A great season, but the end is never easy

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It’s tough, man. The Yankees beat us. They’re a good team over there. We battled those guys, made a couple of mistakes and ran into a big-game pitcher, Andy Pettitte, in Game 6. They pitched well all through the series and beat us, fair and square.

We had to overcome a lot of obstacles this season. Losing Nick Adenhart, a young guy we all cared so much about, that was too tragic for words, really. We mourned and stuck together and got a lot accomplished this season. I’m proud of all these guys, for the character they showed and the way they performed through all the adversity.

We had a great season. There’s nothing to hang our heads over. We had a big mountain to climb here in New York. We got over one mountain in Boston and played those guys tough. We played some of the best games I’ve ever been a part of in my career — some of the best games all these guys have played in, I’m sure.

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The Yankees have some of my favorite players, so I’m going to be rooting for them in the World Series. Why not? I’m an American League guy. Always have been, so of course I’m pulling for our team.

If I had to point to one thing as the difference, I’d say maturity. They have a lot of seasoned, smart players. They’re very mature. They know how to execute and play the game. They’re the beast of the East for a reason. Those guys are going to be tough to beat in the World Series.

I’ve been battling the Yankees since I was in Minnesota, and it looks like I’ll keep battling them. They’ve got all those guys signed for years, so that mountain will be there. We have a lot of guys who learned and grew this season, and they’ll be better off for it.

Looking back, we didn’t play Angels-style baseball in this series. We made mistakes that just aren’t like us. We should have been better defensively, for sure. But baseball’s a crazy game. Anything can happen. It could have turned our way, but it didn’t. We just have to move on.

It’s going to be an interesting winter, with so many free agents, so many decisions to make. I have a lot of faith in our organization doing whatever it takes to be successful.

Right now, it’s just tough, really tough. You play for so long, with so much passion and energy, and then it’s over. We’ll have time now to reflect and think about what we accomplished, and I think the guys will have a lot of pride in the season we had.

It was a challenge, right from the start, losing Nick and having to go forward and dedicate ourselves in his memory. I know he’s proud of the effort we all put forth. When it’s all said and done, the relationships are what matters, and this was a wonderful team to play for this season, from our manager, Mike Scioscia, all the way through the ranks.

I want to thank all of our great fans for their support and devotion. I want you all to know that we appreciate how you stood behind us, and we’ll try to reward you by going a little deeper, a little farther, next season.

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34 Comments

Torii,

You and the rest of the Angels played an AMAZING season and I am soo proud of each and every one of you. I’m not going to lie it was a heartbreaker. The loss of Nick Adenhart (may he rest in peace), all of the injuries this year, the awesome comeback wins, sweeping the Red Sox in the ALDS and you made it all the way to game 6 of the ALCS. Thank you all for a truly unforgettable season. My sister and I are dedicated season ticket holders and it was a thrill to be able to see you play at home all season. I look forward to seeing you at Spring Training and I hope you have a wonderful winter.

Love you guys!

Torii,

You guys put up such a great fight throughout the postseason. I’ll admit that I was pulling for the Yankees having roots in New York, but I wanted to tell you that you are truly a class act. I really loved your attitude and spirit while playing and I highly respect the way you’ve treated and respected the game. I wish you and the rest of the Angels all the best through the off season and into next year. Thanks for the great games!

Carl

Love you guys! You are the best. fAn strong! :)
Jess

Torii,
you and the Angels played great, great baseball during regular and postseason. Although the loss of Nick (God bless) remains a tragic, I always believe that he looked down to help you guys from Halo Heaven. It’s so unfortunate that the journey must come to an end but I applaud each and every one for the great and flawless effort you have showned to us. http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

Tori,

I am so proud of the Angels!! You guys put so much effort into making this season rewarding and fun, despite the tragic loss of Nick, and the injuries the ball team sustained throughout the season.
Tori, you are a role model for so many people out there, from ball players, to your fans!!!!! If only you can be cloned!!!! Haha!

The Angels had a great season playing ball, and the fact that you swept the Red Sox was a huge accomplishment. Beating the Yankees would of been awesome. The Angels played well, but the Yankees played enough to win the series.

