Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:42 PM
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.
Edited by Bark's Lounge, 08 October 2013 - 09:44 PM.
Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:30 PM
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.
Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:35 PM
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!
Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:56 PM
Posted 09 October 2013 - 06:38 AM
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.
Posted 09 October 2013 - 07:35 AM
Edited by Dman, 09 October 2013 - 07:42 AM.
Posted 09 October 2013 - 07:41 AM
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.
Posted 09 October 2013 - 08:42 AM
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.
Posted 09 October 2013 - 08:57 AM
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.
Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:13 AM
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.
Posted 09 October 2013 - 10:12 AM
Posted 09 October 2013 - 10:43 AM
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.
Edited by Bad_News_Bears, 09 October 2013 - 10:46 AM.
Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:30 AM
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.