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Torii Hunter Calls Reporter A "Prick" At Press Conference


Parker Hageman
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I tend to believe that context matters. Where is the contextual connection between endorsing a candidate in a different state than this one and his signing to play right field for the Twins?

 

Also, when I said "everyone" I was engaging in hyperbole. I tend to pretty much always like "mike wants wins" viewpoints on TD but you shouldn't always be so literal. :)

 

fair enough on the last point....I know better.

 

I doubt we'll agree on the first point. I have a strong belief that if you are involved in politics publicly, it is fair game to get asked questions about it.

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That's a "moral high ground" Hunter can't claim at this point. He publicly endorsed a politician just last month based on his stance on gay marriage.

 

One doesn't get to leverage their fame to push a personal agenda and then cry foul when others call them out for it.

 

I'm a staunch defender of celebrities being given privacy and hold the utmost disdain for paparazzi who dig into private lives but the kid gloves come off when the celebrity willingly throws their opinion into the public domain.

 

I really don't disagree with this at all.  Everyone involved probably expeted the traditional fluffy introductory news conference.  I'm fine with changing the expectations for these things, though it might have been more of a fair fight had the subject been notified of the updated unwritten rules.

 

Still, Berardino's motives appear to be of the selfish variaty.  He got burned reporting that Hunter was most interested in signing with a contender, his recent Tweets about Hunter's defense seem to indicate Berardino wasn't a fan of bringing him back and clearly he doesn't agree with Hunter's political views (good for him).  All that points to him being an instigator for the purpose of burning a guy in embarassing fashion.  The question would have appeared to be more impartial had it come from someone, well who appeared to be more impartial.

Edited by nicksaviking
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I really enjoy reading, talking, arguing politics. However, I don't always enjoy it. When I don't enjoy it I go to sports and specifically to the Twins. I can't imagine I'm alone in the thought I want my sports completely devoid of political discussions.

 

 

 

Great post, Dutch.  And that's my biggest gripe, too.  I gag when either players or the press inject this kind of stuff into a "game", an escape from worries about work, the economy and the cheap-trick-gotchas of gutter politics and insipidly pedantic ideology.

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I really don't disagree with this at all.  Everyone involved probably expeted the traditional fluffy introductory news conference.  I'm fine with changing the expectations for these things, though it might have been more of a fair fight had the subject been notified of the updated unwritten rules.

 

Still, Berardino's motives appear to be of the selfish variaty.  He got burned reporting that Hunter was most interested in signing with a contender, his recent Tweets about Hunter's defense seem to indicate Berardino wasn't a fan of bringing him back and clearly he doesn't agree with Hunter's political views (good for him).  All that points to him being an instigator for the purpose of burning a guy in embarassing fashion.  The question would have appeared to be more impartial had it come from someone, well who appeared to be more impartial.

 

just as we don't know if Hunter is a good leader in the clubhouse, we don't know Berardino's motives. 

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I really don't disagree with this at all.  Everyone involved probably expeted the traditional fluffy introductory news conference.  I'm fine with changing the expectations for these things, though it might have been a more fair fight  

1) had subject been notified of the updated unwritten rules.

 

Still, Berardino's motives appear to be of the selfish variaty.  He got burned reporting that Hunter was most interested in signing with a contender, his recent Tweets about Hunter's defense seem to indicate Berardino wasn't a fan of bringing him back and clearly he doesn't agree with Hunter's political views (good for him).  All that points to him being an instigator for the purpose of burning a guy in embarassing fashion.

2)  The question would have appeared to be more impartial had it come from someone, well who appeared to be more impartial.

 

1) Great, now we have yet another  new set of "unwritten rules"... :banghead:

 

2) And that's how almost all journalists used to do their jobs not all that long ago.

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It wasn't only Morneau. Hunter also went after Pujols when he was with the Angels.

 

Though I often disagree with him, I appreciate some of Hunter's candor and fire but taking swings at teammates is bad form under any circumstances and Hunter has done just that on multiple occasions.

Disagree, any punch that hilariously ends with Nick Punto accidentally taking the brunt of it is awesome, hilarious and should be celebrated. I wish we had video of it.

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His public statement of his beliefs is old news.  The fact that they came out again?  Okay, that's not old, but what they are is.  And if there wasn't an election, it wouldn't have happened.  Was it smart for him to do so as he was entering free agency?  It's his choice and his right to do so and deal with the consequences.  But bringing this all up at a press conference in the manner it was, I call that sensational journalism.  What was the pertinence of that?  As was said above, very ill-timed.  And Hunter's response?  Unprofessional.

If you read what Berardino later wrote he asked it because he wanted to know if Torii thought those statements hurt his ability to get a longer or more lucrative contract. I think this is a valid question and it was the right setting. I also think it probably did impact his ability to get a contract with some teams.