I just want to congratulate you, Tori Hunter, for a job well done as a ball player for the Angels and as a role model for many!!! You have many talents and may it reward you for many more years to come!!!
Can’t wait until next season!!!!!

Torii–

Thanks for a FANTASTIC season. No, we didn’t go all the way, but, in this fan’s opinion, that’s ok. I know we all wanted this team to go to the World Series, but not going is NOT a sign of a failure of the season. Once we beat Boston, anything after that is a bonus, cause we could never get past them before. The team learned, they gained experience, and that will only make them want it more next year and work harder.

I am SO PROUD of this team and it’s players.

Have a great off season and we’ll see you in about 115 days!!!!!

Torii,

Anaheim had a TREMENDOUS season and are an EXCELLENT ballclub. You guys were one of the scariest ballclubs around – great pitching and powerful hitting. Have a great and safe offseason knowing that you guys played awesomely.

Thanks Torii for been a good example of sportsmanship…..This a good way to show a whole lot of angels’s fans that the yankees won because of the way they played and not because of the umpires help…..and thanks for recognizing that we are the Beast of the East!!!!! Good luck next year!!!!! We are now officially declared as the AL team of the decade!!!! 4 pennants!!!!! now is time to win it all!!!!! ….. and I know that there will be new battles to fight against the angels in years to come…..cheers!!!!!

Hey Torii!
I hope you guys all keep your heads up high – real high. This ball club has shown an incredible amount of talent and ability to rebound from just way crazy situations. No, you guys didn’t play the way you have been all year long – you would’ve beat New York otherwise. Hopefully, next year we will see most of you back and ready for action. You guys are just such a cohesive team I hate to see any of you leave. I have a few messages for some of the guys – maybe you can relay them. Kaz – I think you are an amazing player. Your delivery is beautiful, kind of like a dance. Keep focused and don’t let the BS get in the way of what you can do. Figgy – I love you I love you I love you. You make my day every game I see. I have never seen a guy have as much fun as you do. Juan – you are one of my very favorite players and I very much hope to see more interviews with you. Your style is intriguing to say the least and you do not get enough credit in my opinion. And last but not least, Mr. Torii Hunter. I feel like we are all so blessed in Anaheim to have you here. You are like this ray of sunlight to the organization and I believe that this year the Angels would not have been able to cope without your steadfastness. This may be totally odd to say but this year has been hard for my own family here and to see what you guys have done this season has given a lot of us hope. You have become a part of my family and I love you for that. Keep the faith, God Bless, and we will see you soon!
-SP

Torii,

Yeah this defeat stings for sure, mostly because we all know that you guys *could* have beaten the Bronx Bombers. But this was a great season, and I think you all did Nick’s memory proud, and all of us fans proud. It’s just too bad we couldn’t have the storybook ending.

Those 2 wins at home were probably the most thrilling baseball games I have ever been to, and that’s what I’ll be remembering during the offseason.

This just turned out to be the year of reversing history: we had never beaten Boston in the playoffs, and the Yankees had never beaten us.

I’m callin’ it now. Angels–World Series champs 2010!

It also helps to keep things in perspective. Soon as the game was over, I went and signed up to deliver clothes to a homeless shelter with my church next weekend. As bitter a defeat as tonight was, in the end it’s just a game–the players are blessed to be paid to play it, and we’re blessed to be able to afford tickets and a television to watch it.

Still rootin’ for next year though! Go Halos 2010!!!

Torii,

First and foremost I gotta say I have a lotta respect for teh way you play the game. One of the greats of your generation. But if this series hasn’t made you realize it, I don’t know what will. Torii, you gotta get outta that contract or something. Demand a trade. Get to NY and come be a part of greatness. LA is a nice baseball town, but NY is NY baby. Yanks over Phils in 4.

I’ve been an Angels’ fan since the mid 60s. When I moved to New York, my passions for the Halos followed. I hadn’t been to a game in 15 years, so I actually flew to OC for the 1st game of the ALDS a couple of weeks ago. I watched the game last night from my house 23 miles from Yankee Stadium. In the big picture, it doesn’t matter how it ends. Other than my family, the Angels have been the only constant in my life. I will be watching the box scores and featured games in 2010. World Series wins are great. But having a trusted member of the family representing me working their butts off to get there is better. Congrats for another amazing season. There’s no blame anywhere, sans me perhaps. I should have worn my 2002 world series jacket to Yankee Stadium…just can’t afford the seats there these days.

