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Torii Hunter is no spring chicken anymore

The Angels' 33-year-old center fielder was taken aback by the youthful visage of 19-year-old reliever Eddie McKiernan.

February 22, 2009|Mike DiGiovanna and Robyn Norwood

Torii Hunter walked into the Angels' clubhouse the other day in Tempe, Ariz., took one look at Eddie McKiernan and was tempted to ask him to fetch a pair of sanitary hose.

"I thought he was a clubhouse guy," said Hunter, the Angels' 33-year-old center fielder. "I can't believe he's 19. He looks like he's about 12. He makes me feel old, very old. When I was drafted, he was 3."

McKiernan, a reliever who was 1-5 with a 3.73 earned-run average, 56 strikeouts and 16 walks in 62 2/3 innings at Class-A Cedar Rapids last season, was a last-minute addition to big league camp.

He's a wisp of a right-hander, all of 5 feet 11 and 170 pounds with a baby face and braces, and even he acknowledges that he looks like a kid who could be playing Pony League.

"I'm getting razzed a lot about my age and how young I look," said McKiernan, a Monrovia High graduate and a 17th-round pick in the 2007 draft. "That's OK. When I'm 30, I'll look 19."

Trivia time

There's a fever pitch about Tiger Woods' returning to the PGA Tour this week at the Accenture Match Play Championship in suburban Tucson. Woods has done pretty well in the event, including the years when it was at La Costa: He is 31-6 in nine tournaments, 3-1 in championship matches.

Who is the only player to defeat Woods in the championship match?

A (Carolina) blue streak

Roy Williams, the North Carolina coach whose idea of an expletive is usually "dadgum," apologized last week after a postgame rant filled with "stink," "stunk," "stinkin'," "frickin' " and one more word The Times declines to print.

"I can't believe I said that," he said, after continuing to complain about the Tar Heels' "friendly" double teams and "frickin' press" in a victory over North Carolina State.

"I don't ever say that anywhere except on the golf course and not very often then. Jiminy Christmas. Guys, hold up, just understand this, I apologize. . . .

"I don't usually talk like that. But hopefully we don't usually press like that."

Trivia answer

Darren Clarke defeated Woods, 4 and 3, in 2000.

And finally

In the grand tradition of minor league promotional nights, the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings' American Hockey League affiliate in New Hampshire, will pay tribute to an out-of-style hairdo with "Rock the Mullet" night March 14.

"The free-flowing, headbanging, hard-rocking of the '10-90' hairdo really came into its own in the 1980s," Monarchs President Jeff Eisenberg said. "It is the rock musicians that united hockey hair and music."

Monarchs officials cited the bands Cinderella, Whitesnake, Motley Crue, Poison and Guns N' Roses for "keeping hockey hair cool."


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