I don’t think I have enough words to describe what type of person Torii is. He never forgot where he came from — that’s an important thing — and anyone will tell you that.
He treats everyone like human beings. He treats his family so well. That’s what I like about him, that he’s such a family man.
When I came up, I had Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield as guys I could look up to. Torii is like those guys. When I was playing, he was a little younger but we became real good friends. He’s come out to my celebrity bowling tournament, and he’s done a lot of good things for my foundation. You could not ask for a better friend.
All good things come to an end. He has nothing to be ashamed of. I told him that. But it’s tough to let go. Your body is telling you one thing, and your mind is telling you another. It’s tough.
I know he’s got to be around the team somehow, wherever it might be, the front office or the field. You can’t let someone like that go. He’s meant a lot to the organization. I’m honored to have been his teammate.
Guardado is a longtime friend and teammate of Hunter.