Friday, February 18, 2011

Rangers Pitcher Tommy Hunter Hunting for a Job and a Healthy Spring Training

There are few people in the Rangers clubhouse who will make you laugh harder than pitcher Tommy Hunter.  I'm not even going to try to quote him in that regard.  I wouldn't do it justice.  Just trust me.  The man has a career in comedy or tv once he's done with baseball. 

But what's impressive is that he's serious when it comes to his job.  He realized that despite starting 2010 8-0 and posting a 2.31 ERA he was inconsistent.  He went 5-4 in his last 12 starts with an ERA of more than 5.  Then there was the postseason.  Three starts.  0-2 record, 5.56 ERA.   He understands that's not good enough, even bringing it up himself in a conversation Friday morning before the Rangers workout.

"I wouldn't mind going back to the World Series, changing some perspectives about, I guess, myself and the post season," he said.  "I would love to have another chance to do that.  It didn't end on a note I wanted to, personally or as a team."

Hunter is also cool with competing for a spot in the starting rotation, despite having a job in the rotation last season.  In fact, he welcomes the chance to compete, which Rangers manager Ron Washington has said he will have to do. 

"You can't be complacent with what you did last year you," he says, doing his best self-help guru impression.   "You can't be satisfied.  That's life, do better than what you did the year before."

Another big goal is to simply leave Surprise, AZ healthy.  He was injured coming out of Spring Training the last two years.

"Being there opening day is going to be a goal of mine.  The last two years, I wasn't able to get out.  I had a groin (in 2009) and then my oblique last year, so staying healthy and having a job, those are the goals right now."
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