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October 7, 2002

Torii Hunter


THE MODERATOR: We're going to get started. Who has a question for Torii Hunter.

Q. Talk about the Angels and playing them, what you think about their club this year.

TORII HUNTER: Well, I think the Angels, they're kind of like us. I've been telling guys earlier that, you know, we look within ourselves, I think we'll find out how we should get those guys out. They played a game just like we do, they play hard. They get guys over, make contact, use their speed, play good defense. It's gonna be an exciting series.

Q. Torii, in the first round, you guys admittedly had a lot of nerves going in that first game. Can you learn from that, or will there be the same type of first-game jitters tomorrow night?

TORII HUNTER: No, I think we're past that. I mean, it's still the same intensity, you know? We kind of know what it's like now, you know. I think the first couple games, we were kind of nervous - I know I was, I was nervous. I was nervous for the other guys. I was definitely nervous for myself. But I think if we play better defense than we did the first couple games, I think we'll do a lot better.

Q. What went through your mind this winter when there was all of this talk about, "There might not even be a Minnesota Twins team this year," and then to reach the point that you have now?

TORII HUNTER: Well, you can write a book about it, I can tell you that (smiling). But, you know, it was tough. During this past off season, you know, they were talking about contraction. I grew up with these guys. Then they talked about a dispersal draft, I couldn't imagine, you know, Guzman and Doug and Jaque and all those guys on different teams and I'm playing against those guys. All on the count of contraction. But, you know, we kept our heads up, we went out there and we showed some people we could play. A lot of people wanted us eliminated - literally - and before the series, you know, they told us that we couldn't get past the A's in three games, and we did that. We proved a lot of people wrong. That's what we are, we're on a mission to prove a lot of people wrong. How about that?

Q. The way you came back against the A's and to win yesterday, are you as confident as you've been this year? Is your confidence raised because of that?

TORII HUNTER: Well, you don't want to get too high. You get too high, you fall down and it can hurt. We just gonna stay on an even keel, try to stay humble and keep playing the game we've been playing. Yeah, confidence plays a big part in it, but I think a lot of guys have been confident all year. We play hard enough, we play good, sound baseball, then we can go out there and give a good game.

Q. Was there any similarities in that catch you made yesterday and the play here at The Dome for you at all?

TORII HUNTER: It wasn't hit as hard. Ray Durham, I think he hit that ball hard and right when I was reaching for it, the day here in the Metrodome, it kind of cut on me at the last minute. I didn't know what happened at first. At first, I was out there like, "Man, what happened? I don't know what happened." When I went up there watch the tape, I saw a cut, it cut away from my glove at the last minute. You know, you can't do anything about it. I felt abused out there, used. I felt lonely (laughing). Yesterday, it was a different ball. Different way, it was hit differently. It knuckled a little bit, had a knuckleball action to it. Cut away from me. I saw the cut, so I was able to make the adjustment. Didn't cut on me at the last minute, I saw it cutting from the jump. I was able to make the adjustment and make the play. I also didn't want to, you know, disappoint people anymore. I wanted to make up for what I did the first day in the Metrodome.

Q. How important is it that you guys have home field advantage in this series, especially games one and two here at The Dome?

TORII HUNTER: It's important. We're all professional players. Anaheim, they're a professional team, we're a professional team. So you really don't look at all that, you know. You still got to go out and play a baseball game. But they don't know how loud it gets in here. I mean, you got to wear ear plugs. I know to wear ear plugs the next couple days. You can't hear anybody say, "I got it" anyway, but you might as well wear ear plugs. They don't know how loud it gets in here. Playing at three o'clock or one o'clock, it's tough to see. If you don't panic, you'll be able to see the ball. I shouldn't be saying that, I don't need those guys to know that... Okay, whatever. But I mean, it's big that we got home field advantage. We can go out there and we're comfortable at home. You look at our record during the season, at home we played well. On the road, we suck. So we... (Laughing). We definitely play better at home.

End of FastScripts...

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