Friday, March 21, 2008

Hey Everyone!

Gee, it sure has been awhile since anyone has gushed over big ol' overrated ol' Torii Hunter, eh? Well Jon Heyman just changed that! Let's dive in!

Angel in the outfield
Torii Hunter is a perfect match with his new club

A "perfect match" you say? Here's what I'd call a "perfect match".

Step 1: Team has a lack of outfielders.
Step 2: Team signs a free-agent outfielder.

Look at this farking depth chart! Is there some convenient little spot where Hunter fits? No, it's a clusterfuck filled with other overpaid people like Gary Matthews and Garret Anderson who are slightly worse than Hunter. Reggie Willits had a .391 OBP last year! Juan Rivera was injured last year, but slugged .525 in 2006! So before you even say anything on the topic, I want you to know this, Jon Heyman. You are completely and totally one-hundred-per-fucking-cent WRONG.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Hard as it is to believe, the best deal anyone made this winter just might have been done at a Del Taco, out on I-91, halfway between Anaheim and Riverside, on the way out to the desert. Over a couple iced teas, Torii Hunter's agent, Larry Reynolds, and new Angels GM Tony Reagins, two longtime baseball acquaintances, hammered out the $90-million, five-year contract that made Hunter an Angel and seemed to upset almost half the American League.

It upset two. The Rangers and the White Sox. And neither of those teams spent $90M on an overrated CF on the wrong side of 31 who has never EqA'ed above .282, so they realized the error of their ways (not really) and lived happily ever after. The end.

PECOTA-haters shut your eyes, but Hunter is projected for an average of 3.08 WARP for the 5 years of his contract. That's less than what Gary Matthews Jr. gave them last year by more than a full win. And this is supposed to be the best deal of the winter?

The Angels acted like "a Ninja in the middle of the night wearing all black," says Hunter, coming out of nowhere to sign the man who is now tearing up the Cactus League, with a .500 batting average (16 for 32), three HRs, 10 RBI and a 1.063 slugging percentage so far.

Why Jon, I couldn't dream of anything more meaningless than spring stats! Ivan Rodriguez has hit 6 HR in 41 ABs! He hit all of 11 last year. George Lombard is slugging 1.053. I have no clue who the fuck that is.

In reality, this is the perfect match, anyway: the perpetually sunny Hunter and Southern California. It was like a Disney ending. He says, "This is the one team I always wanted to play for. They were No. 1 on my list.''

Yeah, but guess what? Most Disney movies have really crappy sequels. I know just how they're gonna follow this up. We're going to turn it over to deep-throated movie trailer guy.

"One is a Major League Baseball team in sunny Southern California. The other is a sunny Major League Baseball player. It was a match made in heaven....or was it?

Tony Reagins: ''s gone! Someone spent it all!'

Coming to theatres this spring.....


....the story of the Torii Hunter and the Los Angeles Angels continues, as their seemingly perfect marriage melts into newlywed trauma and drama.

Torii Hunter: 'I'm givin' one hundred and twenty percent, coach!'

Mike Scioscia: 'If you ain't runnin' into outs you ain't tryin' dagnabbit!'

Garret Anderson: 'Doesn't anyone CARE about me anymore?'

Torii Hunter stars in his most difficult role yet.........


Torii Hunter.

Mike Scioscia.

And introducing Tony Reagins as the new Angels GM.......

Disney and Pixar proudly present.....

Free Agent Centerfielder II - The Low-OBP Debacle

Rated PG-13. Starts March 31"

Well that was pointless.

Some folks suggested the Angels overpaid. (If so, it's the first time anyone ever could claim that at a Del Taco.) But judging by the reaction of the teams that lost out for Hunter's services, those opinions are worth less than one Macho Taco (yes, it's on the menu).

We get it, the deal took place at a fucking fast-food taco restaurant. Those of you who read the actual article know that I've omitted several other useless references to the restaurant already in my commentary. It's getting REALLLLY annoying, no one cares.

The Rangers and especially the White Sox seemed to be floored by Hunter's quick call to go west. Both teams are believed to have offered $75 million for five years, with the Rangers perhaps willing to go even higher, and offer a sixth-year option.

The White Sox saw Hunter as the one to rescue a ho-hum clubhouse

Oh....yeah...and they had this black hole in center field that the Angels totally didn't have. You think they wanted him for that reason too? Or was he just supposed to uplift the clubhouse spirits?

This just in: It appears the White Sox have just signed Jabbo the Happy-Go-Kooky Klown to a 5 year, $105M deal. Jabbo will perform juggling tricks and throw pies in peoples faces in the dugout to lift the spirits of the players. He will also serve as a pinch hitter for Jerry Owens.

Hunter said he didn't approach the Angels since they already had Gary Matthews Jr. for center field, though that didn't stop him from waiting for their call, or jumping at the chance. Matthews will move over to leftfield, though with Reggie Willits and Juan Rivera also in tow, he may lose a few at-bats (that's probably OK by the Angels, as Matthews' brush with HGH last spring surely didn't help his stock with them).

