illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Behold this outfielder, impressive in vertical leap and wall-scaling ability! Behold this man, by all accounts a perfectly good human being! Behold this name, recalling both the deadly patience of the woodsman and a Wheel of Fortune glut of vowels! Behold this American Central division, as it welcomes one of its own back into its freezing cold and not particularly quality-competitive embrace!
Torii Hunter is a Tiger. Two years, $26 million.
He can bat second in the order, and if he doesn’t fall off a cliff in the coming season, this will almost certainly be an improvement. Compare Hunter 2012 (.313/.365/.451) to Quintin Berry 2012 (.258/.330/.354). Did the SpeedBerry steal more bases? Sure (21 to Hunter’s 9). But I’ll take the hitting.
He can play right field. This too must be an improvement, assuming health– it is hard to imagine a regular right fielder of any moderate skill being worse than the Rotation of Misfit Outfielders we had the pleasure of experiencing in 2012.
He is one of those people who regularly uses ‘u’ and ‘ur’ for ‘you’ and ‘your’ on The Twitters.
I am on the whole excited for this… assuming health. Of course by now you all know how neurotic I get on that front. Hunter will turn 37 in 2013 and played 11 years on DEATH TURF, which is supposedly quite horrible for the ol’ joints. And he’ll be 37. And a more-or-less everyday outfielder. And 37. But for the reasons noted above, this does have the potential to turn out very well, very well indeed.
NOTE: The end-of-season recap/cartoon is forthcoming, but due to things like work and grad skool and being traumatized by the two World Series games I attended, it is taking some time longer than I had initially expected. Patience, my pets. Patience.