Torii,

thanks for this. I got into work this morning feeling disappointed and sad and this entry cheered me right up. I am more sad this year because i really loved this Angels team. I know you like thos players over there on the Yankees, but it’s hard to like guys like Arod and Teixera from a fan perspective. And I’m sad because i love Figs and big John and Vlad and i know that next year this Angels team will have a different look. but i also know that signing you might have been one of the best moves this organization has ever made. Rarely does a player come along who plays the game in a way that you can point to your kids and say, “see? that’s how it’s done.” you are a class act on and off the field, Torii, and the true leader of this team. i have no doubts that this time next year we’ll all be doing another dance with the Yankees…and i know that next year you will be the one dancing on that mountain.

thanks for 2009, Torii. Even without the World Series i think most Angels fans will agree this might have been the best Angels team to watch.

It was fun watching my team this 09 season. With all the obstacles we overcame, it just seemed like the Angels were going to make it all the way this year which made it a very heartbreaking game 6 in the ALCS. Can’t wait for 2010 season!!!! AND CANT FORGET ABOUT THE ALL STAR GAME AT THE BIG A

Torii, Tough loss man, but in the end it was a good season. We made it a long way,Lets look forward to 2010, GO ANGELS!!!

p.s
Those umpires suck!!

My 8 year old daughter was never too interested in baseball until this year–and it’s all because of you Torii! You are her favorite Angel. She didn’t get to stay up last night to see the end of the game. The first thing she asked this morning was if the Angels won–I gave her the sad news. She rolled over and started to cry. I told her that one of the the best things about baseball is that there’s always next year! She wanted to know when it starts again–I said opening day is in April. Her response: “Good, I’ll be 9 and can stay up later to see the end.”

Love ya Torii! See you next year. LIGHT UP THE HALO!

Torii, thank you so much for a great season. There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said up above, but thanks for inspiring me to pick up and keep going when life got really hard this year. It was an exciting season and you all did us proud. April seems so far away!

–Karen

Thank you Torii. I’m sorry the season is over. I’ll miss watching you and seeing your bright smile. Thanks for an exciting season filled with joy and heartbreak. Relax and enjoy your time off with your family and we’ll see you in Tempe in the Spring!

T double I !!

I just want to congratulate you and the entire team for an outstanding season. Thank you for always playing with heart and determination and as a TEAM. You guys will always be my favorite Angels! Can’t wait till next season! Seriously..what do I do now?!!! :)

FAN STRONG!!!!

Renee

Torii….you have been and will continue to be the light and passion of the Angels. Thank you all for your amazing talents and focus. I feel sad that it is over, but there is always next season. Have a relaxing and healing winter and come back with fight and focus. It will be strange to get to know a whole new team, with so many Angels leaving. But, it is a team and to focus for the Prize that we so very much look forward to getting. It is just a game and What Fun it was to participate. Thanks Torii…be well.

Hi Torii,

I grew up on Angels baseball since I was a young boy. My baseball heroes were Brian Downing, Doug DeCinces, Wally Joyner, Mike Witt, etc…
In the mid-90′s both of my parents, the ones who fostered my love of baseball, passed away. For many years I didn’t want to watch baseball, because it reminded me a lot of them.
Then in the early part of 2002 I saw an Angels team that was actually doing well. I remember, vividly, sitting next to the radio (I had to work that night) listening to the dramatic moments of that Game 6, come from behind victory, and I found myself watching Angels baseball again.
Seasons came and went and I was impressed by Mike Scioscia’s management style and the way the club played with intelligence and, most importantly, heart!
As this season began I was full of hope for a great season. When that tragedy struck at the beginning of the year I, and my wife, were hurt as we had lost her brother in a car accident just a couple of years ago.
The Angels could have unraveled and let the year become a waste, but Mr. Scioscia, and the veteran’s, like yourself, showed the leadership, intelligence, and heart that defines, above all else, Angels baseball.
I am proud to say that this was the first year, after so many, that I returned to Angels stadium to see a live game. I watched you guys pounce on the Rangers near the end of the season and then, during ALCS game 5, I watched the best game of my life as the Angels, with all of their heart, fought and clawed their way back to a victory over the New York Yankees!

