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

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close