FORT MYERS, Fla. -- While the Giants have been measured in their response to critical comments made by Pablo Sandoval explaining his decision to leave San Francisco and sign with the Boston Red Sox as a free agent this offseason, former teammate Aubrey Huff did not exercise similar restraint.
And Sandoval fired back Friday.
"Who is Aubrey Huff?"Sandoval asked in response to a post made by the former first baseman on Facebook. "What is important here is to see where the person who made those comments is, and where I am now, that's what counts."
Huff, who played 13 years in the big leagues, ended his career in 2012 after the Giants declined the $10 million option they held on him for the 2013 season. He currently is a assistant varsity baseball coach at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego.
"I'm pretty sure their (sic) wasn't a tear shed on behalf of all the players, and the coaches when he signed with Boston," Huff's Facebook post from earlier in the week read. "It has always been about Pablo. He had the fans fooled but not the players! One of the biggest reasons he didn't want to come back is because the Giants made him workout on the treadmill every day! Pretty sure that was a driving force for him! Never the less [sic] he could have always been a legend in San Fran but ego always will come in to play when it comes to Pablo! Sorry for the rant just want to take up for the players who are there now holding their tongues, because they don't want to get in the middle of this!If you can't get along with guys like (Buster) Posey, (Madison) Bumgarner, (Matt) Cain,(Jeremy) Affeldt(sic), just to name a few, then maybe it's time to look in the mirror! Rant over!"
Huff was reacting to a Bleacher Report story last week in which Sandoval asserted he left the Giants because they "disrespected" his agent, and that "it is not about money, it is about how you treat the player."
Sandoval also was quoted as saying he missed only Giants manager Bruce Bochy and outfielder Hunter Pence.
"Those were completely incoherent comments," Sandoval said of Huff's post.
"I'm not selfish. I am where I am because I have worked very hard and have always done my job. Anyone can say whatever they want. I will not lose sleep or stop working my hardest because of that."
Despite the tempest caused by his initial comments, Sandoval was not backing down.
"I said what I had to say, and I'm not going to take it back," he said. "I stand by it. I was clear, and you know what they say, the truth hurts."
To Huff's assertion that he was speaking for current Giants players who are refraining from comment, Sandoval said: "Let them speak up and say whatever they want. I'm not selfish and I have always worked very hard for my team. Those are things I have proven to my teammates, especially working with young players."
Sandoval was a beloved figure in San Francisco, dubbed with one of baseball's best nicknames, Kung Fu Panda. Asked about the potential damage his comments have made to his image in the Bay Area, he said: "Yes, maybe some people will change their perception. But I felt I really had something to say, and I wanted to get it out. It's nothing against the fans or against the players; fans always supported me in good and bad times."
Sandoval said he has not kept in touch with his former Giants teammates.
"But it's nothing personal," he said. "It's time to move on and turn the page, and now I am focused on my new home with my new teammates, and have left the rest behind. I am focused on my own teammates now and spending as much time together as possible."