Torii Hunter not only is one of the best defensive outfielders the game has every known, he is also unbeatable when it comes to a good quote. Hunter was in fine form Friday night at Angel Stadium against the Texas Rangers. He robbed Marlon Byrd of extra bases (Hunter claimed the drive would have left the park) and helped preserve the Angels’ 3-1 victory. Hunter crashed face-first into the padded wall while making what he called one of the best catches in his career. Afterward he was just as dazzling with his quotes.
“Oh man, Byrd is one of those guys that likes to go to right-center and I was playing in the other gap,” Hunter said. “It was a long run and the ball was beating me there. I caught the ball but went face-first into the wall. I tasted it too. It was pretty nasty.”
And then there was this one:
“It was pretty painful,” Hunter said. “I wish I could describe it, but I think you saw my facial expression afterward. I was in pain. … That was one of my favorites because I went face first and everybody was talking about me. It felt like Mike Tyson hit me. It was pretty ludicrous.”
And if that wasn’t enough, Hunter said the wall tasted like “collard greens.” He suggested the team install a strawberry flavored wall in the near future.
Angels’ rookie relief pitcher Shane Loux was just rewarded for his work done before joining the big-league team earlier this month. Loux (pronounced Lukes) was named the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year for his work with the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees. Loux was 12-6 with a 3.98 ERA. The victories are tied for the lead league and the ERA still leads the league.
Loux has made four appearances with the Angels this month and has not allowed an earned run. Today’s award comes two days after Loux was named the top right-handed pitcher on the 2008 all-PCL team
With his home run Monday, Mike Napoli passed Bob Boone to become just the third player to hit at least 40 HRs as a catcher for the Angels. Bengie Molina and Lance Parrish share the record, each hitting 61 HR as a catcher for the club.
Francisco Rodriguez was just named American League Player of the week for his performance in the week ending Sunday. Not only did Rodriguez record his 50th save of the season Sunday against the Twins, he had four scoreless innings during the week. He had three saves against playoff contenders Tampa Bay and Minnesota. Surprisingly, it is the first time Rodriguez has won the player-of-the-week award.
Jason Bay of the Red Sox, Aubrey Huff of the Orioles and White Sox teammates Nick Swisher and Alexi Ramirez also were up for the award.