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1) Great, now we have yet another  new set of "unwritten rules"... :banghead:

 

2) And that's how almost all journalists used to do their jobs not all that long ago.

 

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the direction journalism has taken.  But had the question even come from a homer like La Velle, there probably would be more shock and less outrage.

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Disagree, any punch that hilariously ends with Nick Punto accidentally taking the brunt of it is awesome, hilarious and should be celebrated. I wish we had video of it.

It's absolutely hilarious because what proper Twins fan can't get a laugh out of seeing Nick Punto get punched?

 

But it also speaks volumes about Hunter's vaunted "clubhouse presence" because Hunter vs. teammate altercations are not an uncommon occurrence.

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Asking  Hunter a question about something he has been actively vocal about in the past as well as recent past is 100% not off limits, Mike's timing may have been a little peculiar but it wasn't a bad or off limits question. And off limits question would be Mike bringing up the rape charges that were previously brought up against Hunter's son. There is a huge difference, one issue is a private family matter, the other is literally just asking a question to Hunter that Hunter himself brought up (by appearing in a political ad)

 

I'd like to see the media take a harder stance on Minnesota Sports in general. The constant losing and chokes by EVERY team has gotten old. Russo is fantastic when it comes to the Wild, hopefully someone can emulate him when it comes to the Twins.

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Personally, I'd be the biggest Mike Berardino fan in the world had he instead asked Hunter which teammate he plans to punch first because that is baseball-related and exposes Hunter as the questionable clubhouse presence he is.

 

Thankyou, 100% agreement.  That's all many of us are asking for here.

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From Mike Berardino's statement: "Regardless, I consider the unfortunate matter closed and I look forward to covering Mr. Hunter throughout the 2015 baseball season."

 

I agree.

 

I hope so.  We'll probably get a similar statement from Hunter too, and as skeptical as I am, I'd guess on some level both mean it.  This circus will be entertaining for all of about a week.  Then we need to move on, this crap better not carry over into the season.

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It's absolutely hilarious because what proper Twins fan can't get a laugh out of seeing Nick Punto get punched?

 

But it also speaks volumes about Hunter's vaunted "clubhouse presence" because Hunter vs. teammate altercations are not an uncommon occurrence.

The thing is, clubhouse altercations happen all the time in sports, the majority of which are behind closed doors and don't get reported on.

For all the "issues" Hunter has had in fights or what not, I can't recall one former teammate or team bashing him out the door or saying he was anything less than a good leader on the field/club house. At the end of the day I want Hunter to teach Hicks/Arcia some OF skills and some skills at the plate. I don't care one bit what he teaches them when it comes to political stances etc as long as it isn't a distraction.

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I hope so.  We'll probably get a similar statement from Hunter too, and as skeptical as I am, I'd guess on some level both mean it.  This circus will be entertaining for all of about a week.  Then we need to move on, this crap better not carry over into the season.

 

Right, if his first lesson to the young guys is "be a jerk to reporters", we have an issue. If this is a one time event, we'll all forget it soon.

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The thing is, clubhouse altercations happen all the time in sports, the majority of which are behind closed doors and don't get reported on.

For all the "issues" Hunter has had in fights or what not, I can't recall one former teammate or team bashing him out the door or saying he was anything less than a good leader on the field/club house. At the end of the day I want Hunter to teach Hicks/Arcia some OF skills and some skills at the plate. I don't care one bit what he teaches them when it comes to political stances etc as long as it isn't a distraction.

I know altercations happen all the time. Sports are competitive... Which is why I didn't get too upset over the Hunter/Morneau thing.

 

The occasional disagreement is expected. My problems with Hunter stem from a myriad of things: his vocal stupidity on race, marriage, and other topics and the fact that he seems to get into a lot of altercations with teammates. Neither speaks well to his character in my opinion.

 

Teammates disagreeing is one thing, teammates going all Bonds/Kent in the dugout on a regular basis is something else entirely, doubly so when Hunter so routinely gets a pass from the press just because he's approachable.

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If you read what Berardino later wrote he asked it because he wanted to know if Torii thought those statements hurt his ability to get a longer or more lucrative contract. I think this is a valid question and it was the right setting. I also think it probably did impact his ability to get a contract with some teams.

 

I don't see your evidence, as far as I know, no club has publicly stated that they weren't pursuing Hunter because of his beliefs.  Hunter has been controversial for a long, long time, and it didn't stop major media market teams in Los Angeles and Detroit from ponying up literally, over $100 million to Hunter.

 

The correct line of attack, in staying on baseball-related inquiry, if Berardino chose to pursue it further, was, "Did Torii come here only because other teams wouldn't give him $10.5M because they considered him washed up due to his age and a drop-off in defense."  And oh yeah, those were addressed.  Berardino's questions look like grandstanding after having a very bad week or two of reportorial Fails.

