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October 28, 2010

Aubrey Huff


Q. Now that it's sunk in a little bit, any thoughts on stringing hits together the way you guys did last night? It hasn't been your forte necessarily, but is that something you guys have in you? Do you have a lineup that can do that?
AUBREY HUFF: Well, we've got a good lineup of hitters that have a good track record. Seems like all year long we haven't really done that in a row like that. We'd get a couple of hits this inning and not be able to get them in, but last night it all kind of came together. We've had a handful of games like that this year. It doesn't happen very often especially off a pitcher like Cliff Lee.
I think the crowd and we were feeding into the crowd and it was crazy out there. We had some really loud fans. And the thing about San Francisco, fans, you've got to love them. They're very respectful and some of the best fans in baseball. What they did for Bengie, giving him a standing ovation, that's very classy.

Q. Obviously a different pitcher today, but what you guys did against Cliff Lee last night, talk about the confidence that gives you guys going against their pitching staff and you go into Game 2?
AUBREY HUFF: We're in the World Series. Even before the game we're confident. You're not here unless you've got a bunch of confident guys out there playing. I don't think you can play this baseball game if you don't have a little confidence going, especially as a team. And we've had that all year.

Q. Was there a specific approach last night? You guys talked about being aggressive. So many teams talk about pitch counts and working at-bats. Are you guys a little different in that regard?
AUBREY HUFF: Well, we're kind of aggressive against everybody. It just so happens some pitchers throw more strikes than others. When guys are around the plate I think this is the kind of team that can really do some damage. The good thing is last night when we were swinging, we weren't missing them. So many times we'll get a pitch to hit and we're fouling them off or hit a one-hopper right at somebody. Last night we hit everything that was thrown up there that was a mistake, and sometimes we don't really take advantage of that, and we did last night.

Q. You waited a long time to get to the post-season. Has it been what you thought it would be, or are you so focused that you can't even really take stock of that yet?
AUBREY HUFF: Yeah, it's been a little bit more than I thought it would be, actually. I've always been the kind of guy that plays this game kind of loose and not a whole lot of nerves, but I've got to tell you, there's been some nerves in this one. Especially, I can't tell you, Game 6 in Philly, that was probably the most nervous I've been to play a baseball game in my life. Even more so than last night. Yesterday was fine but that Game 6 in Philly was nerve-wracking. It kind of felt like that game right there, if we don't get that one, with the momentum they had, win that last one here, and if they win that one, we would have had a Game 7 in Philly. That would have been a pretty tough one to win right there, but we got it done.

Q. As a kid did you ever go to any games at the old ballpark in Arlington? And what'll it mean to you to play a World Series in Tarrant County?
AUBREY HUFF: Yeah, I went to probably a handful of games at the old stadium when I was a kid, real young. Barely remember it. I remember you could stomp on that stadium in the outfield and hear the whole thing shaking. I thought that was the most beautiful park I had ever seen in my life when I was a kid. I was at the final game at the old park, when they moved the plate over to the new one, and watched that whole ceremony. I don't know what game I went to in the new one. I know it was next year at some point. I don't think it was Opening Day or anything. Went to that new one, and then that was the most unbelievable park I had ever seen.
I just remember Dollar Hot Dog Night when I was a kid, 12, 14 years old, just up there in the upper deck eating dollar hot dogs all day. And got the World Series coming up there, so it was pretty cool.

Q. Kind of to follow up on that, having been a guy who played so long in the AL, and you talked about the fans here in San Francisco, what do you expect from the fans in Texas regardless of what happens tonight, the atmosphere there?
AUBREY HUFF: You know, I think I saw on the game they clinched, watching it on TV that night we were in Philly, I think they had 53,000 fans or something. That's a lot of fans, and it sounded really loud. There's one thing about Texas fans, they remind me a lot of St. Louis fans; they're very good baseball fans. Big football, big football place. From growing up there, I know it's all Cowboys all the time but they seem to be out of it right now, so I'm sure all the folks are just turning to the Rangers.
I'm sure they've got a lot of die hard fans there. I know my grandparents growing up were. They've passed, and they got me into baseball, really. Listening to Rangers games whether it be on the radio or watching TV when my mom worked late at night.

Q. When Uribe comes to the plate 43,000 people in this park think he's going to do something. Are you guys getting to the point where you think he's going to produce every time he's up? Talk about what he's like as a teammate.
AUBREY HUFF: Well, I don't really know how he is as a teammate because he doesn't speak English very well. (Laughter).
I'm kidding. This guy, you know, he's just so strong and swings so hard, and he runs into so many balls late in games. You can almost tell like late in the game -- I don't know how many it is. It's got to be eight or nine or ten homers late after the seventh inning where he's hit homers that have either tied or put us ahead all season long. He had that big one in Philly. It's probably one of the biggest homers in Giants' history. Hit another big one last night, kind of put it away there. This guy is just so strong, and he can step in the bucket and go to right field. It's been fun to watch and he's really, really clutch. He could strike out three times, four times a game and get up that fifth time and get a big homer in the eighth or ninth. We love him as a teammate, got a lot of energy, and he's a fun guy if you understand him.

