It’s eerie how little people have talked about Torii Hunter joining the Detroit Tigers this past off-season. It’s like when your uncle goes to jail—it’s a big deal, but no one wants to discuss it. The lack of discourse on Uncle Leo’s Cal Ripken-esque streak of Christmas Eve drunk-driving arrests is expected, but how downplayed the Hunter acquisition has been around Detroit has been very odd.
Frankly, I think it’s because we’ve been spoiled in Detroit recently. When you acquire Victor Martinez one year and Prince Fielder the next, a past-his-prime Hunter doesn’t seem like as big a deal. Yet, had the Kansas City Royals pooled their allowances, asked all their parents for loans, and were miraculously able to land Hunter, that city would still be buzzing about it.
It was very under the radar, so much so that some Tigers’ fans have forgot that we actually signed him. I’ve always been a big proponent of sneaky moves, like when the not-so-lovable school nerd learns martial arts over summer vacation and now can suddenly defend himself against those sassy eight-grade girls. However, in the Tigers case, this move is better characterized as the kid with anger problems and an overly active pituitary gland who learned Krav Maga during the summer vacation he had between seventh grade and, yup, you guessed it, seventh grade.
Hunter fits perfectly into an, already fierce, lineup between Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera. Plus, he’s faster and a clear upgrade in right field over Brennan Boesch.