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Torii Hunter rips Angels teammates and coaches for not trying

Do the 2012 Angels look a lot like the 2011 Red Sox or what? Like Boston did with Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez prior to last season, Los Angeles went out and signed two enormous free agents this past offseason in Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. Unfortunately, they are also off to a terrible start like the one the Red Sox experienced last season. The Angels are 6-12 to begin the year and Pujols is in one of the worst slumps of his career. According to Torii Hunter, neither the players nor the coaches are putting enough effort into winning.

“You have to dig deep,” Hunter said after Wednesday night’s loss to the Rays, according to the L.A. Times. “We can’t get down in the first two innings and say, ‘Here we go again.’ We have to fight a little harder. I don’t think we believe we’re trying that hard. We’re just going through the motions. We have to do what we’re capable of doing. That’s everybody; not just the players.”

Many who have heard or read Hunter’s comments interpret that as a shot at Mike Scioscia. Hunter and Vernon Wells led off the second inning with back-to-back singles, and Scioscia opted to let Maicer Izturis swing away rather than bunt and move both men into scoring position with one out. The Angels were able to load the bases after that but could not push any runs across. Hunter alluded to that inning after the game when asked if early execution could have changed the outcome.

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Torii Hunter says police responded to alarm at his house and pulled out guns

Torii Hunter returned home from the Freeway Series finale against the Dodgers in Los Angeles Wednesday and had a bit of an episode. The Angels outfielder says his home security alarm went off and the police showed up. That’s when matters got so uncomfortable he ended up tweeting about the incident. Below is his description of what took place:

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Torii Hunter says the Twins were psyched out against the Yankees in the playoffs

For the past decade or so, the Yankees have owned the Twins in the postseason. Since the Yankees are always one of the best teams in the American League, that is nothing for Minnesota to be ashamed of. New York has owned a lot of teams, mostly because of how talented their roster is year in and year out. That may not be the only reason they have been able beat the Twins in four series since 2003, however. Former Minnesota center fielder Torii Hunter says the Twins have been intimidated by the Bronx Bombers, which may help explain the results.

“Some guys were nervous, all nervous,” Hunter said of his former teammates according to Eye on Baseball. “There were a lot of guys mentally down — like, ooh, we drew the Yankees.’ Just play the game. Once it gets in your head, you’re done.”

As evidence, Hunter told a story about a game during the 2004 ALDS when the Twins were trailing by a run with a runner on third and one out. Torii says one of Minnesota’s right-handed batters was asked to pinch hit against Mariano Rivera and refused.

“You need a righty hitter against Rivera with his cutter,” Hunter said, noting that Jason Kubel — a left-handed hitter — had to bat instead. “Kubel wasn’t afraid, but he’s a lefty hitter.”

Another former Twin, Michael Cuddyer, called Hunter’s comments “pretty accurate.” The Yankees are dangerous and Rivera has arguably the most devastating pitch in MLB history, but being legitimately afraid of the competition at that level is embarrassing. If I were a Twins fan, Hunter’s revelation would annoy me beyond belief.

UPDATE: Current Twins have denied Hunter’s assertion.

Photo credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Yankees Fan Offers Cash Tip to Torii Hunter for Helping with Fallen Glasses

Oh Yankees fans, so generous (or pompous), depending on how you view it:

This seems to be some sort of odd trend developing between Yankees fans and Torii Hunter. Remember what happened in June? That was in Anaheim, this was in The Bronx. Someone explain to me what’s going on here.

Thanks to Hot Clicks for the video

Torii Hunter Calls Himself ‘Negrodamus’

While there has not been much talk about them over the course of the season, the L.A. Angels wrapped up the first half of the season on an absolute tear.  The Angels’ record of 50-42 is nothing tremendous, but this is a team that was 36-39 heading into June 22 and has since won 14 out of 17 games including eight of their last nine.  For a team that is clicking on all cylinders, one might wonder if the All-Star Break has arrived at an inopportune time.  On Sunday, Torii Hunter made it clear that he really can’t predict what will become of the team.

“I don’t know man — I’m Negrodamus, not Nostradamus,” Hunter told Mike DiGiovanna after the game as pointed out by The Big Lead.

Classic.  Hunter is a respected clubhouse figure and a known team leader, so we all know his comment was all in good fun despite the fact that somebody somewhere will certainly be up in arms about it.  The bottom line is questions like that one are asked constantly but are always impossible to answer.  It’s nice when a player gives us a laugh from one of them, because that’s about the most we can ever get from it.

Fans Shower Torii Hunter with Dollar Bills in Right Field After Nick Swisher Home Run

It was a disappointing weekend for Angels fans. The Halos lost two of three games to the Yankees, which is worse than usual given the Angels’ record against the Yanks the past 10 years. Mark Teixeira homered twice for the Yankees off Joel Piniero, and then in the eighth inning Nick Swisher homered to make it 5-3. Though it was only Swisher’s fifth home run of the season, there was an even rarer occurrence in right field afterwards. After the home run, fans showered Hunter with dollar bills. Torii put the loose cash to good use:

“I can’t believe they’re throwing money like that in a recession,” Hunter said. “There’s so many people with no jobs, no money, and they made it rain [dollar bills] at a baseball game. That was crazy. I was not going to let that blow away. I called time out to pick it up. It was my lucky day. I didn’t get any hits, but I did get $24 and gave it to a kid.”

Hunter did give the money to a fan nearby the dugout, but nobody knows why the bills were thrown at him. If it was some sort of Carl Crawford-like gesture by Angels fans, they should make it more clear next time. Or maybe the fan was preparing to head to a strip joint after the game as Hunter suggested, and he lost a hold of the money. Who knows? At this point we’ll take any money we can get to help us buy another guy who can hit, so maybe that fan can give the money back to the club.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Torii Hunter Being Torii Hunter

Unfortunately for Adrian Beltre, the Anaheim Angels have been playing Torii Hunter in right field for the first time since like 1999.  Combine that with the fact that the right field wall in Fenway Park comes up to most outfielders’ waists, and you’ve got a situation where it’s extremely difficult to hit a home run to that part of the ballpark.  Check out the video of Torii Hunter robbing Adrian Beltre of a home run.  Certainly not Torii’s best work, but I hate when announcers say an outfielder robbed a guy of a homer when the ball wouldn’t have even gone out.  This, on the other hand, was a clear-cut big fly:

Video Credit: YouTube user dbidown74CA