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Thread: Article: Two Eyes on Torii Hunter

  1. #1
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Article: Two Eyes on Torii Hunter


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    Senior Member All-Star Bark's Lounge's Avatar
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    The Rule of thumb for me is that once the Twins are eliminated from Postseason contention or from the post season - I will never root for an AL Central Team to win, after the AL Central is out of the equation, all my focus goes towards rooting for the Senior Circuit to take the WS Championship.

    As for Hunter's postseason dreams, I hope his club loses the series to the A's. Putting my disdain for our fellow AL Central opponents aside, as a fan, the A's pique my interest a bit more and I hope they make it to the World Series... to ultimately lose of course, but they are a fun team and a club that is easy root for.

    I cannot see Hunter returning to the Twins as a player after his contract with the Tigers expires, but stranger things have happened. I'd like to say we have too many OF prospects who should be playing full-time by then to entertain bringing Hunter back in 2015, but after watching this past season... All Bets are Off - I no longer rely on the hope of such notions. If Hunter did return to the Twins to close out his career, I believe that most Twins fans would be pretty happy about that. Hunter has his MN detractors, but overall, I think he is beloved amongst most Twins Fans.

    I think he talks too much for his own good, but like you said in your article, team mates seem to love him. No matter anyone's opinion on Hunter, he is a leader. Leave it or take it.

    Unless he is with the Twins - I have no interest in seeing T-Hunt win a World Championship.
    Last edited by Bark's Lounge; 10-08-2013 at 10:44 PM.
    I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne. Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky.

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    Senior Member All-Star Ultima Ratio's Avatar
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    Can he pitch?

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    Super Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Said it before, I'll say it again...one of my favorite Twins of all time. A good player, and he would run through a wall (or a catcher) to win a game.

    The Twins could use some of that.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    There's no I in team... but there are two I's in Torii.

    I like that he has fun on the field. He's certainly a guy who isn't afraid of a microphone and saying controversial things, which is why media types love him. He's been a very good player for a long time.

    I'm just not a fan, and it goes back to that 2005 season. Remember how much he bashed Mauer for not playing. Well, Hunter missed as many or more games with his injury as well. Also, when Hunter got hurt, did he stick around the team? Nope, he went home. Oh sure, he showed up for a day or two a couple months later. But then he mocked and ridiculed Mauer and Morneau's hitting styles. And, then he tried to punch Morneau, missed and hit Punto. Oh, and then he left the next day for the rest of the season. Nice.

    But, he gives a good interview, I guess.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
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    I would be happy to see Torii get a ring.
    Cheering for the NL seems an odd thing. The Braves play over there, don't they?

    I do cheer for the NL team if the Yankees are in the WS.
    I wouldn't cheer for the Yankees if they were playing Al Qaeda.

    For this year, go Justin! Go Pirates!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Triple-A h2oface's Avatar
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    Torii Hunter was the heart and soul, and the clubhouse leader. He was the franchise player, and never skipped a beat, and was embraced and a leader with the Angels and Tigers as well. Two i's in his name, eh? He is funny, gregarious, and just keeps on playing well, giving his all, and inspiring his teammates. The Twins have been in desperate need of a personality like Torii's since they decided to make Joe the face of the franchise. In the end, it is the spirit that makes winners, even when the talent is there. Talent without that spirit still doesn't win.

  8. #8
    Senior Member All-Star
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    And, then he tried to punch Morneau, missed and hit Punto.
    And this is a bad thing?

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    Senior Member Double-A
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    I agree with Seth. Hunter prioritized his relationships with the media over his teammates. It helped make him more popular with the casual fan, but the idea he was this great clubhouse leader was totally manufactured.

    He's been a fine player, and his defense actually matched the reputation back in his Twins days, but his best days are long gone and unless he's willing to sign a relatively cheap deal (highly unlikely) it's fairly likely he won't live up to his next contract. but the reality is, he's not the guy I'd want mentoring the young OFs we have coming up through the system. I can't see him being a guy who would yield playing time to younger players happily.

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    Senior Member Triple-A
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    I always liked Hunter but never felt he was elite and wasn't that upset when the Twins let him go. In Hindsight I really didn't appreciate everything he brought to the table and when with the Twins he seemed to get hurt so I figured his career was in decline. As usual I couldn't have been more wrong. As for his love of the media and saying controversial things it never really bothered me much as it seemed he got along with teammates just fine and that is what mattered to me. If he was clubhouse cancer that would be a different thing.
    Last edited by Dman; 10-09-2013 at 08:42 AM.

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    I would not mind him getting a ring at some point, but I would rather see the Tigers lose.

