Hunter taking everything in stride

Hunter taking everything in stride

MINNEAPOLIS -- Torii Hunter isn't the worrying kind. He's certainly not about to fret over something as minor as a 0-for-8 start to his Angels career -- especially when he's hit several balls on the nose that found Twins gloves.

"I've been around a long time," Hunter said. "I've been 0-for-8 a lot of times and ended up hitting .300 in a month. I've been hitting some balls right at 'em. Just one of those things."

Hunter was back in the lineup on Wednesday night, as promised, after taking a Juan Rincon fastball flush on his left elbow in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's 9-1 Angels victory.

Perplexed by the location of his former teammate's first pitch out of the bullpen, Hunter shrugged it off, iced the elbow, and grinned as he thought about it.

"I wanted to say thank you," Hunter said. "I scored a run [his first with the Angels]."

Leaving the Metrodome, Hunter went home to his family, got some rest and was back to work in the batting cage Wednesday afternoon.

"Everything's cool," Hunter said, grinning.

This isn't the first time a former Twins star outfielder has come to the Angels and had a frustrating beginning.

The late Lyman Bostock started 2-for-39 in 1978, finishing April batting .147 and vowing to return the first two checks from his five-year, $2.5 million free-agent contract.

When owner Gene Autry refused to take the money, Bostock donated it to charity.

Bostock signed his Angels contract on Nov. 21, 1977. Thirty years later to the day -- Nov. 21, 2007 -- Hunter agreed to a five-year, $90 million deal with new Angels owner Arte Moreno.

Chalk it up to inflation -- and a dramatically healthier industry.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.