You may have been outplayed this year in the ALCS and the Yankees have moved on to the World Series, but in my opinion the best team in baseball, the one with the most heart, is right here in Anaheim.

Good luck next year and I will be cheering you from the stands!

Robert Cunningham

Torii, to all, Art, Tony, Mike, coaches and especially the players:

A huge thank you for one of the finest, professional, seasons of baseball in my life time. From the heartbreak of losing to Koufax as a young Twins native, through the exciting defeat of the Yankees in the divisional series and now the last game of this season, I’ve never been prouder of “my team”
.
For us, another season and you know the crimp of his smile would be wry, his eyes would be saying exactly as yours are as he hugs you firmly.

“The journey that ends, is a another chance for the chase to begin.”

God Speed, counting the days to spring 2010, ‘Call’in All You Angels!’;

Scott

Mr Hunter,
I would like to deeply thank YOU for always updating your blog to let us fans know how you and the team is doing. You could have not kept us updated because you have so many other things to do but you did. You’re such a great person because of that and you mean so much to everyone in this organization. It was a pleasure to see you out there in centerfield everyday and I look forward to seeing you next season :) I greatly appreciated everything you have done for this club.

Tell the guys that despite the fact that y’all came up short the angel fans are still proud of em! Its disappointing and heartbreaking especially after what we had to go through but I was so proud that this angels team fought so hard. It was an uphill battle from the start and y’all showed a lot of heart. I don’t know what this team will look like next year but we’ll always be there :) Thanks for the memories!

ANGELS 2010!

It was truly a great season. So many exciting games! My favorite – sweeping the Red Sox in the playoffs. That was my world series! Of course, I’m very sad the season is over, I’m really gonna miss you guys!! I just want you to know that I am very proud of the Angels and everything they’ve accomplished. You never gave up.
Looking forward to another exciting season. I wish you all the best during the off season – and one more thing – thank you for not allowing the Yanks to celebrate in our house! See you next year!

thanks torii, and thank the rest of the guys for me. It was a great season, to be a fan and for you guys I’m sure. it was great to watch you guys play hard, over come, and most of all show off your great character. It’s been quite a year, tragedy, losses, stern talking tos, come from behind wins, injuries. But it was great too, awsome plays both offensiv and deffensive. And you beat boston this year, swept them even in the playoffs. So see you next season and hopefully we’ll have another great year,
Thanks

Torii,

You guys all played and had an amazing season. We came so far and endured so much this year. Teams don’t usually have to deal with death and yet the Angels came together and went deep into the playoffs.

I want to thank you and the entire team for an exciting, great season. I will not forget some of the great games in this post season for a long long time.

See you in Tempe at Spring Training!!!!!!

Torii,

You guys are awesome, thanks for an amazing season, and always staying classy.

Torii, my daughter and I saw you make that phenomenal catch on Mother’s Day. We had the best time ever, watching our team play great ball and enjoying the day together. That catch was like icing on the cake! Thank you, and all the Angels, for a great season!!

Mr. Hunter:
Great season, and a great team that has the best yet in front of it. A good mix of well-coached and professional talent. So many things have to go right all year, and the breaks have to go your way to get to the World Series. To get a shot at the World Series means that the Angels are in the top tier of teams. I have followed baseball long enough to know that to see a team achieve at a high level for an entire season is really special. To go to the ballpark and watch, more often than not, a well-played ballgame is a wonderful thing. The Angels have shown the ability to do it for more than a few years now, and the fans appreicate it. We’re with you. Go get some rest, think about what a great year it was, and how good this team really is, and will be next year. Have a safe and enjoyable winter, enjoy the holidays, and we’ll see you in Tempe in spring!!