Q. What do you think about the prospect of DHing? Bochy has mentioned that. Do you expect to get at least one game of DHing in Texas?
AUBREY HUFF: I don't know, that's up to Boch. He's nailed the lineups all post-season. Every time he's put something together it's worked out. Obviously I'm comfortable DHing. I've done it for a long time. I've played first, third, outfield. At this point I don't care. I don't care where I am. We have one goal as a team and that's to win the World Series. If I'm hitting in the eight hole I'm fine with it. I think I'm hitting six hole for maybe the fourth time this year the last two nights and it's working. I'll let the pitcher hit ahead of me, I don't care right now.

Q. You mentioned the fans here, they wear the beards for Brian Wilson and the wigs for Lincecum and the panda hats for Pablo. What do you expect them to wear for the proper tribute for you? What would be appropriate?
AUBREY HUFF: Gosh, thanks for coming out (laughter). I just want to -- we've got so many -- like Wilson, he's been here his whole career, and he's such a warrior out there, and I think the fans are really growing to him. Timmy has been here, he's the face of the franchise. This is my first year here. I'm just trying to fit in with these morons. I think I have to go a little bit over the top just to try to fit in with these guys. You know how weird I was in Tampa. I'm probably very tame compared to this group of guys.
We've got a lot of characters, and I think with the guys we have, as weird as we are, I think it's strange to say the weirder you are, it seems like the more you win. That's been the case for me in my career. I don't think in college, though, the last time I remember.

Q. Speaking of college, I was wondering if you could go back to your days with Pat Burrell and kind of reflect on what that relationship was like there and how much you kept in touch with him as you got into pro baseball?
AUBREY HUFF: Yeah, it's been -- along with Jason Michaels over there in Houston, we've been in this league for nine years. We've talked about getting, J-Mike over at some point. It's funny with me and Pat we've always talked about one of these days down the line, and it's getting there, we would want to play somewhere, whether it be a last-place team or whatever, who cares. We could be bench players, just end our career on the same team.
He was on the couch released, he was the first guy to call me in the morning on a day game. I got right on the horn in the office and let everybody know, pick this guy up. We didn't have anything to lose. At the time we weren't scoring any runs, weren't very patient. Within two weeks he was here and instantly started hitting big homers. I think he's hit 20 since he's been here. It's been even more icing on the cake for him to be here in the playoffs in the World Series. Knowing that we get to play together and we're doing it on this stage.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Matt Cain. He hasn't given up a run in the post-season. What you expect from him tonight and the chance to go up 2-0.
AUBREY HUFF: Well, I expect him to be Matt Cain. I think all year long you can probably count four or five starts maybe that he has hasn't probably been out there the way he wanted to be. He's usually good for a quality start, and we expect the same tonight. He's a horse. He's our big guy out there. He can throw 140 pitches if you need him do. He's a guy that relies on a power fastball, location, and he's definitely an intimidator out there. He's a guy that doesn't seem to get rattled. He's fearless, and we've got a lot of aces on this team, and he's one of them.

Q. We were all taken by the score of last night's game, especially the starting pitching. We didn't kind of expect that much offense. Has that altered in any way your thinking on how this series might play out?
AUBREY HUFF: I don't know, I think that's kind of a once -- one kind of deal. Everybody was so amped up. I certainly don't -- I didn't see that coming. Cliff Lee against Tim Lincecum, honestly you go to Vegas and say here's 100 bucks, put it down for 18 runs, you're probably looking at a couple hundred grand. Nobody -- this is a weird game, especially in the playoffs. You see a lot of weird things happen, and that was one of them.

Q. If I could just go back to your Fort Worth background again, did you have, by any chance, a favorite Rangers player that you might have modeled yourself after?
AUBREY HUFF: Nolan Ryan. I mean, I'm a hitter, but I grew up wanting to pitch. I had tickets to Nolan Ryan's sixth no-hitter, and my mom was too tired from work that day to take us, and he threw a no-hitter that night and we missed it. I was so upset. Having grown up I've been a Ranger fan my whole life and obviously he was the face of the franchise. For me just to see what he's done with that organization already since he's been there, it's been amazing. It's pretty cool being able to play in the World Series against a team I grew up rooting for.

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