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Right, if his first lesson to the young guys is "be a jerk to reporters", we have an issue. If this is a one time event, we'll all forget it soon.

 

Uhh, Torii won multiple man of the year media awards in his time here. I think you're forgetting that he was a media darling for being the Twins' colorful human quote machine.

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There were no winners in this fracas. For my personal view, I gravitate to sports, or any entertainment, to get away from daily life struggles, including politics.

 

I think it's important to separate the player from the individual. If you want to delve into the individual, do an in-depth story about the individual. There's a right time and wrong time.

 

Also, having the"entertainer" espousing their beliefs because of their public status irks me as much. There is a right and wrong time for that. Example, the Rams five "protest" at the NFL game. They have the right but they don't own the venue. If one owns the venue then they have every right to say or ask what's on their mind. Just don't take my time to do that.

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I hate this topic and 99% of me wants to stay away from it and not comment, but I think it's a fair topic.

 

Berardino is the best, and when he asked about the Defensive Metrics, I loved it.

 

When he asked about his political and religious views, I sat in my chair feeling gross, just icky. I didn't want to hear that question and I didn't want to hear the response. As you could tell, and Torii said as he stepped away from the mic, "That guy just ruined it." 

 

I don't mind the question. I just hated the timing. It would have been a fair question in a one-on-one forum. 

 

Do I agree with Hunter's original comments? Not really, and yet I understand them. I can't help but wonder, if reporters went player-by-player throughout every big league clubhouse, and the players were to answer truthfully, I can't help but guess that 90+% would have very similar thoughts to Torii on the topic. And, I don't have a problem with a player saying, "I don't know how I'd feel. I haven't experienced that, so I just don't know." The problem is Hunter isn't afraid to express his opinions, and he's enough of a star that everyone cares. 

 

I know a lot of people who have the same or similar beliefs as Torii voiced. They're not bad people. And I know it doesn't affect their jobs or their ability to lead or any of that. 

 

So, I think, and this is just my current opinion, that we need to try to separate his comments on this topic with the baseball stuff, with his ability to lead this clubhouse or be a good mentor for young players. 

 

that said, I wish he would have handled the situation better. No question, he could have. 

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Was that lesson one in the Torii Hunter "How to be a professional" handbook?

 

 

You're at a press conference, where people ask you questions, you'd think after playing for so long and being interviewed so many times Hunter would be a little more adept at responding to such questions, but ego is a powerful thing.

 

If Torii can't stand the heat of a game that is played at the centre of the public eye, he should get out of the 10.5 million dollar oven.

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I hate this topic and 99% of me wants to stay away from it and not comment, but I think it's a fair topic.

 

Berardino is the best, and when he asked about the Defensive Metrics, I loved it.

 

When he asked about his political and religious views, I sat in my chair feeling gross, just icky. I didn't want to hear that question and I didn't want to hear the response. As you could tell, and Torii said as he stepped away from the mic, "That guy just ruined it." 

 

I don't mind the question. I just hated the timing. It would have been a fair question in a one-on-one forum. 

 

Do I agree with Hunter's original comments? Not really, and yet I understand them. I can't help but wonder, if reporters went player-by-player throughout every big league clubhouse, and the players were to answer truthfully, I can't help but guess that 90+% would have very similar thoughts to Torii on the topic. And, I don't have a problem with a player saying, "I don't know how I'd feel. I haven't experienced that, so I just don't know." The problem is Hunter isn't afraid to express his opinions, and he's enough of a star that everyone cares. 

 

I know a lot of people who have the same or similar beliefs as Torii voiced. They're not bad people. And I know it doesn't affect their jobs or their ability to lead or any of that. 

 

So, I think, and this is just my current opinion, that we need to try to separate his comments on this topic with the baseball stuff, with his ability to lead this clubhouse or be a good mentor for young players. 

 

that said, I wish he would have handled the situation better. No question, he could have. 

 

I'm glad you shared your feelings here, Seth.  IMO, it was well stated, and well worth your time in doing so.

 

And I had forgotten that Torii had made that offhand remark ("this guy just ruined it").  Very telling. And for a guy that wears his heart on his sleeve, his reaction afterwards was predictable.  Not to excuse it at all, but it was more of Torii being Torii- sometimes the guy forgets that he doesn't have an internal filter, and he yet again gets himself into trouble. 

Edited by jokin
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Was that lesson one in the Torii Hunter "How to be a professional" handbook?

 

 

You're at a press conference, where people ask you questions, you'd think after playing for so long and being interviewed so many times Hunter would be a little more adept at responding to such questions, but ego is a powerful thing.

 

If Torii can't stand the heat of a game that is played at the centre of the public eye, he should get out of the 10.5 million dollar oven.

 

Uhh, he's been at this for 20 years and has succeeded at putting his foot in his mouth far more often than not, I think we all are aware of Torii's limitations at "adpetness"/"adeptitude" in this regard.

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