Aubrey Huff and Ryan Theriot not playing baseball this year. You might remember that sentence from such years as "last year" and "2013," but it's official now. The Cameron Crowe of SB Nation, Chris Cotillo, had the scoop:
"I'm officially done. I have no desire to play anymore," Huff said over the phone on Saturday. "That has come and gone. I couldn't even imagine picking up a bat and trying to get ready for the whole grind of a baseball season anymore. I'm enjoying this way too much, just hanging out."
Just a day later, Cotillo tweeted that Ryan Theriot was officially retired. I didn't even have a chance to write a trolling "Bring Back Huff and Theriot" column, which I would have if I had thought about it.
I don't know why Theriot didn't come back, but Huff talks about it in some detail. Short answer: Baseball's kind of a drag. It doesn't come up nearly enough, but the 162-game schedule would be a drag if players got to play five minutes away from their house. Three hours before the game, three hours for the game, and an hour or two after makes for an eight-hour day, usually seven days a week.
Then you get to the travel. Oh, man, the travel. Huff mentions it directly. There have to be days where players think, oh, hell no, no, no, no, not another plane.
As always, here's the part where we talk about millions of dollars. I would like millions of dollars, and I would fly on planes for millions of dollars. Please give me millions of dollars.
Still, I'm surprised more players don't specifically cite the grind when they retire. It's usually a standard "time with my family" line instead of a "don't you realize how awful this can be, salary be damned?" Huff didn't want to be a pinch-hitter, even though he had offers. I don't blame him. I'd like to think I'd hang onto a roster spot as long as I could, easing into a reserve role because the alternative would be to acknowledge that mortality was wearing a mask, wielding a machete, and getting closer and closer and closer, which isn't something people in their mid and late 30s are used to thinking about. When someone like Huff declines to hang on, though, it's hard to argue the reasoning.
Sorry. You caught me in a maudlin mood, I guess. The Huff quotes got me thinking.
When the memories of that weird 2012 season fade -- second base! -- the uplifting Huff memories will be the default. The Giants had a lousy time finding first basemen after Will Clark, other than J.T. Snow, and there was no reason for Huff to work. He did. It's still weird to think about. He was so danged good in 2010, so good.
And Ryan Theriot?
He had his moments, too, alright.
Upon further review, that last GIF should have been the whole article. Ol' Slapfingers and Johnny Cactus Ass are both walking away from the game. I wish both of them the best of luck.