After a thirteen-year major league career with five different clubs, Aubrey Huff has officially announced his retirement from baseball. He recently accepted a job with the Pac-12 network, and is interested in a broadcasting career now that his playing days are over.
"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."
"I just got a job working for the Pac-12 network announcing college games, and I start that in February. I hired a broadcasting agent, so I have some auditions coming up to do some broadcasting stuff. I'll get into that soon, it's something to keep me busy," Huff said. "As far as playing, I've had my fun. I've won some World Series, put up some good numbers, and made some money. I'm very happy with how my career went, and I'm done."
Huff played for the Rays (2000-2006), Astros (2006), Orioles (2007-2009), Tigers (2009), and Giants (2010-2012), posting a lifetime .278 average with 242 HR and 904 RBI in 1,681 games. He won the Silver Slugger award for designated hitters in 2008 and finished sixteenth in AL MVP voting after hitting .304 with 32 HR and 108 RBI in 154 games with the Orioles. Despite finishing within the top 25 in MVP voting three times in his career, Huff considers the two World Series championships at the end of his career with the Giants to be the highlights of his career.
"Really just for me, those two World Series we won in San Francisco are the one thing," Huff said. "I had been in dead last my whole career as far as being with the Rays for six years and Orioles for three, those were my only two stretches where I was with a team for that long. Obviously there were some stops in Houston and Detroit, but those didn't work out too well. Having the first time being able to make the playoffs after always being dead last, and to win two World Series in my last three years in the big leagues, that definitely made my career."
Huff entered last offseason with the intention of playing in 2013, but told Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle in March that he was "pretty much retired" after not getting the contract he was looking for on the free agent market. The Diamondbacks expressed some interest in Huff as a bench player last winter, but no teams reached out in the middle of last season with interest.
"Arizona was interested in me for a bench job," Huff said. "I really was adamant about not doing that, and they ended up signing Eric Hinske. I always told myself that [I would retire] whenever I'm not an everyday player. I've won some World Series, what's the point of being on the bench anymore? I'm not going to go through all of the grind and flights and everything just to ride the pine and watch. It's just not what I want to do."
While Huff is getting into the broadcasting side of things for now, he's not willing to close the door on coming back to the game in a coaching or front office capacity in the future.
"The business side of baseball is not something I have really thought about," Huff said. "I think that it could maybe be interesting in the future at some point. As of right now, I would like to stay in the game on the broadcasting side of things."
Huff will start his job with the Pac-12 network in February, but is unsure of his exact role at this time.
"I haven't really talked to a head person yet, but I know I got the job from my agent," Huff said. "I think I'll be more of a co-host, or play-by-play guy. That'll be fun. More than anything, it will keep me busy. I've enjoyed the whole year being off. I always told myself that I'd take a year off before I got back into anything, and I did. Now it's time to get back into something."
"I always felt that was something that interested me a little bit. I enjoyed interacting with some of the media-- just some of them," Huff said with a laugh. "That's something that's interested me, being in TV with baseball, we'll see how that works out. I really don't have any journalistic expertise, but I know a lot about the game, I played thirteen years, how hard can it be?"
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