The Happy Slacker

So much for my Yankees-Phillies prediction.

I really liked the Phillies to win it all. Then again, I also liked New Coke, so don't go by me.

I'm glad that Aubrey Huff, dubbed the "Happy Slacker" by Sun columnist Peter Schmuck, is getting a chance to play in the World Series. It looked like he could barely choke back the tears last night.

You'd be emotional, too, if you spent all those years playing at Tropicana Field before the Rays actually got good.

I can't slam the Orioles for failing to re-sign Huff, though his .290 average, 35 doubles, 26 homers and 86 RBIs would have fit nicely at first base. Can't say that Garrett Atkins was an upgrade.

Huff hit .253 with 13 homers for the Orioles in 2009, and .189 with two homers for the Tigers after they traded for him. He wasn't in great demand over the winter and settled for a one-year, $3 million deal with the Giants.

Perhaps it motivated him to get in better shape. The guy is noticeably thinner. He's no longer invited to enter clubhouse Worst Body competitions.

It also could explain how he tied his career high with five triples this season and also stole seven bases - which is seven more than he swiped last year, and only one off his career high set in 2005.

Huff didn't mind being referenced as the Happy Slacker - in fact, he found it quite amusing - which didn't exactly enhance his reputation as a clubhouse leader. But he was popular with teammates and the media. We'd love to have him back, if only for entertainment purposes.

He might have more to offer now, given his output with the Giants.

Anyone interested in this Type B free agent?

AFL update: Shortstop Greg Miclat went 2-for-5 with a run scored in Scottsdale's 6-1 win over the Phoenix Desert Dogs. Ryan Adam, starting again at third base, went 0-for-4.

Pat Egan lowered his ERA to 1.59 with another scoreless inning. He struck out one. Wynn Pelzer also tossed a scoreless inning, but he walked three batters. It helped that he picked off one.

Pelzer threw 26 pitches, 14 for strikes.

He might want to work on that.

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