Just horsing around, Huff says

Radio remark on city put in show's context

Orioles

November 11, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,Sun reporter

Once word reached Aubrey Huff that comments he made during a radio appearance last week brought waves of criticism from Orioles fans, he immediately came up with a theory to explain all the unwanted attention headed his way.

"It must be a slow news day," he said.

In a telephone interview with The Sun yesterday, Huff said he didn't mean to disrespect the city of Baltimore or its residents when he referred to it as a "horses - -" town during Thursday's 90-minute segment with Bubba The Love Sponge on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Huff's appraisal came after the discussion turned to nightlife in the Tampa, Fla., area, and how much Huff indulged in it while he was single and playing for the Devil Rays.

"If anybody's heard their show, or Howard Stern's show, it's a shock jock show, so everything's flying," Huff said yesterday. "You've got four guys in there, including me, and we're talking about all sorts of stuff, including bars and restaurants, and how the two cities are different. I said Baltimore was horses - - for that. After games, places are closed down. There's no place to go."

Club president Andy MacPhail said he had not heard the interview and was getting secondhand information about it.

"I would say that if this was an effort at humor, it failed and was in poor taste," MacPhail said. "It would be difficult to see how anyone would approve of it."

Huff spent the first 6 1/2 seasons of his big league career with the Devil Rays before they traded him to the Houston Astros on July 12, 2006. He signed a three-year, $20 million deal with the Orioles in January and rebounded from a slow start to bat .280 with 15 home runs and 72 RBIs in 151 games, mostly as the designated hitter. On June 29, he became the first Oriole to hit for the cycle in 23 years.

Last week, he struck a nerve or two with fans in Baltimore.

"Not one time did I trash the organization," Huff said. "I love the ballpark, the organization, the guys on the team. We had a lot of fun. I enjoyed everything about it. But when you go out ... those are the things people want to know about. If what I said is a big deal, so be it.

"I said it in such passing, so quickly, and it was gone. I didn't say the city itself was horses - -. The next day, my buddy called me and said people were livid. I said, `No way! It must be a slow news day in Baltimore.' I walked out of there saying it was a good show. I kept it pretty clean."

A friend of Huff's who works on the show "asked me to come on, and I said, `Why not?'" Huff said. "I did my best to keep my mouth clean."

Unfortunately for Huff, it got him in trouble on various Internet sites with fans who reacted angrily to his description of the city. Word spread quickly the next day, with a few teammates also hearing about it. Huff said his agent called and asked, "What did you say?"

"That show is an act," Huff said. "I was being an actor. The guys on the show are acting. By no means is that my personality.

"If people think I offended them, I can apologize, but I didn't feel like I did anything wrong."

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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