Where’s support for Hunter?

The Angels are hosting the All-Star Game on July 13. It’s a pretty big deal. You’d think their fans would be doing everything they can to make sure one of their players — ideally, their best player, Torii Hunter — would be in the starting lineup for the American League.

You’d think that would be the case, but you’d be wrong. It’s a clear case of voter apathy in Orange and its neighboring counties. 

Angels fans are sitting around not voting, evidently. They do a lot of complaining about what they have and don’t have, judging by my emails, but they’re not too interested in voting. They’re content to let eight other players start the game, without representation from the hometown team that has won its division the past three seasons and five of the past six.

Hunter is seventh in the AL outfield. That’s ridiculous. You can make a case that the three guys leading in the balloting — Ichiro, Carl Crawford and Josh Hamilton — are all deserving. They’re having big seasons, and they’re talented, charismatic players.

I’d take Hunter in a heartbeat over any of the three.

I’m biased, of course. I’m around Torii every day and see what he does on the field, in the clubhouse, in general life. He’s as good as it gets. He should be in center field when this All-Star Game unfolds.

What’s really absurd is that a pair of Yankees — Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher — are running ahead of Hunter in the voting. I’m pretty sure they’d both agree they’re not in Hunter’s class as all-around players.

Hunter is having another big year. He started one All-Star Game, in Milwaukee in 2002, and made one of the most memorable plays in the history of the Midsummer Classic, scaling the wall in center to snatch a home run away from Barry Bonds.

Hunter is clutch. He goes all out, all the time. He lives for the moment and represents his sport as well as any athlete anywhere.

It’s a shame the fans aren’t doing their part to take care of a guy who never stops taking care of others. — Lyle Spencer  

 

2 Comments

Yeah, right… I’ve punched more ballots this year than ever before and I’m apathetic. Maybe the problem is that fans in other cities are actually voting, too. Sure, L.A. is a big city… but the reality is that there are more people in this country that aren’t Angels fans than are. I love Hunter and he absolutely deserves to go, but if you hadn’t watched him play and were only looking at numbers would you really vote for him?

As much as I enjoy having Hunter on the team I don’t want a mancrush to get in the way of the way I look at the Angels. I’ve ended the season too many times with a broken heart to let my homerism to take control any more. Let’s be honest, the Angels don’t have a real, live All-Star on the field. I’d guess that the manager will select Weaver to be added but that’s probably about it.

That’s not to say I don’t love the Angels’ team approach, I do. It’s been years since any single injury (or two) truly debilitated the team during the regular season. I appreciate all that management has done to make the team a contender year in and year out really appreciate that they’ve resisted to impulse to spend a ton of money on some guy who is two years from declining production to a seven year contract (Still a little confused about the Sarge, Jr signing but…). The occasional sharp trade has provided much better results than this type of reactionary mistake.

Even without a consensus All-Star, I’m still enjoying every season of the Scioscia/Stoneman/Reagins era more than any time since I first watched an Angels game, about 1965. Keep up the great work! Let’s hope the farm system can provide the talent the team needs in the future.

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