AL West is best

A lot of people around the game aren’t noticing how good our division, the AL West, is this season. If you look at the records, it’s the best of the six divisions – and it’s not even close.

I’m finally back now, playing again, but I’ve had a lot of time lately to watch games and study things, missing five weeks with the adductor strain on my right side. One thing I’ve seen is that our whole division has been playing some great baseball, whether the media recognizes it or not.

Check it out. After Sunday’s games, the AL West’s four teams are a combined 35 games over .500. The next closest is the AL East, 25 games over .500. That’s a 10-game gap.

Our Angels are 26 over, Texas is 17 over, and Seattle is four over. Oakland is 12 under .500.

The only way you can judge a division is how it does outside its own division, since you’re going to end up .500 playing each other. We’ve beaten up on the AL East, and I think that says a lot about how tough our division has been. We’re 21 games over .500 against the East. Boston is 11-20 against the West, and Tampa Bay is 8-17.

To be 35 games above .500 overall, that’s a division winning percentage of .537. Take all of our games outside the division, and our winning percentage is .553.

After the AL East, the next strongest division is the NL West, 12 games over .500. What that tells me is there’s great baseball being played all over the West. Look at Colorado and San Francisco, leading Florida and Atlanta in the Wild Card race, and Texas taking the lead from Boston for the AL Wild Card.

The NL East is nine games under .500, and the two Centrals are way down. The NL Central is 26 games under .500, and the AL Central is 37 games below .500.

The Yankees and Red Sox get most of the national publicity and attention, but if you put their records together, they’re 140-96. The Angels and Rangers combined are 138-95. That’s close to a dead heat.

I remember watching ESPN last year, hearing guys say that the Los Angeles Angels have the best record in baseball, but it’s because they beat up on a weak division. We beat up on everybody last year, not just the West.

To say we benefit from playing in a weak division, that’s just not true – especially this year. Our record in the division is not good. We’re 15-19. But we’re 23-10 against the AL East, 19-12 against the Central and 14-4 in Interleague Play.

The Rangers, look what they’re doing. Those guys can play. Seattle is hanging tough and still playing well, and Oakland’s playing good baseball with all the young players it has.

West Coast teams just get no respect. Why? I guess because everybody’s asleep in the East when we’re doing our thing.

I’m not in the AL Central any more, with the Twins, so I can tell you that the West is a lot better than people think. And I’m not even bringing up the travel factor, how our teams have to spend so much more time in the air and how that can wear on you over a long season.

The West is for real. Don’t sleep on us. And there’s a ton of great young talent coming up in both West divisions, so it should be wild out West for a long time to come.       


  1. ludwig

    Torii- Can’t tell you how glad I am to see you back in the lineup. I was afraid that things would collapse with you and Vlade hitting the DL but the team held the fort admirably while you both were out. Have you seen this yet?
    .310 Figgins, .301 Izturis, .309 Abreu, .306 Guerrero, .306 Hunter, .304 Morales, .314 Rivera, .311 Aybar, .297 Napoli
    Now that’s scary!!!! I’m glad the West if flying under the radar….come playoffs…it will hurt that they didn’t. Glad we have a class act like yourself providing some backbone to this team. Take care…my kids really look up to you!


  2. lex92707

    Could’nt have said better. Like to watch ESPN but your right the West gets no respect. Personally I cant stand John Kruk, its as if you has a personal grudge against the Angels.

  3. angelsgirl012

    YOU TELL ‘EM MR HUNTER! whoo hoo!!!! My fav blog yet! East may be beast but I say West is best. People just aren’t willing to change their minds that’s all or they just don’t realize 😉

    We angel fans sure missed you and glad you’re back! Best of luck!

    angels 2009

  4. commander_nate

    Get em Torii!!!! Lets have 2 AL West and 2 NL West teams in the playoffs. Then ESPN has to cover us! Welcome back buddy!

  5. djera

    Thank you!!! You couldn’t of said it any better. ESPNs all talks are about the Yankees, Boston. Having a rested Vlad and yourself Mr. Hunter will only be good for us come along the end of the season/playoffs, specially with Santana and Lackey coming along pretty good now. Hope Osullivan will match what Lackey did his rookie season and Weaver achieving his durability goal. we have a great middle infield who will always be fresh having someone sit out every other day and keep them rested. Having a great record against the yanks and boston not making the playoffs? our only concern would be our owns league the rangers but even then WE CAN TAKE EM! :]]
    Stay up T!

  6. demetrio25

    Torii man you’re the dopest dude ever. Thanks for showing us these numbers man. I hope ESPN shows this on their stupid SportsCenter. I’m glad I wear 48 on my jersey.

  7. mattalive

    Amen!!! I told my girlfriend that you’re my favorite Angel and once again you proved it.

    Kudos to Ludwig for his Kruk blast. How does that dude even have a job on TV or anywhere for that matter???? Apparently hating on the west or ignoring it all together is job security in Bristol.

  8. germapino

    Torii, you have my ultimate respect and I agree with most everything you’ve said. I often consider you the heartbeat and spirit of the Angels as they are today!

    The only thing I noticed was a possible error in the AL East’s record over .500. As of last night’s games, and by my math, they are actually 26 games over .500, which leaves the AL West in the lead by 7 games with 33 games over .500.

