Torii Hunter has a reputation for robbing hitters of extra-base hits with dramatic plays in center field. Lately, he has been the victim of such thievery.
In the past week, opposing fielders have made two of the greatest plays many of the Angels had ever seen, both against Hunter. Last Monday in Anaheim, Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford made a full-extension diving catch to take a hit away and, last night, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus dove into shallow left field, got to his feet and threw Hunter out.
"At first, I was mad," Hunter said. "But those are two great athletes, two superior athletes. In 18 professional seasons, I've never seen a guy get up as quick as Andrus did. I've seen Omar Vizquel, a lot of guys, but nobody who could do that. He was like a cat. I definitely see great things for him. He's only, what, 21? Just think when he learns the game."
Hunter figures it was karma paying him back.
"Now I see how guys feel," he said.
Crawford's play was somewhat lost in the shuffle, because the Angels scored a run on what became a sacrifice fly. But the Angels coaches were still raving about it this week.
"You can't get any better than that," bench coach Ron Roenicke said. "Nobody else in the league could have caught that ball. Nobody else would have been able to run that fast and, from there, dive full-out. It's incredible."