Torii Hunter, the much-discussed and nearly ousted Twins center-fielder, won his fifth straight Gold Glove, as the awards were announced today. Along with Hunter, Oakland 3B Eric Chavez and Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki also won their fifth straight. Some of the other winners were questionable. Vernon Wells from Toronto and Mark Teixiera from Texas. Teixiera seems like a strech to me and another case of winning the award for offense over anything else. (Although his .998 fielding percentage lead AL first baseman, Darin Erstad has a higher zone rating) That is to say, Paul Konerko also has a high fielding percentage, but he isn't exactly known to be a great first baseman. I say give it to Erstad, the highlight reel guy who isn't even close to an offensive force. Why not? He won't be winning the MVP anytime soon.
But, enough about those complaints. Hunter gets his award and his $100,000 bonus, but we haven't talked much on this sight yet about whether or not he is staying or going. Hunter is certainly great to have in the field, but I wonder if his issues are about his lack of leadership or a desire to be traded. Either way, he should be. There is no reason to keep a cancerous presence around the clubhouse for $10.75 million. Especially when that cancer doesn't do much leading with the bat. He'll be the biggest free-swinger in the lineup with Jacque Jones. Time to move on. Even if Joe Vavra gives me little hope that the Twins will do anything next year. Congrats, Torii. Hope New York treats you well.