Hunter: ‘I don’t give a damn about last year’
|10.06.09 at 4:37 pm ET|
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Speaking prior the Angels’ workout, Tuesday at Angels Stadium, Los Angeles outfielder Torii Hunter admitted this: That the magnitude of the games in last season’s American League Division Series might have gotten to some of the Angels.
“It’s not because it’s Boston. I think it’s because of just the hype,” said Hunter regarding the Red Sox’ ALDS win of a year ago. “Last year a couple of guys got caught up in the hype of the playoffs, the Boston Red Sox and Angels of the past. But I think guys are a year over and a lot more mature than the past and I think they’re going to go out there and do some great things.”
After that, however, Hunter wasn’t going down that road — at least to the extent he did following the Angels’ last visit to Fenway Park when he said …
“If you play nervous, you’re going to make mistakes,” Hunter said. “Show some nuts.
“I can’t speak for these guys. I can speak for myself. I know what I feel like. I’m pissed. You know, I’m pissed off.
“There’s some sick talent on here. I love this team, I love them to death. But to win we’ve got to show nuts.
“”We need to do better. Got to do better, got to play better, got to have more fun. Play every game, play to win, but enjoy it and have fun. Let your God-given ability take place. You don’t let a crowd or an atmosphere change anything. If you strike out, you strike out. If you mess up on a play you mess up on a play. Don’t show me signs of soft, [show] nuts. ”
This time, when asked about Hunter insinuating the Angels’ played differently against the Red Sox, Hunter responded, ”I didn’t say that. I never said that. I said you needed to play with some nuts, that’s what I said. I didn’t say nothing about the Red Sox, you guys did. You’ve just got to go out and play the game. It’s the same game. You can’t get caught up in the hype or nothing like that. Just play the game. Play the game the right way. Even me, I have to play the game the right way. I try to, but hopefully we can get other guys to, and I know we will.”
“Last year is last year. I’m not talking about last year. You can sit here and talk about it all you want. You can write about it. I don’t give a damn about last year. I just know about the task at hand, which is Thursday, or maybe tomorrow, you never know.”
Hunter also touched on the affect playing for the memory of Nick Adenhart, the pitcher who passed away in a car accident earlier this season, has had on this year’s Angels team.
“We’re playing withe purpose with the passing of Nick Adenhart, every day we carry that jersey wherever we go, we look at it, and we just say Hey, we’re going to play hard for us and for him. That’s what we’ve been doing lately, playing with a passion and a purpose and having a lot of fun and that’s what we’re going to try and continue to do.
“We wanted him with us and that’s why we doused his jersey. I know a lot of people was upset with that, but it has nothing to do with what they’re thinking about. You’ve got to be crazy to say that it don’t seem right to douse alcohol on Nick Adenhart’s jersey. If he was here he would be right there jumping up and down with champagne so we decided to do it that way and it was very exciting and very emotional for us.”
Regarding the Angels’ ability to take advantage of the running game against the Red Sox, Hunter said that it had little to do with the team they were facing and more to do with an organizational philosophy. LA finished third in the American League with 148 stolen bases, notching 15 against the Red Sox with just two times being caught.
“I think we just run, I don’t think it has anything to do with the Red Sox,” Hunter said. “We do everybody the same way. We try and run on everybody, we just use our talents. We have a lot of guys with speed on the ballclub and we just run. I don’t think it has anything to do with the Red Sox, we just go out and play. If we happen to run more on the Red Sox, I don’t look at numbers because I’m a player. We don’t look at numbers, you guys do.”
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