    I think the Twins could use a more extroverted personality, and I think on a good team, Hunter would greatly contribute to a spirited atmosphere. At this point, I am not sure how much he would contribute to a team struggling to regain relevance. When things aren't going well for him he can get a little moody and passive-aggressive. I think he understandably felt under-appreciated in 2007, but it got old reading every away game interview where he was telling the opposing team reporter how their team/city is one of the few he could see himself playing. Even his criticisms of teammates seemed to be largely to get the sound byte than to improve the team. I thought I remembered an interview of Morneau the next year where he implied Torii never spoke to Joe directly about his issues with him.

    I actually do like Torii, but I don't think he would be the tonic for an ailing team (although he might be a boost for a team on the rise), and at this point of his career would he even want to be part of a rebuilding process. Plus, as someone mentioned earlier, he can't pitch.

  12. #12
    He left US! He's the enemy - Get over it!

    Signed -

    Not a Torii fan -

  13. #13
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Boom Boom's Avatar
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    I used to like Torii until he made that boneheaded dive in the 2006 ALDS.

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    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark's Lounge View Post
    The Rule of thumb for me is that once the Twins are eliminated from Postseason contention or from the post season - I will never root for an AL Central Team to win, after the AL Central is out of the equation, all my focus goes towards rooting for the Senior Circuit to take the WS Championship.
    I am exactly the opposite. I go on rooting for AL Central teams to win (including the White Sox) and I often end up rooting for an AL team to win the series (except for the Yankees or the Rangers). This year, though, I'm rooting for the Pirates but if the Pirates and Tigers would somehow end up in the Series, I'd consider that win-win.

    I don't know if Torii is the right piece to add back in but I definitely think the Twins need to add in some veteran leadership with a bit more personality than we've seen recently. And I found it very telling that Gardenhire thinks the same thing about needing a clubhouse leader (at least according to Howard Sinker's tweet on the 10/1 season ticket holder conference call).

    Gardenhire is probably thinking more of a Nick Punto, Michael Cuddyer or Jim Thome type of player so it's time to peruse the free agent lists to see who might fill that need.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    Said it before, I'll say it again...one of my favorite Twins of all time. A good player, and he would run through a wall (or a catcher) to win a game.

    The Twins could use some of that.
    Amen!! One of my 3 favorite Twins.

    The Twins could use a lot of Torii's spirit. I think he has a lot to teach the kids (Arcia, Buxton and Hicks). Will he sign for that role--I doubt it--but it is worth a shot.

  16. #16
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    I'd definately like his personality back in the clubhouse.

    I mean to say I would like someone with a personality in the clubhouse.

    I think the Morneau dust-up was overblown. Hunter was calling out Morneau to be a better teammate and Morneau credits the incident with changing him in just that way. Those two mended fences long ago. I think Hunter's guts to call out teammates that may be undermining the team is a positive trait, just not one that is common or appreciated in the midwest.

    If his leadership is manufactured, it's been manufactured pretty well, both of his former managers loved the guy and went out of their way to praise him and lobby for him every chance they got. We damn well know Ron Gardenhire doesn't suffer any Prima Donnas.

  17. #17
    Junior Member Rookie
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    From a fans prospective, Torii was awesome. Great attitude at the ballpark, happy to say hi during batting practice. And as others have talked about, Justin might just have needed a clubhouse flair to spark his career development? I would like to see him playing for the Twins again.

  18. #18

    My 2 greatest Torii memories

    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
    I used to like Torii until he made that boneheaded dive in the 2006 ALDS.
    The two memories of Torii that jump to mind are 1) Robbing Barry Bonds of a homerun in the 2002 All-Star game, and 2) his botched dive to lose to the A's in the 2006 ALDS.

    Which, now that I think about it, perfectly encapsulates both the flair for the spectacular and the stupidity throughout his career.
    Last edited by Bad_News_Bears; 10-09-2013 at 11:46 AM.

  19. #19
    You know, Kirby Puckett was worth 50.8 rWAR in his 12 seasons with the Twins, from age 24-35. Torii Hunter has been worth 50.1 rWAR in his career, all but 0.6 of it in the 13 seasons from age 25-37. Kirby was the better hitter (124 OPS+ vs. 111 OPS+, although that's skewed somewhat by the time Torii spent developing in the majors from age 22-24), but in terms of overall value Torii isn't far below Kirby's mark.

    Anyway, he has had a very good career, and still going strong at age 37 (.304/.334/.465, 114 OPS+, 2.1 rWAR this year). But I can't see him wanting to come back to Minnesota to finish his career with a rebuilding project, unless his skills have deteriorated so much by 2015-16 that nobody else really wants him. As long as Detroit wants to keep him, why would he leave except to sign for more money elsewhere? And if money becomes an issue with him, I can't see the Twins making an offer that satisfies him on that point, either.

  20. #20
    Torii was fantastic. We could have used some of that edginess and outwardness (and the big smile) in the '08-'10 years.

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