Fearlessness and confidence
Feels great to take two of three from the first-place Reds – though coming up short on Wednesday was a killer. Well, sort of a killer. The way our guys battled back was awesome to see. Sometimes you reveal more about yourself as a player and as a team in a loss than in a win. What this team showed was confidence and fearlessness. There wasn’t a moment in our dugout that we didn’t think we could come back and win. These are the most competitive guys I’ve ever been around.
It’s especially great to see Pablo and Freddy Sanchez find their strokes and terrorize pitchers again. With those guys exploding the way they are, this is an awesome line-up from top to bottom. We’re conceding nothing to the Padres. It’s a steep climb, but there are more than 30 games left to make up ground. And if the Padres never falter, then good for them. Congratulations. They deserve the division title. We’ll just have to get the wild card.
OK. Let’s answer some of your questions.
Were you always so confident, even in high school?
Absolutely not. I was very shy in high school, if you can believe it. I broke out of my shell at the University of Miami when I got around guys like Burrell. I learned how to believe in myself – and I learned how to project confidence even when I didn’t feel very confident. I wouldn’t have made it in baseball if I hadn’t developed a strong belief in myself. I never really believed in myself in high school – considering I had one home run in my entire high school career, I didn’t have a whole lot to feel confident about. I learned how to work hard in high school and I continued to work hard my entire career. But you need more than hard work. You look at David Eckstein and how determined that guy is. You think there’s no way this guy can be a major-leaguer – and then he just goes out and beats you. He works hard and he’s as determined to succeed as anyone I’ve seen. Determination and confidence are so important in this game.
Why do players seem to hang with the same guys in the dugout?
We’re tight as a team, but of course you’re closer to some players than others. I have a lot of history with Burrell and Aaron Rowand and a few other guys. So I’m more likely to hang with them in the dugout and talk about situations in the game and get their thoughts.
Do you have a favorite restaurant?
The truth is we don’t have a lot of time to go out when we have a home stand. But There’s a sushi place I like that’s not far from the park – but I can’t remember the name of it!
Did you learn how to speak Spanish when you were growing up in Texas? Is there a lot of Spanish spoken in the clubhouse?
I didn’t learn Spanish – but I sure wish I had. There’s a lot of Spanish in the clubhouse, as you might imagine. I know some words, none of which I can repeat here.
What are your hobbies when you’re not playing baseball?
My kid! When you’re a father of a two-year-old, you don’t have much time for anything but him. Before Jayce was born, I liked to paint. Oils and airbrush. Mostly landscapes. In a high school drawing class, I drew a portrait of Barry Bonds from a photo in a magazine. When I was with the Rays and we were playing the Giants, I sent the drawing over to Giants clubhouse through Dustin Mohr. Bonds signed it, “To Huff. God Bless. Barry Bonds.” I have it hanging in my memorabilia room at home.
Do you really have Transformer tattoos? And what’s the tattoo on your right forearm?
Yes, I do have Transformer tattoos. Instead of getting an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other – which pretty much captures my personality – I decided to get an Autobot and a Decepticon. I’m a huge Transformers fan. The tattoo on my right forearm is a four-leaf clover. It was the first tattoo I ever got. My wife and I are both of Irish descent, so we got engaged three years ago, we decided to both get four-leaf clovers. (Hers is on her wrist.) I also have my father’s name and a guitar on my left arm, and my son’s name and little footprints on the left side of my chest. When our next child is born – my wife is pregnant – I’ll have that child’s name plus handprints on the right side of my chest.
How many bats do you go through in a season and what do you do with your broken bats?
I go through about 24. MLB takes the broken ones because they’re studying whether certain types of wood break more easily than others.
What was your scariest moment in a game?
A pitcher on my team was hit in the head by a line drive. The ball hit him so hard it bounced into the stands behind home plate. I thought he was dead. But all he had was a big lump and a bruise. (The hit was ruled a ground-rule double.)
What’s your favorite city on the road?
Definitely Chicago. It’s such a beautiful city and there’s so much to do. We can walk everywhere from the hotel. Great restaurants and clubs.
Who’s the toughest pitcher you ever faced?
Pedro Martinez. When I faced him for the first time, every pitch he threw was the best pitch I’d ever seen.
Who were your baseball role models growing up?
Nolan Ryan. I grew up in Texas so I loved Nolan Ryan. One of the guys I most admired when I got to the big leagues was Ken Griffey Jr. He’s just so down-to-earth and approachable. He handles being a superstar the way you hope you would if you were ever in his position.
I know I didn’t get to all the questions. I’ll try to catch up next time. Keep coming out the ballpark to cheer us on. The fans in San Francisco are the best in baseball and you guys give us an awesome home-field advantage. So I’ll see you at the park.
So glad to see you finally found the right team for your talents. How ironic would it be if the Giants went to a World Series against the Rays? You could visit old friends and haunts, plus get to play ball again in the 72 degree temps of Tropicana Field. Plus, I think you would get an ovation.
Keep swinging, and look forward to your next blog entry.
