Tag:Torii Hunter
Posted on: August 7, 2010 6:10 pm

Hunter suspended four games

Angels outfielder Torii Hunter was a late scratch Saturday as he was notified he will be suspended four games for making contact with umpire Ron Kulpa on Friday night while arguing a strikeout call.

Hunter will not appeal the suspension and will serve it immediately, according to Angels broadcaster Victor Rojas via Twitter.

Hunter could have bought some time by appealing, but there really was no point. The Angels are out of the race and you can't beat the rap if you touch an umpire (Hunter inadvertently hit Kulpa with his hat brim) anyway.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 6, 2010 10:00 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2010 12:10 am

Hunter tossed, makes contact with ump

Torii Hunter Torii Hunter's bad week has gotten worse.

First he's moved from center field, then his baserunning gaffe Wednesday night may have cost the Angels a game. Friday night was the worst, though, as Hunter made contact with umpire home plate umpire Ron Kulpa.

With the Angels leading 4-2 in the eighth inning, Hunter was called out on three consecutive called strikes by Kulpa -- and then hit Kulpa with the brim of his helmet and he was promptly tossed. Angels manager Mike Scioscia was ejected as well. According to PitchFX on MLB.com, all three pitches were strikes, although all three were close.

Although Hunter is known in baseball circles as one of the best of the good guys, but anytime a player makes contact with an umpire, he can expect a suspension and fine -- and Hunter's no exception.

Hunter finished the game 1 for 3 with a two-run homer in the first innings and the Angels won 4-2.

UPDATE: Hunter denied his move from center field to right field had anything to do with his popping off, and didn't realize he made contact with Kulpa.

From the Orange County Register :

"Just crazy. I'm a competitor. You don't want to act like that," Hunter said. "But understand – this is my passion. I'm a very competitive guy and I felt like it was taken away from me, the chance to compete.

"For me to get upset, you know some things were said. I'm sorry. But at the same time, I had to do it."

Hunter indicated there was a "buildup all day" of comments from Kulpa that led to the ejection.

"Obviously, Torii didn't like 'Strike One' and we had a talk about 'Strike One' and then he didn't like 'Strike Three' and we had a conversation about 'Strike Three' and he said some things that crossed the line and he got ejected," Kulpa said. "Then after that he 'beaked' me with the brim of his helmet. ... right above my left eye."

Replays appeared to confirm there was contact between Hunter's helmet and Kulpa's face. But that was news to him, said Hunter who admitted Kulpa's reaction to the inadvertent contact set him off further.

"I don't remember bumping him. If I did, it definitely wasn't intentional," Hunter said. "Then he made it very dramatic. That's what got me really upset. I felt like he was being a drama queen."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 3, 2010 6:09 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 9:57 pm

Bourjos supplants Hunter in center

Peter Bourjos In one fell swoop, the Angels drastically upgraded their outfield defense and may have given a team 3-7 in its last 10 starts and eight games behind the Rangers a kick in the pants.

Peter Bourjos, ranked the Angels' No. 2 prospect by Baseball America , has hit the big leagues after going on a tear in July after two very poor months. In July, Bourjos put those struggles behind him by hitting .438/.474/.719 in 128 at-bats. The 23-year old also burns up the basepaths, banging out 12 triple -- nearly outpacing his home-run production of 12 round-trippers -- and swiping 27 bags. His defensive reputation has him immediately one of the best center fielders in the major leagues, perhaps in Franklin Gutierrez territory.

In 2009, Bourjos "saved" 15 runs in the field for Double-A relative to an average fielder according to TotalZone -- proving his reputation as an outstanding defender. So far in 2010, his number is at 13, which means he probably would have outpaced his 2009's rate had he not been called up.

How impactful can Bourjos and his double-digit runs saved fare in the outfield for L.A.?

Well, incumbent center fielder Torii Hunter is still riding on the coattails of his top defensive reputation of years past (he is working on a streak of nine consecutive Gold Gloves), but is no longer elite. He's at -1 runs saved this season in CF. Bobby Abreu is at -4 in right field, while Juan Rivera checks in at -7 in left. Hideki Matsui is primarily the DH but in his time in the outfield, checks in at a flat zero.

