Torii Hunter gives funny interview after Tigers-White Sox brawl (Video)

Torii-HunterDetroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland was as angry as you will ever see him during his team’s bench-clearing brawl against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. For those who missed it, you can see video of the melee here.

It all started in the bottom of the fifth when Chicago pitcher Chris Sale threw a pitch that went up under Prince Fielder’s chin after Miguel Cabrera belted a solo home run. The next inning, White Sox rookie catcher Josh Phegly hit a grand slam and Tigers reliever Luke Putkonen responded by throwing behind Alexei Ramirez, who then started toward the mound and the benches cleared.

After the game, Torii Hunter was asked about the brawl. He responded with several entertaining sound effects and refused to comment.

“The game was tough, man,” Hunter said with a sarcastic look on his face. “We lost the game and we’ll try to bounce back tomorrow.”

When reporters pressed on, Hunter made it clear he wasn’t going to get into detail about what happened.

“Is that the phone I hear ringing?” he joked. “It’s tough, man. You guys got tough questions today. That’s something we try to stay away from. We just play the game. The game polices itself. That’s all I got to say.”

There’s a reason Hunter has a reputation for being a great clubhouse guy. He could have fueled the fire, but instead he kept it vague and gave reporters nothing to write about. That’s the mark of a veteran and a leader.

Has Torii Hunter put together a Hall of Fame career?

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Torii Hunter has somewhat quietly put together one of the better careers among active MLB players. Hunter’s career achievements include four All-Star Games, nine Gold Gloves, and a Silver Slugger award. Hunter signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the Detroit Tigers in the offseason and has gotten off to a strong start with the team. He is batting .316/.363/.427 with two home runs and 31 runs scored in 48 games, while playing a solid right field.

A former first-round pick of the Minnesota Twins, Hunter saw his first action in the majors in 1997 when he was 21. He saw more consistent action over the next few years, but it wasn’t until 2001 that he truly broke out. He has been one of the most consistent performers in the bigs since then.

Now that he is nearing the end of his excellent career, it’s fair to ask whether or not Hunter is a Hall of Famer. SUBWAY® is celebrating “The Boys in the Hall” and has asked us to evaluate whether or not Hunter can make it to Cooperstown. We’ll answer the question by breaking down what Hunter has going for and against him.

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Torii Hunter catches Astros sleeping, steals second (GIF)

Torii Hunter shrugThe Houston Astros are not only the worst team in baseball, they’re also the least attentive bunch.

37-year-old Torii Hunter pulled a veteran move on the young squad during the second inning of the Detroit Tigers’ 18-2 whooping on Saturday.

Hunter was up with the bases empty and two outs. He hit a ground ball between first and second and Carlos Pena dove to make the stop. The ball went off Pena’s glove and was picked up by second baseman Jose Altuve. After beating out the infield hit, Hunter was hanging out on first when he noticed nobody was paying attention. Altuve, shortstop Ronny Cedeno, and pitcher Lucas Harrell had turned their backs to him, while Pena was dusting himself off from the dirt he accumulated after his dive.

By the time Harrell realized something was up, Hunter was already on second. Hunter then gave a shoulder shrug upon reaching second as if to say, “They left it open for me, why not take it?”

Miguel Cabrera then drove in Hunter with his first of two home runs in the game. He went 4-for-4 with six RBIs while Hunter also had four hits.

It’s not uncommon for players to turn their back to a baserunner after a hit. The only difference is they usually ask the umpire for time out in order to prevent baserunners from advancing. Someone on Houston forgot to do it for Houston that time.

H/T Reddit

Torii Hunter says he was misquoted on comments about a gay teammate

Let the damage control begin. Over the weekend, Kevin Baxter of the LA Times published a piece that quoted Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter as saying he would be uncomfortable with a gay teammate. He said his stance was based on his Christian faith, and as expected Hunter has been getting blasted for his lack of acceptance and beliefs that many feel are outdated.

On Monday, Hunter took to Twitter to try to clarify his stance. He went the old “I was misquoted” route.

