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Torii Hunter still a bit sour about departure from Anaheim

Feb 3, 2013, 7:02 PM EDT

hunter getty tall Getty Images

“I was told money was tight,” veteran outfielder Torii Hunter tweeted on December 13, shortly after the Angels signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million free agent contract. “But I guess [Angels owner Arte Moreno] had money hidden under a mattress. Business is business but don’t lie.”

Hunter later claimed that he was joking, but it’s quite obvious that some of those feelings came from a place of true frustration. Here’s Mike DiGiovanna, Angels beat writer for the Los Angeles Times:

Hunter said he was “trying to be funny” in his tweet, adding that the Angels organization “is A-1; I had a blast there.” But he also felt misled. “Just tell me straight up that you don’t want me,” Hunter said, “and I’ll be fine with that.”

Hunter signed a two-year, $26 million contract with the Tigers in mid-November after getting only a one-year, $5 million offer from the Halos. The 37-year-old batted .313/.365/.451 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI in 140 games last season for Anaheim. He is a .277/.335/.466 career hitter in MLB.

  1. alexo0 - Feb 3, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Hunter doesn’t seem like the type to forgive and forget easily.

    • The Common Man - Feb 3, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      Other peoples’ honesty is really important to Torii. Not so much his own.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:18 PM

        I don’t get the reference. What incident w/ Torii being dishonest are you referencing?

      • paperlions - Feb 3, 2013 at 10:02 PM

        At the very least, he didn’t take responsibility for his comments about his attitudes toward a gay team mate. It also wasn’t particularly genuine to blame his homophobia on his religion, when he’s had no problem ignoring so many other rules of it.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 3, 2013 at 10:40 PM

        That’s reaching.

      • paperlions - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:12 AM

        Not really, especially on the scale of lying that so bothered Hunter. Hunter blathered on about his homophobia and then claimed his comments were taken out of context, which of course, they were not as they were recorded and presented word for word. In short, he lied about both what he said and what he meant.

        The Angels just said that money was tight and he got his panties in a bunch when they signed Hamilton. His lies were easily as disingenuous as those of the Angels.

      • koongoshad - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:28 AM

        unfortunately humanity is being driven that way. expect honesy withouot giving it.Thanks Tori for the moral lesson demonstration

      • The Common Man - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:28 AM

        Last year, he told Jon Heyman that the Twins were intimidated by the Yankees and that, in one case, Lew Ford refused to pinch hit in the 9th inning against Mariano Rivera (which is a pretty outrageous accusation to level against a former teammate). Subsequent investigation revealed that that was demonstrably false:

      • historiophiliac - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:38 AM

        Common Man, thanks for the response. I see where you’re coming from.

        I’m not even going to respond to the paper bag. he he

  2. yankeepunk3000 - Feb 3, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    don’t make tori angry…you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry

  3. hardballtalkusername - Feb 3, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Hunter also said he would retire if he wasn’t with the Angels. And the Angels did want him, but they didn’t want to overpay for a 38 year-old outfielder, hence the $5 million offer.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 3, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      I don’t think that said they wanted him. They offered him something they knew he wouldn’t take because he could get more elsewhere.

      • pdowdy83 - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        They still made an offer. If they didn’t want him at all no offer would have been extended (ie the Nationals and Edwin Jackson). It simply said we think you are a nice player who we would welcome back at our comfort level but you are 38 and had a year that was vastly inflated by a BABIP about 80 points higher than his career average.

  4. paperlions - Feb 3, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    It wasn’t you Tori, it was them….or something.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 3, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      At least they broke up with him before getting into a new relationship.

  5. jason1214 - Feb 3, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Torri, they didn’t re-sign you…there is your answer.

  6. boyofzimmer - Feb 3, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    Shut up! Blowhard!

  7. proudlycanadian - Feb 3, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    At half time in the game, do not be surprised to see a report linking Thome with the Indians. It is a slow news day folks.

    • proudlycanadian - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      For the record, the story linking Thome with the Indians wasn’t posted until Monday morning.

  8. mazblast - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Torii, you’re rapidly erasing my image of you as one of the classy players in baseball. Remember that anything that can be misunderstood, will be misunderstood–especially when you say something stupid and then try to call it “humor”.

  9. Stiller43 - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Money is tight FOR YOU. For players they think will help them win, money is there.

    Sorry they didnt make that clear enough.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      I think that’s what he was saying he wanted them to say. Just be up front about it.

  10. Old Gator - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    And in other news, Charles Darwin has cited another bout with Chagas disease in deciding not to represent the Galapagos Islands in the World Baseball Classic. The archipelago will instead by represented by Bugs Bunny, who is less likely to be destroyed in a current rabbit eradication program if he is playing somewhere else.

    • proudlycanadian - Feb 3, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      So that is what’s up doc.

    • kiwicricket - Feb 3, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      So rabbit calicivirus disease (RCD) is just a mild form of STD and easily preventable?

