Sunday, August 31, 2008

Torii Hunter: The Vision in His Head

"I got that picture in my head, but we got a long way to go, a long journey. When you get in the playoffs, everything is going to be different. … We could win 100-plus games, and it does not matter. When you get to the postseason, you got to change. You got to be totally different. Any mistake you make, you're going home."

--Torii Hunter, Los Angeles Angels outfielder.

Since winning the 2002 World Series, the Los Angeles Angels have been beaten by the Boston Red Sox in 2004 in a sweep in an AL Division Series; lost to Chicago, who won four of five in the AL Championship Series; and, endured another sweep in 2007 in the first round by the Red Sox.

"I'm not just out for money. The money is the money. I grew up with nothing. You give me what you give me, that's fine. But you can either have $120 million and suck, and lose, and not be in the postseason, not get that ring you worked so hard to try to get. Or you can go get enough [money] and win. Right here is enough for me.

"I definitely feel like this team is built to win the World Series. Not just getting to the playoffs. I think we're built to win it."

--Torii Hunter, who spent 15 years with the Minnesota Twins organization, discussing his feelings the season after signing a five-year, $90 million contract.

The Angels have the best road record in the major leagues and were the first team to reach 60 wins this year. The first team to 60 victories has advanced to the World Series in each of the past four seasons.

At least Torii is aligned with owner, Arte Moreno, who bought the team in 2003.

"I need a ring. I want a ring."

--Arte Moreno, Los Angeles Angels' owner, who came into the clubhouse and pulled up a chair next to Hunter, to express his desire.

Excerpts from 8/31/2008.
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