Monday, November 26, 2007

Hunter's Parting Shots

Torii Hunter. His first name famously has two i's. He's made two All-Star appearances. And if there was any doubt, it's now perfectly clear that he's about as two-faced as they come.

Sid Hartman's column in the Sunday edition of the Star Tribune featured several quotes from Hunter, who last week signed a five year, $90 million contract with the Angels just days after promising he wouldn't be signing a contract during Thanksgiving week. His hypocrisy is evident in Hartman's column, in which he openly criticizes the Twins organization on a number of levels and blatantly contradicts several of the stances he has seemingly held over the past few months.

Many of Hunter's quotes in the article are difficult to understand, and I'm not sure if the fault for that should fall on Hunter for failing to speak eloquently, or on Hartman for failing to properly contextualize some of the quotes. Whatever the case, I found myself reading over some of the quotes two or three times to try and discern what they meant.

Let's dissect some of Hunter's statements.
As for his decision to sign with the Angels he [Hunter] said: "It was like a 24-hour decision. I could not leave Anaheim -- that's a nice place, a nice ballpark, they play the game right, they've got a chance to win every year. Because Arte Moreno is that type of owner, he wants to win."
Yes, I'm sure the Twins have no interest in winning. Not like they've posted a winning record six times in the past seven years (one more time than the Angels have during that span). To me it seems like Hunter is associating "desire to win" with "willingness to spend obscene amounts of money on free agents." Whatever.
"Sometimes you're going to ask for a raise or whatever. And it just so happened that in major league baseball the market is up, it's way up." he said. "So, I was going to get what I was going to get. I just wanted to make sure that I was with a team that wants to win, that's going to try to win day in and day out. Whatever pieces to the puzzle that they need, they were going to go out and get it. I just didn't feel the Twins were that ballclub."
Ouch. Hunter may have a legitimate point here; indeed, Terry Ryan was always very timid about trading for the major piece that seemed necessary to make a run. Hunter's comments about a team being willing to go out and get the "pieces to the puzzle that they need" make me wonder if perhaps the Angels indicated to him during negotiations that they planned to make a strong push for Marlins' third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who they have been rumored to have interest in.

Anyway, here's where I really start to get annoyed:

It will be hard for the Twins to attract free agents, Hunter added, because the new stadium lacks a roof.

"People aren't even thinking about this," he said. "I wouldn't play in Minnesota unless my career was at an end and I had to go to Minnesota to play the game. ... People think that's not true -- that's 100 percent accurate. This is coming from a player, so I'm telling you."

Well, well... it seems that iron man Torii Hunter, who openly criticized teammates for not being able to play unless they were 100 percent healthy, would not play in a roofless stadium in Minnesota because the weather would be a little chilly at times. Are you kidding me? Does anyone else find that incredibly ironic?

Let's not forget about this little quote from from Hunter just over a year ago when the Twins exercised his 2007 option:

"I'd just like to play in the new stadium at least the first season," Hunter said. "To see it, play in it and be a part of the hometown. However long it takes to see that, I would be happy."
Nice one. The final Hunter quote in the Hartman column should illustrate what I meant when I said the article was confusing, and it should also illustrate just how delusional Hunter is about his own talents:
"Some people think that in three years, I'll be older ... but I feel like I can play left or right, and still be the best left fielder and right fielder in the game," he said. "Some people think that, but that's a mistake. You shouldn't think like that because that was terrible."
Yes Torii, I'm sure most people think that in three years, you'll be older. In fact, I can just about guarantee it. If Hunter actually thinks that he'll be the best left fielder or right fielder in the game in three years, he's out of his mind -- even at his best, he doesn't rank among the best hitters at either of those positions, and with his rapidly deteriorating defense I strongly doubt he'd be one of the best in baseball at either of those positions defensively.

I've never had a problem with the Angels before, but Hunter's comments give me reason to root against them next year. I liked Hunter just fine when he was here and always enjoyed watching him play, but the classless manner in which he has acted during his departure has left a sour taste in my mouth.

11 comments:

Minneapolis Red Sox said...

"Yes Torii, I'm sure most people think that in three years, you'll be older. In fact, I can just about guarantee it."