      Maui, after pulling up the North Island of New Zealand whilst fishing, has confirmed that he will be playing for team Aotearoa.

      • jwbiii - Feb 3, 2013 at 9:51 PM

        Will Kurt Suzuki be playing for Maui?

    • 6stn - Feb 3, 2013 at 10:11 PM

      That is pwonounced wabbit ewadication pwogwam.

      Sincewely ,

      E. Fudd

      • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:10 PM

        I stand cowwected.

    • jackrabbit56 - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      Bugs ended up in the Galapagos having missed a left turn at Albuquerque.

      • Old Gator - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        He probably wound up getting bombed on beta carotene at Annapurna and lost direction altogether.

  11. vikesfansteve - Feb 3, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    When you miss a bunch of games because you went to be with your son who’s on trial, they might not want you back.

    • mazblast - Feb 3, 2013 at 9:50 PM

      I’m 100% for Torii on that one. Family comes first, especially when a member of your immediate family is in deep trouble.

      • vikesfansteve - Feb 3, 2013 at 10:09 PM

        Try that at your job, if you have one.

    • joerymi - Feb 3, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      So they refuse to resign a guy for missing some games, then turn around and sign a guy that has only played 140+ games twice in his career? And one of those was 148.

      • jarathen - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        They didn’t sign Torii Hunter because he had an uncharacteristically good year during a period where most players normally decline. He’s still a good player, but I could understand the Angels overspending on a younger guy who hits left-handed (their other big threats are largely righties).

  12. seitz26 - Feb 3, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Well, as was said back at the time, the Angels were still in on Greinke when Hunter signed with Detroit. They had a lot of money to spend on an outfielder once that fell through, but by then, Torii was gone.

  13. tfbuckfutter - Feb 3, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    I feel for Torii.

    I’m still confused about how my high school girlfriend said she didn’t feel mature enough for a relationship “right now” and then immediately started dating a football player.

    What the hell Angels, and also Justina?

  14. theaxmancometh - Feb 3, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    If Torii wanted to be Angel, he would be. He’s made a $135 million in his career. Boo hoo no $ for me! Stfu Torii

    • magicrat13 - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      putting aside the ridiculous amount of money baseball players make…

      i don’t know anyone who would take $5mm over $13MM…no matter how much they made in their career…

      • pdowdy83 - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        Right, but there is also no reason to make public statements about how you feel slighted by another team for offering you less. Torri should be incredibly happy he landed the contract he did after having a year when his walk rate dipped, his WAR is inflated by a huge spike on the defensive side of the ball and his BABIP was at 80 points higher than his career average.

  15. soobster - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    He’s lucky Anaheim didn’t demand some of their money back on his way out.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:14 AM

      For what? For having a great year in 2012?

  16. Minoring In Baseball - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    I understand how a player in his situation could be frustrated, but time to put it in the past and concentrate in the coming season. The Tigers have a chance to be pretty good again this season, and he can still definately contribute to that. The best way to make Anaheim regret thier decision is to have a fine season, and help Detroit make it to the playoffs.

  17. halohonk - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Amazing how well you can play when its your contract year. Thanks for the memories. You made 40 + million off the Angels . At the time that was a big money deal. You should be happy the Tigers gave you 26 mil. and not trash Arte. We got Josh now, were happy. See you in the playoffs.

  18. crackersnap - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    This? Still? And now the Dodgers semi-official media outlet is carrying his water?

    How come NOBODY asks Torii what his counteroffer was? Oh…wait…there was no counteroffer, was there Torii? Dipoto made his opening offer, and you dashed off and courted the balance of the AL, and signed with Detroit before all the other, younger, FA’s had taken the good slots.

    Yeah, Dipoto must be some kind of lying monster.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      That is just beyond stupid.

  19. lionsplayoffs - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    There’s only one way to show an organization that they made a mistake. And it isn’t whining on Twitter.

  20. halonation15 - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    The Angels should have been more upfront with Hunter, yet at the same time Hunter was caught talking out both sides of his mouth. Money was always there and they wanted Hunter to return, but not at the price he wanted. He could have come back, but money was more important than remaining an Angel. Thus, signing with the Tigers for more money. This topic really goes both ways, though, because the Angels could have given Hunter more of an explanation as to why he was only offered $5M, 1-year. Had Hunter been in-on more information, then his chances of staying might have been higher. The Halos, however, just didn’t want to spend “big” on a player that may not replicate his 2012 numbers. I will always love, respect and miss Torii, but he hasn’t been helping himself much since November. And like Hunter said, “it’s a business.”

  21. brianc6234 - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    This is stupid. Torii was told the truth. The Angels wanted to re-sign Greinke. That was their main plan. When he signed with the Dodgers they decided to go after Josh Hamilton. It’s Torii’s fault though. Nobody told him to sign with the Tigers so soon. If he was still available maybe the Angels would have given him a deal. He made his decision.

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