When the Angels initially signed Torii Hunter in 2007, I was not a fan of the deal. I thought 5 years and $90 million was way too much and I still believe that his $18 million per year is too high. But when I complained about the contract, I was constantly told that Hunter would be worth the money. One of the main arguments was that Hunter was an excellent clubhouse guy and that value could not be understated. I scoffed at that notion but three years later I see what people meant.
The Angels have been struggling offensively and Juan Rivera in particular has not been making up for his poor defense in left field with his typical production at the plate. The team decided to make a move on Tuesday, promoting prospect Peter Bourjos who was tearing it up at triple-A Salt Lake. The issue was that Bourjos plays center field — the same spot occupied by nine-time Gold Glove winner Torii Hunter. Naturally you would expect the spot to go to the veteran while the rookie earns his place. Not with Hunter. The gracious, ultimate team player put winning first and his ego second: