Torii Hunter is the 'go-get' guy

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hunter_torii_091015.jpgJack Curry of the New York Times, working from the Angels clubhouse on Thursday, reported via Twitter (if you’re interested, I’m Tweeting, too) that Torii Hunter is not only the “go-to” guy, he’s the “go-get” guy.

How much of a quote machine is Torii Hunter? When 100 reporters entered Angels’ clubhouse, Mike Napoli told Howie Kendrick, “Go get Torii.”

And after reading some quotes from the Angels’ star center fielder, one can see why. Here’s a sampling:

* “He’s (Sabathia) one of my buddies in the game. He’s throwing up and in, 97, 98 mph, under my chin, shaving my goatee, and then we go to dinner and talk about it and laugh.”

* Hunter praised the Yankees, saying they’re tough because of what he said was their “$10 billion payroll.”

And some more from the L.A. Times:

* “They’ve got Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Godzilla [Hideki Matsui], CC Sabathia, one of the best left-handers in the game, Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer of all time . . . you want me to keep going?

“There’s a lot of guys over there, so if you were a betting man, yeah, you might go with the Yankees. But at the same time, you might lose your money.”

* “We’re gladiators, we’re ready to play — nobody here is shaking in their boots,” Hunter said. “If we play the game the way we’ve been playing for the last six or seven games, I feel we have a good chance against any pitcher, any team.”

OK so he’s not Charles Barkley, but he’s not Crash Davis spouting a bunch of clichés either. You’ve got to love a guy willing to speak his mind, and Hunter, a normally fun-loving guy anyway, seems to be having the time of his life in the playoffs. Enjoy the ride Torii. And keep entertaining us.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.