That outfield is one of the worst in the majors, which became problematic every time fly-ball pitchers stepped to the mound, including starters Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana. Bourjos will help rectify that, and there's no question the rookie is up for good. The team wouldn't bump one of its most popular players to a new position, risking displeasure by the player, if Bourjos' assignment was temporary.

UPDATE : Torii Hunter tells the Los Angeles Times that moving to right was his decision.

"Sometimes you have to slap pride in the face and all that individual stuff, Gold Gloves ... that's nothing," Hunter said. "All I care about is winning, man. I need a ring. I've been to the playoffs seven times and haven't won anything."

Manager Mike Scioscia preferred that Hunter take over right with Abreu manning left because Hunter is more effective at preventing first-to-third situations. It wasn't easy for Hunter to agree to the switch, however.

"I didn't sleep for about three or four days, just thinking about it, praying about it. ... Center field is my home. That's what I love and anything different after 12 years, you're kind of sad a little bit."

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 19, 2010 5:42 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 4:03 pm

This week in free stuff: July 19-26

What's better than a day at the ballpark? A day at the ballpark and free stuff.

I remember as a kid going to a Tidewater Tides (as the Norfolk Tides were called then) and getting a Tides batting glove. I wore that batting glove even though it was for my left hand and I was a left-handed hitter. I loved that thing, with the Tides logo and elastic wristband. Since then, I've loved ballpark giveaways (or SGA as you can find them on eBay) and have a collection of odds and ends such as an Endy Chavez bobblehead or a Macon Braves batting helmet (I only get them now as a paying fan, not as part of the job). As a proud owner of a Savannah Sand Gnats Gnic the Gnat bobblehead, I often check around to see what's being given away at ballparks around the country. So here it is, this week in free stuff, from the majors and minors. Keep in mind, this isn't a complete list, just the ones I find most interesting, and even if many think bobbleheads are passe, I'm still a big fan and you'll see most of them here.

Tonight, July 19
Chicago Cubs -- a Cubs mouse pad… if you still use one of those. Ask your parents, kids.
Johnson City Cardinals (Rookie Appalachian League) -- seat cushion. One of the more underrated and classic give-aways, you don't see them as much anymore, yet your butt could still use a cushion after nine innings.

Tuesday, July 20
Los Angeles Dodgers -- James Loney bobblehead
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Eastern League) -- Dustin Pedroia bobblehead
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Southern League) -- logo ball. I'm not usually a big logo ball fan, but this logo is a flying squirrel.
Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic League) -- paint your own Clawd bobblehead. Clawd is the team's mascot.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- eco-friendly cooler bag. I was at a Marlins game once and they gave out gas cans. I'm usually a big fan of practical give-aways, but I didn't take that one.

Brookly Cyclones Wednesday, July 21
Baltimore Orioles -- foam finger. A classic. I'd love to see the foam finger make a comeback, even if a No. 1 is a little unrealistic for the Orioles.
Chicago Cubs -- key chain. This one is actually a nice, simple design, something that can often be done wrong and is done well here.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- "Jersey? Sure!" Jersey. It's actually kinda great. The Cyclones are one of the minor league leaders in both quantity and quality of giveaways.

