Since the day that Carlos Delgado learned he needed hip surgery, Aubrey Huff's name has been linked to the Mets. He can play first base, third base and the corner outfield positions, and has been a consistently solid left-handed bat for most of the decade. That fits the Mets' needs on the surface, so it was easy to see how this week's series could be seen as an audition for a job if and when the Mets decide to fill Delgado's void.
Tuesday night probably wasn't the best way to start. Huff botched a David Wright pop-up behind first base in the seventh inning, allowing two runs to score. Sound familiar? The play provided the Mets with important runs because the bullpen was shaky in the ninth inning, and gave Fernando Martinez a chance to erase the label he earned as a non-hustler early in his tenure.
Martinez busted his tail to score from second on the play, which is as worthy of the effusive praise that Mark Teixeira got in the Bronx on Friday night. But, not surprisingly, the thing that stood out was the karmic repayment of the error on a routine play and the difficulty in now selling a Huff trade to a still bruised fanbase.
How can they make the trade and then field a right side of the infield with Huff and Luis Castillo? While it would give every pop-up the entertainment value of a summer blockbuster, the wound is probably a little too raw for the Mets to risk pouring salt into it.
If they had pulled the trigger before Tuesday, the Mets would have gotten the Aubrey Huff who riled up Yankee fans by pumping his fist after a home run. That would have been an easy sell. Now, though, it appears that Huff may have put the kibosh on everything.