It didn't take long for Tigers owner Mike Ilitch to know he'd found the right match for his team in free agency. "Abouttwo and a half steps," Ilitch laughed Friday, sitting next to his newest outfielder, Torii Hunter, at an introductory news conference at Comerica Park. "He came flying in the door of my office. He didn't walk in, he almost trotted in. Big smile on his face." Friday, they were both smiling, of course, with Hunter signed, sealed and hand-delivered to Detroit, where he's talking boldly about being the final piece to a championship puzzle. And the 83-year-old Ilitch was left shaking his head, trying to recall a player who had made this quick of an impression on him in all his years as a professional sports owner. "Well," he told me after Friday's news conference, "you don't meet many guys like him." But when you do, and the feeling appears to be mutual, there's no need to waste time with courtship, not at this stage of the game. Clearly, that was the case with Hunter and the Tigers, who might as well have flown to Las Vegas and gotten hitched the way they were talking Friday. Hunter, 37, had his agent, Larry Reynolds, let Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski know Detroit was his No. 1 choice last week. Then he called and invited himself to town for a job interview over the weekend. Tuesday, he met with the Tigers' brass, had a long lunch with manager Jim Leyland — "He's a funny old man," Hunter laughed — and then, on his way out the door, left little doubt as to his intentions. Said Hunter: "I told (Dombrowski) to his face, 'I wanna be a Tiger. I want to win a World Series. … Let's get it done today.'"
Torii Hunter and Detroit Tigers are the right match
Detroit News | Nov 18