Manny Ramirez Thursday, July 22
Pittsburgh Pirates -- T-shirt. I don't normally get too excited by free t-shirts, but this one has a nice Pirate theme with a ship and all.
Los Angeles Dodgers -- Manny Ramirez action figure. Action figures are this year's attempt at replacing bobbleheads. The Dodgers went the extra mile and made each of their three action figures as superheroes, but it still doesn't quite work.
Bowie BaySox (Eastern League) -- Nolan Reimold bobblehead. The Orioles prospect is getting his own bobblehead.
Iowa Cubs (Pacific Coast League) -- Casey Blake bobblehead. Blake is an Iowa native.
Portland Sea Dogs (Eastern League) -- Adrian Gonzalez bobblehead.
Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas League) -- Aussie hat. Not bad for a day at the beach on North Padre Island.
Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic Laegue) -- Dusty Wathan bobblehead. Wathan, son of former Royals manager John "Duke" Wathan, was the manager of the BlueClaws last season when the team won the South Atlantic League title and like most of his players, got called up. He's now the manager of the High-A Clearwater Threshers in the Phillies organization.
Great Lakes Loons (Midwest League) -- Bill Freehan bobblehead. The Loons are honoring Tiger legends with bobbleheads this season and Freehan is Michigan through-and-through. Freehan was born in Detroit, played football and baseball at the University of Michigan and then spent his entire 15-year career with the Tigers.
Orem Owlz (Frontier League) -- Torii Hunter bobblehead.

Friday, July 23
Evan Longoria Baltimore Orioles -- tankard. More realistic than the foam finger, Orioles fans can drink away their problems in style.
Houston Astros -- gym bag. Again, one of the practical giveaways. I have a Braves bag I still use.
Montgomery Biscuits (Southern League) -- Evan Longoria bobblehead.
Clearwater Threshers (Florida State League) -- Mike Schmidt bobblehead.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League) -- Larry Herndon bobblehead. It's a big week for former Tigers, apparently. Herndon caught the last out of the 1984 World Series.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- Fireman Sandy bobblehead. A bobblehead of the mascot Sandy in a fireman's uniform.
Vermont Lake Monsters (New York-Penn League) -- Champ bobblehead. A friend of mine has a large collection of bobbleheads and says the mascot ones go for the most money on the secondary market.

Saturday, July 24
New York Yankees -- lunch box. I love the metal lunch boxes, they're a popular giveaway -- and for good reason.
Grady Sizemore Cleveland Indians -- Grady Sizemore bobblehead. One of the few chances to see Grady Sizemore in action at Progressive Field.
Houston Astros -- rainbow sleeve t-shirt.
Milwaukee Brewers -- grill master apron.
Las Vegas 51s (Pacific Coast League) -- wall clock.
Inland Empire 66ers (California League) -- James Loney bobblehead.
Visalia Rawhide (California League) -- beach blanket.
Kinston Indians (Carolina League) -- Lonnie Chisenhall bobblehead. The Indians prospect is nearly ready for the big leagues and he already has a bobblehead.
Hagerstown Suns (South Atlantic League) -- Little Heiskell bobblehead. Little Heiskell is a German soldier weathervane figure that has become a symbol of the city.
Rome Braves (South Atlantic League) -- Tommy Hanson bobblehead.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League) -- glow-in-the-dark baseball.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- kids fielding glove giveaway. As a kid, these always kinda bummed me out, because it's not like they have a left-handed option. Sure, they're never good enough to actually use, but that's little consolation to a sad little left-handed kid.
Everett AquaSox (Northwest League) -- fleece blanket. One of my favorites, although many teams are moving toward Snuggie-like blankets instead of the usual throw.

Sunday, July 25
Philadelphia Phillies -- Chase Utley action figure. Like the real Utley, this one no longer has a cast on his hand.
Milwaukee Brewers -- Robin Yount bobblehead. Not only is Yount wearing a great old Brewers uniform, the Yountstache is in full effect.
Albuquerque Isotopes (Pacific Coast League) -- Orbit bobblehead. Another great mascot bobblehead. Most minor league mascots are better in bobblehead form than mascot form.
Reno Aces (Pacific Coast League) -- skateboard deck. Another new one this season, the Aces deck is one of the best.
New Britain Rock Cats (Eastern League) -- paint your own bobblehead.
Greensboro Grasshoppers (South Atlantic League) -- Chris Coghlan figurine.
Bowling Green Hot Rods (Midwest League) -- lunch box.
Lake County Captains (Midwest League) -- Skipper leg lamp bobblehead. It's the leg of the mascot, Skipper, and it's a leg lamp, just like Cleveland's own A Christmas Story.
Lowell Spinners (New York-Penn League) -- Allie Gator bobblehead.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com