"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Monday, April 25, 2005

He's Not Just Stealing Home Runs Anymore

For those of you who, like me, have been wondering what lit such a fire under Torii's butt on the basepaths lately, here's the scoop:

Minnesota Twins News:
[Torii] Hunter entered Sunday as the Major League leader in steals with 10, one more than Scott Podsednik of the White Sox. At the current pace, Hunter is on track to steal 95 bases. He is 26-of-29 in steals since last year's All-Star break, including a perfect 10-for-10 in 2005.

First base coach Jerry White encouraged Hunter to steal more over the years, but he didn't really start trying it until an injured hamstring from early last season felt better and team offensive struggles had him looking to make things happen on base.
Hunter decided he wanted to keep running right from the start of 2005, and the team has given him the green light to go at will.

'I sat down [last winter] and evaluated my season,' Hunter said. 'I told myself that I would need to incorporate more stealing into my game to help the team.'

However, Hunter doesn't resemble prototypical base stealers like Podsednik or Juan Pierre, who are smaller and speedier. Hunter has speed, but relies more on perfectly timed big jumps before a pitcher begins his delivery toward home.

'I'm like a hyena,' Hunter said. 'I'm always looking for the weak link.'

Torii "the Hyena" Hunter. I like it!

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