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More Bang for the Buck

    Remember back, if you will, to spring training. A lot of the buzz in the air was around  the new owner, the new manager, and the youngsters trying to make the team, but it was one player who I became a big fan of because of his attitude.
    Ty Wigginton was trying to make the team, and as we know, he did, but during spring training he was seen playing every position (including catcher). He was for all purposes just supposed to be a bench player who gave Aubrey Huff the occasional day off. Since he's became the starter at 3b, 1b, and sometimes the OF.
    This article is not intended, however, to be a slobber fest over Ty Wigginton, and it's not a fluff piece either. Let's go back to July, Aubrey Huff gets dealt for two `kids' at the time in Ben Zobrist and Mitch Talbot. Ask a question of a Rays' fan regarding Talbot or Zobrist before that trade and I'm sure you'd get one of those `blank' stares followed by `I dunno who they are."
    Knowing what we know now I'd say pretty much everyone is happy about the deal, we got a nice utility man and a pitcher who may make the rotation next year for an aged slugger whose numbers have decreased every year. Back to the beginning of the year, I'm pretty sure if I were to have asked 100 fans who was  going to have a better season, Huff or Wigginton, 96 would say Huff, and that's assuming Wigginton's mother, father, cousin, and Wiggy himself were asked.
    But here we sit, and I can say nothing else except this is why we play the game. Ty has out slugged, out played, and out hustled the former beloved Huff, whose attitude and hustle, or lack there of, grow wearisome on most fans. Wiggy is hitting  .267, with 21 homers, and 67 RBIs. Aubrey on the other hand is hitting .259, 18 homers, and 60 RBIs.
    Add in that both are versatile, though Wigginton is probably the better fielder, as well as being a wee more versatile. Huff for example usually played 3b, RF, or DH, Wiggy on the other hand can play 1b, 3b, 2b, LF, RF, or DH, as well as being the Spanish radio play by play guy. Also Wiggy has the advantage on nickname and facial hair, but back to the stuff that matters.
    They have, for all purposes, the same numbers. Looking at the other factors, let's start with the price tag, Huff makes 6 million more than Wigginton (6.5 compared to around 650 thousand) . Next to the attitude and chemistry factor, consider how Huff was to say the least, negative. Wiggy has became this year's version of Jonny Gomes, at least as far as guy who never gives up and comes through in big times, which is the next point. Aubrey is currently 0 for his last 21 at bats with runners in scoring position, the longest in baseball for non pitchers. Ty on the other hand has been known as the guy who usually comes through in the clutch.
    So what am I trying to say exactly? A few things, first off, it seems like Wigginton is one of the best unheralded free agent signings this past off-seasons, honestly he's not doing anything that he shouldn't do. If you average out his career a 162 game season should produce a .270, 20, and 70 season, so he's having a `normal' season.
    Next we dealt Huff at the right time, Talbot and Zobrist are easily more valuable than an extra two weeks worrying if Huff would collapse or marginally increase his value. Finally, it shows you that money is not all that matters in baseball, just because a guy makes millions more than another doesn't account for the intangibles like heart, hustle, and determination. Turns out the buzzing in the air could've been everyone just prepping to get Wiggy with it.