I guess it’s appropriate that today is, in fact, Thanksgiving because I want to use this opportunity to send a shout-out to one of my favorite baseball players, Torii Hunter. It was reported early this morning that Torii has signed a five-year pact with the Angels for roughly $90 million.
I could get into semantics about how the Angels overpaid for a guy who essentially offers a great glove in centerfield and is in the midst of a two-year offensive spike that deviates from his career norms, but I don’t care about all that. Everyone overpays in this market, and Torii would be a great addition to any ball-club that wants someone who is a leader on and off the field and a great ambassador for the game. Torii Hunter is just that.
Torii has been the face of the Twins franchise for years, pretty much ascending to that roll with the retirement of Kirby Puckett. His highlight reel catches and balls-to-the-wall style of play endeared him not only to the residents of Twins Territory, but to fans and players everywhere.
Torii is worth every penny of that contract, skill notwithstanding. He will be an incredible presence in the clubhouse and in the community, much as he was in Minnesota. He’ll lead the team on the field with his passion and desire to succeed and he’ll lead the team off the field with his compassion and caring for the fans and for promoting the game to the youth of America. Torii has long pushed to get more black youths involved in the game and playing in a bigger market will help him in that cause.
I wish nothing but the best for Torii in Los Angeles and I want to thank him for all of the memories and great times in Minnesota.