Thank you Torri and all the Angels for an incredible season!! There were so many dramatic come from behind wins this year, so many high-scoring innings, so many things to be proud of. The best game I’ve ever seen was Game 3 against the Red Sox — That was the best game I’ve seen since the 2002 team won it all — WOW!! And even though the world doesn’t know what a great team this is, I was proud to watch you play all the way to October 25th year, the farthest this team has gone since 2002. This was truly a championship-caliber club and if you had been able to play the way I saw you play throughout the year, I know you would be playing the Phillies right now, instead of the Yankees. I know you’ll be a stronger team next year, more seasoned and better able to handle the pressure that comes with playing in the postseason. I think you guys just let the pressure beat you, but you’ll be better for it next year! I hope to see Figgins and Abreu out there next year. They were awesome for this club this year!! And Aybar and Izzy and even Kendrick made great strides too. And I love to watch Spiderman in the outfield — thanks for playing the game hard and being a baseball player that everyone can be proud of!! I am sad that you didn’t make it to the World Series and I’m sad that Vlad will probably be gone next year. He deserves a ring with the Angels and I will miss him. Have a great offseason Torri. Your team should be proud of all you accomplished with all the adversity you went through. May Nick Adenhart continue to be in your hearts through this season and beyond. I’m glad I got to see the last game he pitched. God Bless. Go Angels!!!

Thank you Torri and all the Angels for an incredible season!! There were so many dramatic come from behind wins this year, so many high-scoring innings, so many things to be proud of. The best game I’ve ever seen was Game 3 against the Red Sox — That was the best game I’ve seen since the 2002 team won it all — WOW!! And even though the world doesn’t know what a great team this is, I was proud to watch you play all the way to October 25th year, the farthest this team has gone since 2002. This was truly a championship-caliber club and if you had been able to play the way I saw you play throughout the year, I know you would be playing the Phillies right now, instead of the Yankees. I know you’ll be a stronger team next year, more seasoned and better able to handle the pressure that comes with playing in the postseason. I think you guys just let the pressure beat you, but you’ll be better for it next year! I hope to see Figgins and Abreu out there next year. They were awesome for this club this year!! And Aybar and Izzy and even Kendrick made great strides too. And I love to watch Spiderman in the outfield — thanks for playing the game hard and being a baseball player that everyone can be proud of!! I am sad that you didn’t make it to the World Series and I’m sad that Vlad will probably be gone next year. He deserves a ring with the Angels and I will miss him. Have a great offseason Torri. Your team should be proud of all you accomplished with all the adversity you went through. May Nick Adenhart continue to be in your hearts through this season and beyond. I’m glad I got to see the last game he pitched. God Bless. Go Angels!!!

Torii,

First let me say this was an awesome regular season. I had a blast at the games. This team had some awesome highs and some terrible lows. Losing Nick broke my heart. I was at the game he pitched and then to hear the next day that he had been killed just a few hours after the game was aweful. But I watched this Angels team pull together like I’ve never seen before. I also saw Angels fans pull together like never before.
I had so much fun this season – I went to more games than I’ve ever been to because I asked for Angels Bucks for Christmas and Birthday. I was at the game when this team won the Western Division and I celebrated until the ushers threw us out of our area. Then on to the ALDS and Boston – you guys didn’t just beat them you SWEPT them. I was at game 2 – went through 2 sets of Thunderstix breaking both sets – but it was a blast. I was so nervous for you guys but you did it and I couldn’t be prouder.
On to the ALCS – this was the first time in 40+ years of being a fan that I was able to afford tickets – I was so excited to go to the game – unfortunately for me I was at game 4 but I still came out with the Thunderstixs and kept hoping and I stayed until the end cause that’s what fans do.
I know this season didn’t turn out the way any of us wanted but it wasn’t a failure. This team went though so much at the beginning of the season – most teams would have just given up and played out the season and think to 2010, but NOT this team you fought hard and I’m proud to be an Angels fan and I’ll forever to be loyal, proud and strong.
I’m looking forward to 2010 and can’t wait to be in the stands cheering you guys on.
For me, I’m cheering for the Phillies in the WS. I’m an AL fan except when it’s Boston or NY, and I just can’t bring myself to cheer for those teams. Anyway, have a great winter – stay healthy – see you in Tempe.

Torii,
Thank you for being an Angel! Since you joined the team, our “Halo” seems so much brighter!! Can’t wait for opening day 2010. Have a wonderful Winter.
Frances

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