018 Red Sox.

But he did one more thing too: he forever put to rest his reputation as an October liability.

You know the story far too well by now: a conviction on the part of his critics that Price couldn’t get the job done in October. To be fair, the numbers certainly bore that out, as he had a 5.03 postseason ERA with no wins in nine starts. When the Yankees scored three runs in an inning and two-thirds in Game 2 of the ALDS, those convinced that Price was destined to stink when it mattered most had even more ammo.

Then something funny happened: Price showed that he was in no way destined to fail in October.

He didn’t turn things around on a dime. In his first ALCS start he gave up four runs and did not last five innings against the Astros, but it was still enough to put Boston in position to win the game. He was dominant in his next outing, tossing six shutout innings against Houston in Game 5, earning the pennant-clinching win for Boston. Six more innings of two-run ball in Game 2 gave the Sox a 2-0 lead in the World Series. His relief outing in the seemingly interminable Game 3 was not of great consequence, and he didn’t appear in Game 4, but the fact that he was ready, willing and able to take on any role in which Alex Cora put him in showed a David Price who seemed not to care a bit about what the month of October was supposed to mean for him.

Then tonight. His only mistake was a first pitch fastball to David Freese in the first inning which was crushed for solo homer. After that all he gave up was a bloop single to Yasiel Puig and a “triple” to Freese in the third, which would’ve been an out if J.D. Martinez hadn’t lost the ball in the lights. Other than that, there was never any sense that Price was out of control.

Indeed, he was in complete control. Both of this game and his legacy. A legacy which will no longer include the suggestion that he can’t come through when the spotlights are at their brightest.

And don’t think for a moment he was not aware of it. Here he was after the game last night, after being asked what it feels like to have finally come through in October:

It was tough, absolutely. To answer that question in Spring Training day and day and day and day, and over and over and over and over, anytime it got to September, playoffs, I hold all the cards now. And that feels so good. That feels so good. I can’t tell you how good it feels to hold that trump card. And you guys have had it for a long time. You’ve played that card extremely well. But you don’t have it anymore, none of you do, and that feels really good.”

Enjoy that feeling, David.

 

Giants exclude Aubrey Huff from 2010 championship reunion

Aubrey Huff
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The Athletic’s Steve Berman and Dan Brown reports that the Giants have decided not to invite 1B/OF Aubrey Huff to their 2010 championship reunion, to be held at Oracle Park on August 16. In a statement to The Athletic, the Giants said:

Earlier this month, we reached out to Aubrey Huff to let him know that he will not be included in the upcoming 2010 World Series Championship reunion. Aubrey has made multiple comments on social media that are unacceptable and run counter to the values of our organization. While we appreciate the many contributions that Aubrey made to the 2010 championship season, we stand by our decision.

Huff, 43, was one of the Giants’ most productive players in 2010, batting .290/.385/.506 with 26 home runs and 86 RBI in 668 plate appearances during the regular season. During the postseason, he contributed 15 hits, including a pair of doubles and a home run, while knocking in eight runs as the Giants won the World Series.

In recent years, Huff has become a phenomenon in conservative circles for his outspoken nature on Twitter. Back in 2017, he criticized people who protested President Trump’s executive order on immigration by tweeting, “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!” Huff received a lot of blowback for the comment and defended it by bragging to people about his “big house” and “hot wife.” He eventually walked back his comments.

Huff has repeatedly made controversial statements in more recent times, including those of a sexist, transphobic, and violent nature.

  • On the Giants’ Alyssa Nakken, the first female coach in the major leagues, Huff said, “This has #metoo & #BelieveAllWomen written all over it.” He added, “Couldn’t imagine taking baseball instruction from an ex female softball player. [Frown emoji] Have fun with that.”
  • Huff got into a spat with former major league pitcher Seth McClung last year, which included the use of sexist language.
  • Huff boasted about teaching his sons how to use guns “in the unlikely event [Bernie Sanders] beats [Donald Trump] in 2020.” He said, “Knowing how to effectively use a gun under socialism will be a must.”
  • Last month, Huff suggested, in since-deleted tweets, “We should invade Iran and take their [b-word]. Persian girls are hot af without the headgear and you know they know how to act right Makes you think.” He then suggested flying to Iran to “kidnap about 10 each,” adding, “We can bring them back here as they fan us and feed us grapes, amongst other things…. [devil emoji].” After the tweet went viral, Huff claimed he was joking, then posted a poorly-drawn comic about it.
  • In replies to people on Twitter, Huff consistently employs language popularized by the alt-right to insult and threaten people. He has been temporarily suspended from Twitter several times due to his use of hateful and threatening language.

As we have mentioned here countless times, the political views of baseball players tends to skew to the right. If the Giants were simply eschewing Huff because of his political views, they would have a short list of invitees to their 2010 reunion. Huff, however, has repeatedly and consistently gone too far when discussing his viewpoints.

Huff is surely taking this in stride, right? Of course not. Per Berman and Brown, Huff said about his reaction to the news, “Quite frankly, shocked. Disappointed. If it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t be having a reunion. But if they want to stick with their politically correct, progressive [crap], that’s fine.”