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Huff: Most of time with Rays was good
Aubrey Huff returns for the first time to Tropicana Field tonight glad to have played there and happy to have left.
By MARC TOPKIN
Published April 16, 2007
MINNEAPOLIS - Aubrey Huff returns for the first time to Tropicana Field tonight glad to have played there and happy to have left.
"Looking back at it, it was a great place for me to start out," Huff said from Baltimore. "You'd be an idiot to say anything bad. As a young player you get to go up, play, learn the league and put up numbers. But in the end, it started getting old for me as far as the losing. It was time for a change of scenery for me. The steps ownership was taking, it wore on me."
Huff, 30, was traded to the Astros in July, then signed a three-year, $20-million free-agent deal with Baltimore, and has been quoted several times about how refreshing it is to have a chance to win and play in front of bigger crowds - though with the Orioles both could be relative.
Huff, the Rays' all-time leader in hits, home runs, RBIs and four other categories, still lives in Tampa (having been married in the offseason) and has family in the area. The fifth-round pick of the Rays in 1998 talks frequently with Rocco Baldelli and keeps track of other old mates, but his return won't be much of a sentimental journey.
"I get to come home and stay in my own house, which is cool," said Huff, batting .250 with no home runs and six RBIs. "And I hear (visiting clubhouse manager) Guy Gallagher is the best clubhouse guy in the league, so I'll get to experience that. But it's just another road game."