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that when I read the Hartman story.

doubleplusgood said...

Two conflicting reports from the Strib that make all this more confusing

Hartman's column: "Torii Hunter said he wouldn't have returned to the Twins even if the money was there because he doesn't believe they can compete with the more talented teams in the division."

Joe Christensen's column from Nov 22nd:
"I didn't want to leave the Twins," Hunter said. "I just felt like they were ready to leave me. They thought I was too old to do a five-year deal."

"They (Anaheim) told me, 'Look, we want you to be our center fielder,'" Hunter said. "And they gave me an amount of money that my momma and all my friends would have slapped me if I turned it down."

There's no hard feelings or anything like that," Hunter said. "I wish I could have stayed with the team that I grew up with since I was 17. I wanted to stay with them from Day 1, no matter what people are trying to say that I wanted to leave regardless."

"They were nowhere in sight prior to Tuesday," said Hunter's agent, Larry Reynolds. "We were thinking we were going to make a decision next week. But this call from the Angels changed all that because they basically said this offer's on the table for one day."

Hunter made his decision without having one last conversation with the Twins. But Reynolds had called Smith late last week, hinting that other teams were getting serious.

The White Sox and Royals each made offers for about $75 million. Hunter said he was close to a deal with the White Sox at one point, and the Rangers agreed to an option for a sixth year that would have brought their package to $84 million.

Then, the Angels entered with an offer that included a no-trade clause.

You read these two columns back to back and it's still difficult to figure out what he was thinking: he wanted to stay from Day 1, but the Twins aren't going to be competitive so he left; He would have stayed if the Twins offered him a 5 year deal, but he wouldn't have resigned with the Twins even if the money was comparable; it wasn't about the money, but his momma would have slapped him for not taking the money from Anaheim.

Torii, you signed elsewhere without allowing the Twins to counter any offer on the table. Does anyone really believe that the 3yr/$45 million offer was their final offer. They wanted to see what the market dictated. How can you then bash the Twins after the fact? You seriously considered signing with the Rangers for 6 yrs/$84 million. They traded A-Rod, Soriano, and Texeria in the last 4 years. The no-trade clause is what sealed the deal? Why? Because you know that the Angels have 5 outfielders vying for playing time and you're afraid of gettting traded to the Royals in 2 years.

I'm rambling at this point. I love Torii and everything he gave the Twins over the years, but I'll say it again, the Twins made the right decision. Just don't come back after the fact and try and rip the Twins for not paying you extra money for services rendered in the past. i know you're trying to get paid, but you're not going to be worth $16 million a year for the next 5. sorry.

Anonymous said...

ahh, he was overrated anyway. maybe when he hooks up with gary matthews jr and performance enhancing drugs, he will age -3 years in the next 3 years and actually get younger.

Tricia said...

I like Torii a lot, and am sad to see him go. Still, bleah! He didn't exit the Twins very gracefully at all, and good lord does he ever have a big mouth! Well, he's the Angels' problem now. I won't boo him at the home opener, but I sure won't feel compelled to cheer for him either.

Nick N. said...

DPG, good catch. These are the contradictions I'm talking about.

bd said...

Here's what's especially annoying:

It is soooo blatantly obvious that he's been playing the press the whole time; but

not only won't they call him on it - you'll never hear the call "bull****" - because Torii was "accessible".

Karleeee said...

Why does he have a tendancy to contradict himself?

He's a horrible liar.
I want to sit by center field opening day and just sob loudly the whole time. Or not. But I won't be one of those people boo'ing.


I truly don't care that he left. (okay just a little bit, shh)
I'm used to having people I enjoy watching leave just like that.

Oh sweet Lew.
I'm still not over that.
Now who will I play dungeons and dragons with now!

Nick? *pouts*
haha

Nick N. said...

Oh sweet Lew.
I'm still not over that.
Now who will I play dungeons and dragons with now!


I've heard Ford is in talks with a team in Japan. Somehow, that seems so fitting.

Karleeee said...

Oh man, lew playing in japan.

Thats like a fairy tale happy ending for him.

菲梵 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,

be said...

酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,