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Thursday, August 4, 2005
Updated: August 8, 12:24 PM ET
Torii Hunter

By Rachel Nichols
Page 2

EDITOR'S NOTE: On occasion, we all need help. But where to turn? Fortunately, Rachel Nichols is here to bring us the special kind of advice that only the world's greatest athletes can dole out. Whether to take it or not … well, that's up to you. Today's Ill-Advised expert: Torii Hunter, Minnesota Twins center fielder. He's likely out for the rest of the season with a small fracture in his ankle, which means he has time to rev up his career as an ill-advised columnist.

RACHEL: OK, Torii, Ill-Advised is back after a hiatus, and you're headlining. I'm like you coming back into spring training here -- can you help me ease back in?

TORII: Oh yeah, I'll carry you. I give outstanding advice.

RACHEL: This is excellent news, because I don't get to split-squad this. I do get to start with an easy question, though -- our usual opener: What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

TORII: The best advice? Probably from this old mechanic I used to know in the 'hood. Grey-haired guy, had the cigarette dangling all the time and everything, and he said, "Don't take no wooden nickel." Meaning, don't take no mess from nobody. Work hard, and get what you can get. He was one of those dirty guys, but one of those dirty guys with an insight on life.

RACHEL: A thoughtful mechanic. Although that's not what "Don't take no wooden nickel" means, usually.

TORII: Well, he was a marijuana smoker. So he was a deep philosopher.

RACHEL: Great, Torii. First column back, you're already trying to get me in trouble. Say it with me please: We do not endorse smoking illegal drugs.

TORII: Exactly. But he did. That's all I'm saying. And he gave good advice.

RACHEL: We'll see whether your drug-free self can do the same. Your first question is from Perry Winston from Dallas. He writes, "I play left field for my junior high baseball team, and I'm so bored during games I want to stick a screwdriver in my eye. It's fun when I get to bat -- but you've got to give me something to think about or entertain myself with when I'm out by that fence. I'm going crazy."

Torii Hunter
When life slows down in center field, a little music might help.
TORII: Well, if he ever makes it to pro ball, trust me, there is no down time because all the guys can hit. So every time, you're running everywhere. But high school or younger leagues, kids can't hit, so you got to do something. Maybe sneak an I-Pod out there. Put an I-Pod in between the shirts, get some wireless headphones and listen to some music out there.

RACHEL: You seem to have that all figured out.

TORII: I tried it. Spring training games.

RACHEL: You did not.

TORII: Um. No? No, really, no. Not yet, anyway.

RACHEL: Okaaay. We're moving on before this gets into something Terry Ryan wants to know about. How about this one from David Valenzuela in Phoenix? He says, "I want to get a dachshund, but my girlfriend doesn't like them. We both know I'm getting it anyway. How do I smooth her over?"

TORII: My wife is scared of dogs, too. But I think I'm going to take her to one of those dog psychiatrists.

RACHEL: They have those, you know. Psychiatrists for dogs. Otherwise known as trash cans for money.

TORII: No, this is a psychiatrist who talks to people about dogs. But my wife isn't going to want to go. So maybe I'll pretend I'm taking her to get fake breasts, but it'll really be a psychiatrist to make her like the dog.

RACHEL: I don't think she's going to be happy with that trade. And truly, are you? Wait, don't answer that … I really don't want to know. I want to know something from David -- a dachshund, David? Really? You can do so much better than that. I can see starting a fight with the girlfriend over a chocolate lab, but a dachshund? Not manly enough.

Let's see if another Dave can do better -- Dave D. in Denver. He writes, "I drive a work vehicle that has the company name and phone number plastered all over it. How can I 'vent my anger' at other stupid drivers without hurting the company image?"

TORII: Well, if he's in New York or someplace where the traffic is real slow, you can just get out of your truck, express your anger and then run down the street before the guy realizes which truck you came from. The traffic moves so slow, you could get back in your truck before you had to move it again.

RACHEL: See, I'm all about the banana in the tailpipe. Eddie Murphy.

TORII: No, then you get caught. Everyone knows that one. But sugar in the tank. That could work.

RACHEL: Perhaps. Although again, let's say it together: We do not endorse vandalism. This column is turning into a public service announcement.

All right, our next question is from Max in Hartford, Conn. He writes, "Ever since I was 5 years old, I've been playing hockey. And it used to be fun, but I am kind of getting sick of it. I want to try something new. But a lot of people say I have the potential to play Division I and even in the NHL (if there even is one). I'm pretty confused."

TORII: If he's a hustler -- and I was a hustler …

RACHEL: You were a hustler?

TORII: … as I was saying, I was a hustler, and if I knew something was going to pay for school, I would hustle and make myself like it for at least four years. Tell him to hustle, be strong, do what he has to do to get that free education.

RACHEL: So Max, get back on the ice. And yes, there is an NHL. Just not in your town anymore. Sadly.

OK, now T.J. in Maryville, Tenn. writes, "Just curious what other uses for pine tar anyone can recommend. Thanks."

TORII: What can I do with pine tar?

RACHEL: PG, please. Our lawyers can't take much more.

TORII: Well, I only use pine tar for a bat, but you could put it in some teammates' underwear. Then when they get dressed, it gets kinda sticky.

RACHEL: So no home use for pine tar. Strictly a clubhouse product?

TORII: Door handles, maybe, if they're slipping? But no, I'm going for clubhouse -- it's pine tar. Now if he wants uses for other materials, I have suggestions.

RACHEL: Maybe for another column. In the future. A long time from now. For now, let's stick to our usual closing question: What's the best advice you have for the people out there?

TORII: I always say, just treat people the way you want to be treated.

RACHEL: That's lovely, Torii.

TORII: That's good advice.

Got an issue or a question, or otherwise need to be "Ill-Advised" in the future? Send it to Rachel Nichols right here.