Friday, December 12, 2014

Torii Hunter and Mortality

The Twins signed former Tigers (and, prior to that, Angels and, more significantly, Twins) outfielder Torii Hunter to a one-year contract. Hunter, who'll turn 40 next July, signed for $10.5 million in what is pretty clearly a homecoming/last hurrah/mentoring kind of season for him.

His first press conference after signing the contract was, well, interesting.

Joe Posnanski of NBC Sports wrote a great piece about that last comment. Here's a link to the article. He talks about Hunter, but what he's really talking about is getting old. Referring to Hunter's "I might be just a little bit above normal" line, he writes
There's something else in there, something sort of sweet and vulnerable and emotional, even if Torii Hunter himself doesn't realize it. It's damned hard to grow old in baseball. Or, if you prefer, it's just damned hard to grow old.
Posnanski points out that pretty much every superstar was pretty bad at the end of his career. They spent a lifetime learning about the game, expanding their knowledge, but in the end, the body just can't do it anymore, even if the mind thinks it can. Everybody over the age of 30 who's engaged in a physical activity knows what I'm talking about. But stop reading my take, and click on the link to Posnanski's article. Thankfully, his writing skills didn't peak when Hunter's defense did.

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