    After Sunday’s games, which is the basis on which you wrote this, I believe we would be about 10 games ahead of the East, rather than 20. Still a good lead.

    I don’t mean this to take away from the point of your blog which is to give attention to and praise where it is due in the West!

    Much respect!


    Torii, you da man! I hope you stay with us for a long, long, long time! I have been an Angels fan all my life and today’s team is definitely my favorite bunch of guys since the ’82 crew. The addition of yourself (Mr. Personality), Bobby A. (Mr. Patience) and Fuentes (Mr. Underrated) has literally transformed this team. All of the other pieces were in place or in development and now we have a legacy to build. Stick around!!

  10. monkeygal

    Torii, as usual your blog was insightful, interesting, and right on! I hope you play for the Angels for a long, long time, but after your playing days are over, you would make a fantastic sports analyst for the networks!


    Love you torii, and all my angels! I have a trivia question-does anyone out there know the last time a teams entire starting line up was batting 300 or better?

  12. jiggy4figgy

    Welcome back Torii! You are spot on as usual. We may be in Hollywood, but the East Coast media doesn’t look outside of the original 13 colonies. I also wonder if most of the teams in the West are expansion teams that did not develop until after 1960 and are just not considered part of the MLB.

  13. jokerbasher

    You forgot Torii…even the fans are better! I agree with your 5 week analysis of the Western Division, you could even go back maybe 4 or 5 seasons. I don’t know why anyone would want to leave the west (except for money) and not want to win. No rain, Sleet, snow just sunshine and playing great ball. What more can you ask for? Glad you are back, too bad you got tuckered out on your first day back and could not follow up. But, hey, I got tired just watching that 13 inning game.

  14. dontchokenoctober420

    Tori first time I’ve read your blog(any famous person blog at that) and It thrills me to see a superstar athlete be so down to earth and have touch with reality.You said what us fans been arguing with other least coast teams fans thank you. I also want to thank you for signing with the Angels and for being one of the BEST role models for the Kids. You carried this team on your back in the early season and your teamates have noticed that so don’t think you have anything to Carry the weight on your shoulders anymore You led by example and it rubbed off on everyone. Iwas at the first game this year and saw Howies Hr it almosr hit me I was 2 fisting some beers it was awesome! I am glad that we don’t have sorry teams in our division anymore as well. An old friend of mine that I play pool with told me ” you don’t get better playing teams/people that your better than only the one’s that are better than you” I think that is a great concept and approach to many compettitive sports, It installs that drive needed to want to succeed and only gives the hope and want to only get better or to make lemonade from lemons. Texas is definetley as good as Angels but I think maybe Angels were’nt mentally ready for them and underestimated them trmendousley, next time around we’ll have a better go at it I think. Everyone who says not to trade for pitching I’m with you but I did want PEAVY. I really hope to crush boston in playoffs but theyr’e ship is sinking(like I predicted) thanks to Angels dropping a few to the rangers. Texas seems to pitch alot of balls on the edges hoping for strike calls that’s why they’re pitching exist now though.

  15. carmine

    Torii I am originally from the east coast. Growing up with Yankees and Met fans. When I moved out west as a young adult, my brother who is an Angel fan, grew on me. Now being an Angel fan and being teased all the time about it, I understand the east coast west coast feud. Your theory on the east coast being asleep while we are breaking records is so true!! So glad the you are playing again and that you are smiling!!! Keep healthy and play smart. Stay away from those walls!!

  16. dontchokenoctober420

    Tori your blog on the 18 of aug is the first I have ever read online even from athletes and your insight makes me realize that superstar athletes such as yourself are really down to earth guys who love the game and don’t forget not to lose touch with reality and stick their head in the clouds with a hard earned full bank account. I just wanted to thank you for signing with the Angels and bringing your veteran expertise and leadership qualities to this fine organization and making it that much better, you put this team on your back and carried them early this season so don’t feel like you have to carry the weight on you shoulders anymore.This is a real team and it shows after every game and Tori you are one of the best role models that I know to the kids, Glad to have you back, We need your bat in september so leave your spidey suit in the locker if it’s o.k to give up a run/hit.We all know your the last laziest person on d on this team.


    ^I meant “other”. If you take away Baltimore in the AL East, then AL East would be 51 games over .500 whereas AL West would be 32 games over .500 (that’s a 19 game gap with the advantage going to the AL East). Thus your comparison with the two divisions would be valid only if every division in the MLB has 5 teams (even # of teams).


    Thats true the East is way too overrated always every year . But the need to look and see whos been dominating the MLB in the past 5 years the AL west ANGELS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Torii Hunter is the best CF player !!!!!!!!! Were too good 4 the ESPNs lol

  19. inty

    Very well written mr hunter. being a mariners fan, i know all too well how much of a pain in the *** you and the angels are, lol. ESPN loves their yankees/red sox/mets and i believe the mariners wouldnt get any coverage at all if not for ichiro and griffey. unfortunately we are pretty much too far back and dont have enough to win the division this year or get a wildcard spot. but i hope texas beats boston out for it, would be cool to have 2 teams make the playoffs from the AL West. If not Texas then the Rays. Anyway, i hope you guys draw the spankees in the playoffs so you can beat up on them as usual(even when i wanted them to beat you guys to help the m’s you still swept them haha). Good luck.

    Btw thanks for that HR you hit 2 nights ago 🙂

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