Sid Hartman: Hunter sticks it to his old team again

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 17, 2013 - 12:08 PM

He remains a force six years after leaving the Twins.

hide

Detroit's Austin Jackson greeted Torii Hunter as he arrived at home after his two-run homer Sunday, the 300th homer of the former Twins star's career.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

It was November 2007 when Torii Hunter left the Twins to sign a free-agent contract with the Angels.

The Twins had a few good years after Hunter left, but it hasn’t been the same as when he was manning center field, when they won four division titles over a five-year stretch.

The Twins have lost a number of key players, but, in the opinion of manager Ron Gardenhire, none of the departures hurt their ability to win more than the loss of Hunter.

“He’s killing me. I’m not exactly happy when he does it against us, but I’m proud,” Gardenhire said Sunday, after Hunter hit his 300th career home run against his old team and drove in three runs in Detroit’s 5-2 victory at Target Field. “He started in this organization and has had a heck of a career. … You know he still plays the game with all the enthusiasm that he played with when he was here. I tip my hat to him. He’s one of the classiest guys in the game.”

In the seven seasons since his departure, Hunter has hit .291 with eight home runs and 27 RBI against his old team, including his big day Sunday.

Hunter repeated what he has said in the past — that he never wanted to leave here.

“Me and Bill Smith didn’t come to an agreement, we didn’t agree to some things, and that’s the business side of baseball,” Hunter said. “I hate that it went that route, but I’m still playing the game that I love and loved to play when I was a child.”

To give one an indication why the Twins have not dominated the division like they did when Hunter was on the team, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are the only players left on the Twins roster from when Hunter played at the Metrodome.

“The other guys [I don’t know],” Hunter said. “Aaron Hicks, I talk to him on Twitter and on the phone a couple of times. I think he’s going to be a very good player.”

In Hunter’s nine full seasons with the Twins, he hit .271 and averaged 21 home runs and 79 RBI per year, and he hasn’t slowed down since leaving. He has hit .286 over the past six seasons and averaged 21 homers and 86 RBI in his five seasons with the Angels.

“He was a cornerstone here, he meant a lot to our baseball team and this organization,” Gardenhire said. “We know how the game is. It changes, and he went elsewhere, but he did a lot of really good things here. You know a class act, like I said.

“… he always has been a really good player. He came up through our system and was one of our big leaders. He made sure we played the game the right way and made sure these guys respected it. He still carries that with him everywhere he goes. He’s well respected.”

Offense lacking

Detroit starter Doug Fister limited the Twins to just two hits over seven-plus innings on Sunday and Gardenhire wasn’t happy about the lack of offense by his Twins.

“We need guys to get going, get the guys in the middle to drive them in, but you have to have people get on base,” Gardenhire said. “It’s our batting overall, up and down, it’s not where we need to be.

“It’s not from a lack of work, they’re working really hard and trying to get it done, but you have to show us on the field. You have to get it done. Our pitching is coming along pretty decent, giving us a chance, but our offense, they have to get hits and score some runs for you.”

The Twins hit .232 against the Phillies and Tigers in this home series so far.

Jottings

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close