Torii Hunter was blindsided by the news his teenage son had been arrested. On the flight back home to Texas two weeks ago, he went through a range of emotions — confusion, guilt, fear.
The Los Angeles Angels right fielder and clubhouse leader had to be a dad, shelving his high-paying job on the West Coast for more important duties. He’s ready to return to baseball, but only because he’s confident his son will be all right.
“I’ve sacrificed a lot for baseball, but I’m not sacrificing my family,” Hunter said. “I love them more than baseball, and I love this game.”
Hunter rejoined the Angels on Monday after a 14-game absence. The veteran outfielder didn’t come off the Angels’ restricted list before they opened a three-game series with the New York Yankees, but Hunter thinks he’ll be ready to play soon.
Hunter left the Angels on May 14, a few hours after 17-year-old Darius McClinton-Hunter was arrested in a sexual assault case in Prosper, Texas, the upscale Dallas suburb where the Hunter family lives.
Although Hunter tried to restrain himself from discussing the legal aspects of his son’s case while sitting in the Angels’ dugout, the loquacious outfielder couldn’t resist declaring that much about the police’s investigation doesn’t add up.
Hunter is a long-distance father for most of the year. His wife stays with their three teenage sons, Darius, Torii Jr., and Monshadrik “Money” Hunter, who are finishing their junior years at Prosper High. All three are expected to be NCAA Division I football prospects.
On that flight home, Hunter wondered about his own culpability in his son’s trouble. He has tried to be an attentive father with a disciplinarian streak, saying he doesn’t hesitate to “whoop” his kids, but just isn’t around them for much of the year.
The Oakland Athletics announced that Manny Ramirez will not join the team Wednesday, when his 50-game suspension ends for violating baseball’s drug policy a second time. There was no indication when he might be called up, but the release said Ramirez will join Triple-A Sacramento’s 25-man roster. … Marlins pitcher Juan Carlos Oviedo has been suspended for eight weeks by Major League Baseball for age and identity fraud. Now 30, a year older than previously listed, he played as Leo Nunez for seven major league seasons. … Angels ace Jered Weaver left his start against the Yankees in the first inning after apparently injuring his back while pitching. … The Orioles have activated infielder Mark Reynolds and placed right-hander Stu Pomeranz on the 15-day disabled list with a torn muscle in his side. Reynolds, who led Baltimore with 37 home runs last season, was hitting .191 with two homers and nine RBI before landing on the DL May 12 with a strained muscle on his left side. … The Red Sox activated outfielder Ryan Sweeney from the seven-day concussion disabled list and optioned outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin to Triple-A Pawtucket. … The Dodgers placed left-hander Ted Lilly on the 15-day DL with left shoulder inflammation. … Left-handed pitcher Aaron Laffey has been recalled by the Blue Jays from the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League. The 27-year-old Laffey played in 36 games for the Mariners in 2011, compiling an ERA of 4.01.