Man, you took me seriously when I asked you to get creative with some ideas for giving the blog a new title. There are far too many great suggestions to include here — it would take up the whole blog — but I really want to commend you.
Afte sorting through the long and impressive list with my wife, Katrina, we settled on “Torii’s Storiis” from Scooter. Katrina told me she really liked it, how catchy it is, and I’m smart enough to agree with my wife. Truth is, I like it too.
So there it is: Torii’s Storiis.
Today I’d like to talk about the World Baseball Classic. It’s a great event, and I’m definitely for it. I think it’s awesome, what it has done for our game. You’d never think Netherlands would beat the Dominican Republic — and it happened twice. Baseball is international now. It’s America’s pastime, but the whole world is playing it now.
I made a comment about the Classic in 2006 when it got started. I said I wouldn’t play if they asked me, because I liked the chemistry with my team, the Twins, and I didn’t want to do anything to mess with it. I’m not old, but I’m old-school, and I knew it would be hard on my front office and manager knowing how I play and worrying about me crashing into a wall, getting hurt, missing some time. I can onlly play one way, and I knew that I’d be diving for balls, going all-out.
I wasn’t asked to play on Team USA this time, and I think those comments I made might have had something to do with it. I have the same mindset I’ve always had, If they had asked me to play, I’d have thought long and hard about it. It would be a great honor to play for my country and to be part of that whole experience.
On the other hand, I’m not sure our owner, Arte Moreno, or our manager, Mike Scioscia, would have been too crazy about it. I wouldn’t want that panic about me running into a wall and getting hurt. I just wish they could play the Classic at another time, so it doesn’t disrupt the chemistry you’re building with your team for the season ahead.
I’ve been watching as much of the Classic as I can, and I love what I’ve seen. Japan is impressive, man. I’ve liked the way those guys play since 2002 when I went over after the season for a series of games with an all-star team. They play the game right. They’re fundamentally sound, play good defense, and they’ve got athletes, Pitching and defense — that wins games. Everybody hits line drives, lots of doubles, running the bases hard. They play the game we do with the Angels.
As much as I’d love to be in the Classic, I need to be here with my team, doing everything we can to win a World Series. It’s all about the World Series, and that’s how it should be. From the day you sign, it’s not about MVPs and Gold Gloves, individual stuff. It’s about winning the World Series.
Camaraderie, chemistry, leadership . . . all those things are so important to developing a winning atmosphere. I love what we have going here with the Angels. I can’t wait to get the season started.