“I’m very disappointed in Kevin Baxter’s article in which my quotes and feelings have been misrepresented,” Hunter wrote. “He took two completely separate quotes and made them into one quote that does not express how I feel as a Christian or a human being. I have love and respect for all human beings regardless of race, color or sexual orientation. I am not perfect and try hard to live the best life I can and treat all people with respect. If you know me you know that I am not anti anything and to be portrayed as anti-gay in this article is hurtful and just not true.”

Most athletes like these NFL players have said they would fully accept a gay teammate. Others like Roddy White have made insensitive comments about the gay community, and we see where that leads. Hunter’s comments fall somewhere in the middle. As he has likely learned, the middle is not a place you want to be.

Photo credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Torii Hunter: Gay teammate would be ‘difficult and uncomfortable’

Society has progressed when it comes to accepting people for who they are regardless of sexual preference, but sports locker rooms are still a place that have a ways to go.

Boxer Orlando Cruz recently revealed that he is gay, but there has yet to be an NFL, MLB, or NBA player who has come out while he was playing. Houston Texans running back Arian Foster feels people are more accepting these days and doesn’t think it will be much longer before a football player comes out. Athletes who were considering making such a bold move might think again after reading Torii Hunter’s comments.

Hunter is a four-time All-Star and has played in the majors since 1997. He was considered a clubhouse leader with the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels, and he told the Los Angeles Times that having a gay teammate would be “difficult and uncomfortable.”

“For me, as a Christian … I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it’s not right,” Hunter told the Times. “It will be difficult and uncomfortable.”

Kevin Baxter, who wrote a lengthy piece for the Times on gays in sports, described Hunter as saying that a gay teammate could divide a team.

It’s a disappointing view from someone who seems to be so great at uniting his teammates. One would think that players would accept a teammate no matter what if the player helped them win games. Perhaps Hunter would change his mind if he learned that one of his past teammates was gay, or if a prominent player came out.

Even though many NFL players have recently said they would not have a problem with a gay teammate, the comments of Hunter and someone like Falcons receiver Roddy White tells us there would still be plenty of skepticism.

UPDATE: Hunter says he was misquoted by the writer.

H/T Eye on Baseball
Photo credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Torii Hunter rips Angels for willingness to spend for Josh Hamilton and not him

Torii-Hunter-AngelsThe Los Angeles Angels made yet another enormous offseason splash on Thursday by reportedly signing Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million deal. Last winter, the Angels locked down the best hitter on the free agent market by bringing Albert Pujols aboard. They did the same this year by aggressively pursuing Hamilton and giving him the fifth year that many teams were hesitant to offer.

While Angels fans salivate at the thought of the middle of their lineup being anchored by Pujols, Hamilton and Mike Trout, at least one person was miffed by the signing. Check out the tweet Torii Hunter sent out when the news was announced on Thursday afternoon:

Despite the fact that he was still extremely productive in 2012 (.313 average, 16 homers and 92 RBI), L.A. and owner Arte Moreno decided not to bring their All-Star rightfielder back. If his tweet is any indication, Hunter was told the Angels couldn’t afford to re-sign him. He instead signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the Detroit Tigers.

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Torii Hunter asks astronaut in space about using the restroom: ‘Does it float?’ (Video)

Torii Hunter got the chance to interview Angels fan and NASA astronaut Joe Acaba, who is currently serving a four-month mission in the International Space Station, on Friday via satellite at Angels Stadium. Hunter took the opportunity to ask the hard-hitting questions: “Can you see Mark Trumbo’s home runs from space?” “Have you seen ET? Have you seen any alien life forms?” “Can you see the Big A?”

But there was one question Hunter asked that topped them all: “It sounds immature, but I see you floating, and there’s pretty much no gravity, so when you have to use the restroom, where does it go? Does it float?”

Let’s be honest, we’ve all wondered the same at least at some point of our lives. And it wasn’t even out of line. Acaba prefaced his answer with a “that’s a great question.”

As Acaba went through astronauts’ differing methods of excretion for No. 1′s and No. 2′s, Hunter, of course, began snickering like an 8th grader during a sex-ed lecture (or Anderson Cooper at the mention of a pussy willow). So, just wait until you see Hunter’s befuddled reaction when he learned that astronauts filter their pee-pee into drinking water.

Here’s video of the exchange. Good stuff starts at the 0:33 mark:

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