Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with the 2010 Giants. From Aubrey Huff‘s rally thong to Freddy Sanchez‘s rally ghost, here are another five players who made their mark on this band of misfits.
Defining moment for Huff in 2010: Waving a red rally thong, procured Zoolander-style, in front of thousands at Civic Center for the Giants World Series parade.
Defining moment for Huff in 2012: Bashing his knee while leaping over the dugout railing to celebrate Matt Cain‘s perfecto, earning him a lengthy stay on the disabled list.
Of course, this isn’t the extent of Huff’s contributions, either in 2010 or 2012. In the Giants’ first championship season, he batted .290/.385/.590 with an .891 OPS and 26 home runs in 668 PA. His bWAR peaked at 5.5, the highest in his major league career to date. He finished the year with 15 hits and 8 RBI in the Giants’ postseason run–and seventh place in MVP voting.
Since then, he’s fallen to a .192/.326/.282 batting line in 2012, with a 77 OPS and a single home run in 95 PA. Along the way, he’s suffered several trips to the DL, developed a penchant for grounding into double plays, and endured the teasing of his teammates on a few failed attempts to play left field. During the Giants’ recent playoff run, Huff made 10 appearances and collected a single hit in as many PA. Today he’s perusing the free agent market for the first time since 2009, though no teams have expressed interest so far.
Following his first full major league season, Ishikawa settled into a backup role in 2010. Over 116 games, he made just 25 starts, picking up 42 hits, 13 walks, and 22 RBI in 173 PA as a pinch-hitter and occasional first baseman. His most notable contribution arrived in the World Series opener, when he pinch-hit for Javier Lopez and nabbed an RBI double in the Giants’ 11-7 drubbing over the Rangers.
After the Giants clinched the Series, first base became the shared territory of Aubrey Huff and Brandon Belt. Ishikawa was relegated to the minors, and signed a one-year deal with Milwaukee where he split time between first base and right field, batting .257/.329/.426 in 174 PA. This winter, he accepted a minor league contract and spring training invite from the Baltimore Orioles.
There are two distinct impressions I have from Renteria’s 2010 season with the Giants. In the first, he poses for the camera while receiving the World Series MVP award in a champagne-soaked clubhouse. In the second, he rejects the Giants’ one-year offer for 2011, complaining of being under-valued and opting to finish his career in Cincinnati.
His impact on the club was undeniable in 2010, most notably once San Francisco reached the postseason, receiving his moment in the spotlight with a series-winning, championship-clinching home run off Texas’ Cliff Lee in Game 5.
Following his split from the Giants, Edgar accepted a utility role with the Reds and completed his major league time with 96 games, a .251 batting average, and 5 home runs.
Here’s a name that might be a little less familiar. Rohlinger spent the entirety of his major league career with the Giants, but managed just 12 games in 2010 and 46 games from 2008-2011. He contributed 3 hits and a lone RBI to the Giants in 18 PA during their championship year, and saw just one plate appearance as a pinch-hitter in May 2011. Ryan is currently a free agent.
The details are fuzzy now, but there is a priceless moment in the 2010 postseason when Freddy Sanchez emerges from the dugout to watch a home run. Perhaps it is Juan Uribe‘s game-winning homer in the Championship Series, or one of Cody Ross‘s five postseason dingers, but his expression is one of complete and total awe. During the World Series, he had jaw-dropping moments of his own—most memorably when hitting three doubles in his first three at-bats. Throughout the 2010 season, he propelled the team to their division win, batting .292/.324/.397 with a .739 OPS in 479 PA.
The final season of his career was a harsh letdown from the highs of a World Series championship. Not two weeks after Buster Posey‘s catastrophic collision with Scott Cousins, Sanchez dislocated his shoulder and ended up missing the remainder of the season. He was projected to return in 2012, but forced to sit out after back surgery and a handful of minor league performances.
There is another image of Freddy that will remained burned in Giants fans’ minds. In the middle of last year’s postseason run, the shadow of Freddy’s ghost lurked in the dugout, inspiring an all-too-brief #RallyFreddySanchezGhost movement and spurring the team on to victory. Although he has since been released into the free agent pool, it is this memory of him that will stand out from his post-2010 performances.