Thursday, September 27, 2012
Arte Moreno recognizes Torii Hunter
By Arash Markazi
LOS ANGELES -- The strong play of Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter since the All-Star break has not gone unnoticed by team owner Arte Moreno.
Moreno was discussing the Angels' season with Roger Lodge on KLAA 830-AM when Lodge asked him if Hunter would be back next season.
"I tell you what, if we don't figure out a way to re-sign him, we're going to get hung, aren't we?" Moreno said Thursday.
Hunter's .341 batting average since the All-Star break is the third best in the American League during that span, and Wednesday night he collected his second walk-off hit this season to lead the Angels to a 4-3 comeback win over the Seattle Mariners. Hunter, 37, is in the final year of a five-year, $90 million contract.
Moreno actually was talking about Hunter on Wednesday night with Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto and team president John Carpino before the walk-off single.
"I was talking to Jerry and Carpino last night. We were talking about Torii, and Jerry said, 'If he knocks in the winning run, the price just went up again,'" Moreno said.
Moreno also addressed his commitment to keeping Angels manager Mike Scioscia along with Dipoto next season and for the foreseeable future. It had been previously reported that Scioscia and Dipoto were at odds and Scioscia might not return as the manager despite being signed through the 2018 season.
"I really did it about six or seven weeks ago," Moreno said. "I have six more years with Mike and for me to be in a situation that I have to say every two or three months that he's coming back is wrong. We just had a lot of press out there trying to start things between Jerry and Mike, and I thought it was time for me to step up and let the fans know what's going on here. We're trying to win baseball games. We don't need any soap opera here."