Catching up on Angels, Griff, hoops, VIP Fan Club

SEATTLE – There are a few things I’d like to catch up on today – how my Angels are coming alive, Ken Griffey Jr., my man from Arkansas Derek Fisher – but first I’d like to let fans know about something new on the site.

I’d like you to become a part of my VIP Mobile Fan Club! It’s free to join. All you have to do is text Go Torii to the number 68398. We will be doing giveaways and contests all season long.

All the information can be found here: http://www.toriihunter.com/news.php?news=49

As for the Angels, it’s been a long climb, but we’re starting to play and feel like ourselves again. That is really good to see, for everybody. Where we were in April, it could only get better. We were so down and out, it wasn’t even our team. Defensively, offensively, pitching . . . that wasn’t us. We didn’t even have our instincts. It was strange.

Now it’s more like us. We’re in games to the finish. Even when we lose, we feel like we’ve got a shot, that we just ran out of innings. It wasn’t like that in April. I hate that we lost Kendry Morales, one of our best hitters and run producers – and a guy who was playing great defense at first base. We’re trying to fill in with my old buddy Michael Ryan and Mike Napoli, Robb Quinlan. You can’t really replace a guy like Kendry, but if we get production from the rest of our big bats, we’ll score runs.

Hideki Matsui is swinging like he can again, and that’s great to see. This guy can hit. I’ve always said that, and he’s showing it again. With Bobby Abreu and the other guys getting on base and the big guys producing runs, we can score. Our pitching is definitely coming around and our defense is getting more consistent, too. I’m excited about where we are. I keep coming back to last year, when we were 29-29 on June 11 and took off after we had a terrible loss in Tampa Bay.

It’s that time of year where a lot of these guys start to heat up. I’ve always been that way, and I’ve been feeling good at the plate. I tend to heat up with the weather.

It’s sad to be here in Seattle and not see Ken Griffey Jr. He’s one of my favorite players and favorite guys. He was a little ahead of me, and I used to watch everything he did and try to do it like he did. I even tried swinging from the left side when I was young, because I loved his swing so much. It was perfect. The thing about Junior was he loved the game and everything about it. He made it fun, showed everyone that you could play the game all-out – crashing into walls, making fantastic plays – and still have a smile on your face. He had a big influence on me, just like Kirby Puckett when I was a young kid with the Twins.

One last word on the blog is for Derek Fisher of the Lakers. When I was growing up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, one of our big rivals was D-Fish’s high school, Little Rock Parkview. We were only about 30 minutes away, and we played them in everything. Lots of great memories there.

D-Fish was a legend in high school. He was going for 30, 40 points a game. I remember he got 55 one time. I didn’t play against him – he was a little ahead of me in school – but I watched him play. Naturally, I’m pulling for D-Fish now. I’ve also had some great times in Minnesota with Kevin Garnett of the Celtics, so I have a rooting interest in both teams in those NBA Finals.

All right, time to get to work. We’re wearing old-school uniforms from 1995 today against the Mariners. I was in my third year or pro ball in ’95, turning 20 years old, playing at Fort Myers. Man, that’s a long time ago.

We’ve been playing good ball lately and plan to keep it going. We’re going to do everything we can to take it all the way. You know that.
 

 

10 Comments

Yes, Torii, we know this.

God Bless you man.

You gotta believe, and we do!!! Torii, you’re the BEST! Love your attitude. We love watching your interviews — they’re a hoot! You make us all laugh. My 11-year old daughter just adores you and hopes you will never go to another team. So keep doing what you’re doing!

I am so impressed with the way the Angels have been ready to mix it up, to get the WIN!! So very sorry that Kendry had such an unbelievable accident. How those things happen is beyond me. I know he is a fighter and will have a speedy recovery, perhaps just in time for the World Series!! Torii your bat has been HOT, you are a leader and the team has caught your lead. Good luck to all, play with passion and stay healthy. No More Jumping on each other after a game. PLEASE!!

i’m sad that griffey is leaving as well! What a guy :) Hall of Famer for sure! His smile and demeanor is incredible and so is yours! Thank you for being you every single day and giving it your all. We all appreciate it!

much love

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

Torii,

Thanks for signing autographs at Kauffman stadium last year.

Much respect,

Wayne

http://stock350i.mlblogs.com/

Hey Torii, start spreading the word on these possibilities within the organization. I like this team, just a couple of moves needed (3rd base & bullpen) and we can go far this year.

I think the team is playing well with the guys they have. I like Napoli being in the lineup every day and he brings some power. So I think he can do the job at first base the rest of the way. Unless you can get a big name such as Paul Konerko (not likely), I don’t think there are many moves at the first base position that will make sense and make a significant change from what Nap can do for us. All the talk and rumors have been around getting a first baseball, no, the change the Angels should focus on is on the other side of diamond, third base. I think we can use a power bat third baseman. I’m just not sure what possibilities are out there (do you?). Wood has been a disappointment. I just don’t see him able to handle major league breaking ball stuff. I like the Frandsen kid and he has a better approach at the plate than Wood, but he’s starting to come down to earth (batted .240 prior to this season). And I don’t think he’s the answer to get us into the playoffs.

The other area the team definitely needs to address is the bullpen. I think the Angels should consider moving Kazmir to the bull pen and picking up another number one or two starting pitcher. In watching Kaz all year, it seems as if he puts up a solid 3-4 innings before tiring and start missing his spots. I can see him providing us with a solid lefty out of the pen. Who knows, even making him a late inning guy and moving Rodney to the closer spot.

Torii!!! What’s happening in Chicago? You guys looked defeated. Hold your heads up, know that your abilities are great and that because your abilities are great, you don’t need to try so hard. Relax. Go out there and do what you do. Juan is doing better fielding but he really needs to dig deep and find that inner batter. He’s one of my favorites and I really want to see him do well. Anyway, I think you are a great speaker so I hope you can rile the guys up before the game. Take care!!

Tori,
For such a smart baseball player, why are you such a poor base runner? You’re an awesome person and player. I wear your jersey with pride. But some of your decisions on the basepaths are killing us!

D-Fish…that’s a good one. I like the 1995 Uniforms too.

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