Even Hunter realized that this move made absolutely no sense for the Angels, and that he totally didn't fit there. Yet one of the 30 Major League GMs couldn't figure that one out.

If those other teams that lost out are paying attention this spring, they can't feel any better about Hunter playing for an American League competitor. He is killing the ball out here

So are Gerald Laird and Ronnie Belliard.

and proving to be the perfect piece in a clubhouse that probably needed a little extra energy boost.

I love when journalists say crap like this. This little clause has something amazing working for it. You can't prove it.....but by golly, it's 100% impossible for someone to disprove it as well. We like to call these statements: mid-article cop-outs. This is when the author has run out of substantial things to say, so he starts racking up nonsense, or "phony-baloney" if you will, to fill the white space. Be at ease, Heyman, page 2 of this column is all about other topics. You only need to get a little further making up BS about Hunter.

Hunter's always upbeat nature is a welcome enhancement to a laid-back clubhouse whose biggest personality in years past was probably manager Mike Scioscia.

And again.

Southern California fans historically also are known for being laid back, but Hunter was so impressed by the Rally Monkey-fueled craziness in 2002 when the Angels knocked the Twins out of the playoffs en route to their World Series title, he made a mental note of it. "The atmosphere is crazy here. They're not laid back at all,'' Hunter insisted.

Thus: Hunter to the Angels was the best deal of the winter, and ZOMG! IT HAPPENED AT A TACO-BASED FAST FOOD OUTLET!!!!!

This is so disappointing. There's little-to-no correct, relevant substance in this entire column.

Hunter's also a great fit in the lineup, where he'll bat fourth or sometimes fifth, with Garret Anderson being the other option to protect the team's best hitter Vladimir Guerrero.

Batting order doesn't really mean that much, but yes, it will be nice for the Angels to have a solid HR hitter behind Vlad to make pitchers feel less easy about pitching around him. Point: Heyman.

Some might suggest Hunter isn't your typical cleanup man,

What crazies. Heyman, give us some solid evidence to the contrary.

but he will have none of that talk. "I'm going to bust your butt if you make a mistake," he warned opposing pitchers.

When an opposing pitcher makes a mistake against Ryan Howard, Howard literally sits down in the batters box and starts laughing, rather than actually swinging at the pitch to make the pitcher pay.

Thanks for the solid evidence.

The numbers suggest that's more than just a boast. When batting fourth last year for the Twins, Hunter batted .337 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 23 games.

Oh my just gave be a world full of things to pick on! I feel like a kid in a candy store!

1) Let's start with the obvious one. 23 games. That's like, less than a month. When a player has a hot July, Heyman, do you automatically assume there's something about the player's genetic makeup that makes him more awesome in July?

2) That 3 HR / 23 games rate is actually LOWER than Hunter's HR rate for the season.

3) In 2005, Hunter batted only .279 batting 4th.

4) Hunter has never hit .290 in a season, and to suggest that a move to a DIFFERENT LINEUP SPOT would somehow give Hunter magic skills that allow him to hit at a sustainably higher batting average despite seasons upon seasons of evidence to the contrary is stupider than referencing the fact that a MLB offseason deal took place at a taco restaurant multiple times in an article. Good thing you've never done the latter.

5) You are a terrible columnist, Jon Heyman.

In his career, he's hitting .276 with 22 homers and 93 RBIs in 158 games -- almost identical numbers to his career 162-game average of .271, 25 and 93. like.....Torii Hunter hitting 4th is identical to Torii Hunter hitting anywhere else! Thanks for proving that we needed to talk about batting order!

As it turns out, the Angels may have found the perfect person for the middle of

their defense


their lineup,

Because who doesn't love a .324 career OBP?

and their clubhouse.

You based this on which specific interactions between Hunter and the other Angels players, again?

On the plus side, this is probably the first Torii Hunter article I have ever read that did not make ridiculous comments that overrate his defense. Kudos, Heyman.


Tonus said...

Please... no more Torii Hunter articles! All it does is remind me that the Angels paid $90 million for a guy who admitted he'd have played there for less. And then it reminds me that even paying $75 million would be a waste since we have no room in the outfield. And then it reminds me that we overpaid for Mathews as well. Argh...

Jeff said...

If I walked into a Honda dealership and said - I'll give you $37,000 for that Accord! Then drove the Accord for 10 years with expected maintenance, Jon Heyman would consider that a killer deal. He's an idiot. Not just a bad columnist, I think he's dumb.

Also: Jabbo the Happy-Go-Kooky Klown > Darren Erstad.

pnoles said...

Sorry tonus, I know it's painful. On the plus side, you guys are going to just roll over the division anyway, so feel good!

Also, if it makes you feel better, I'm VERY angry about the combination of the 2007 White Sox offseason and the accuracy of the inequality in Jeff's comment.

cs said...

That movie sounds good. I heard the ending was an ALDS knockout in four games.

Anonymous said...

Why is there nothing on Jemele Hill's Vogue article? How date you not report it.