We love you Huff and the rest of the team! Keep winning!
Best Blog BAR NONE by a player in baseball!! Congrats on such a great season, Huffster!! We love your drive, competitiveness and your great personality. It’s very rare to be granted such great access to MLB players so we appreciate your time and efforts…… Now, GO WIN THE NLWEST!!!!
That’s OK Huff Daddy, you are helping the team win a lot of games! I would rather you spend your time doing that! :^)
Thank you for another information and fun Q&A, I look forward to reading them. Would not have pegged you as a painter, very cool. Thank you for taking time out of your day to answer the questions, hope it does not encroach on your Jayce time, I love my kids too, that’s more important.
Though it was a loss, that game against the Reds was awesome, too bad the ump was so inconsistent, why do the MLB allow umps to do that?
Take care and Go Giants!
Huffdaddy: thanks for the insight into life in and out of baseball. Your comments about high school are surprising but great to hear. I usually assume that major leaguers mashed the ball at every level; it’s good to hear that you continued to develop as a ballplayer and a person to get to where you are now. As the father of an eight year old who loves the game but isn’t yet the huge hitter some of his friends are, it will be a lesson I share with him.
Best of luck to you and the rest of the guys. As a long-time Giants fan, it is great to see the team doing well again, and greater to know that a quality guy like you is a huge part of it.
You’re the best SF Giants surprise in recent history. Thanks for the positivity and productivity.
For the next blog – what’s been the most humorous/memorable “rookie” moment from this year? Any hazing going?
I couldn’t be happier with the Giants picking you up. This blog, the radio shows and interviews, the way you carry yourself and express yourself are all a huge plus for the fans. Not to mention your outstanding fielding and your team leading home runs.
The Giants would be absolutely out of their minds to not give you another opportunity next year and years to come. I’ve Googled your name before, and I don’t see anything worth sneezing at as far as recognition goes from your other teams. I must say it’s great to see a player of your caliber get the appreciation and recognition you deserve. I’m sure it feels good on your end too.
Keep up the good work man. I know there are a lot of huge factors to the 2010 Giants, but if they didn’t have you, I have no doubt they wouldn’t be anywhere near the team they are today.
My favorite moment of the season was when Burrell hit that 2-run homer off Broxton in the 8th inning of game 2 of the LA series in SF that we swept in late July/early August. Why? because the cameras captured your face/reaction and it was pretty easy to read your lips- “I’m gonna f*ck him up”.
The mccovey chronicles have a gif of your reaction which is regularly posted. Also, this is my favorite Giants team that I’ve ever seen- so many diff personalities. From Torres to Posey, to Huff, to Panda, goes on and on. (fan since ’83)
Keep it up and bring us a pennant!!!
CAN MATT CAIN READ OR NOT
Congrats on your second child that’s on the way! Have you picked out any baby names yet? My husband and I caught some Giants games in DC on our honeymoon this summer and I decided if I got pregnant I’d love to name my daughter Aubrey. Hope that doesn’t offend you. =) Cheers to a fantastic September…. and beyond!
Huff Daddy Dollas’,
I’ve been trying to make it out to game here soon, but it just hasn’t seem to be working out for me. I’ve been watching all the games on TV. As you well know some games are just plain Giants Torture. I love it though. Wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a question for ya’… I know your looking forward to spending time with your family on the off season, but what are you looking most forward to?
Take care of You!
My friends keep asking me why I am so into the Giants this year. I haven’t missed a televised game and have come to quite a few home games. I talk about the team all of the time. My explanation is that there is something special about the guys on the team this year. There seems to be an extra level of comradery. Its great when everyone is playing well and the team is winning, but what impresses me the most is how you appear to treat each other. Good sportsmanship is an inspiration to see and you Mr. Huff are the best. After someone has a great at bat, I always want to see the Huff reaction. So many times you seem to be so excited for the success of your fellow players. Your enthusiasm and spirit inspire me every time you play. I would like to also mention that what you did for Joe Turner and his family just confirmed what I already believed. You are a great player and a great man. I hear you can even sing! So, here at last is a not very surprising question. Would you please come back to the team next year? We want and need you on our team!
Ahh great to see you’re still posting. You’ve had a bit of a slump and i’ve been a bit bummed for ya. But hey maybe you read what I said last time maybe not. either way the last time I said it you got a HR and went 3-4 against the reds. so here goes. Hope ya read it and relax.
When you’re up there just take a breath relax and maybe even let out a sigh. Just kick back and relax. no need to be nervous even if you’re being pitched to by the leagues best. Just relax and realize he’s probablly more scared of you. You’re a HR RBI machine so just remember that close your eyes take a breath and relax. Wait for a good one and put it in the seats somewhere. No need to talk to yourself to much just wait and let it fly. Hope ya read this and I hope it helps again. Thanks for your time huff. As for another question. XD It’s funny to watch you and burrell have a “who hits harder match” after someone scores to tie/take the lead. tonight it was the new kid’s speed. lol who usually ends up winning those little “hitting contests”?