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Angels not impressed with Prince Fielder's walk-off celebration

ANGELS FYI

Torii Hunter and Joe Saunders find the Milwaukee Brewers' display after the slugger's walk-off homer to be excessive.

September 08, 2009|Mike DiGiovanna

KANSAS CITY, MO. — You could tell what Torii Hunter thought of Milwaukee slugger Prince Fielder's Sunday walk-off celebration against San Francisco even before the Angels center fielder opened his mouth.

When asked his reaction to Fielder leaping onto home plate and his teammates falling down like bowling pins, Hunter shook his head and rolled his eyes.

"I guess it's a different game," he said. "It's all TV, acting, until someone gets hit with a pitch in the chin. I'm old-school. I could never do that."

The Giants returned home to play San Diego on Monday, and Milwaukee played St. Louis, so any retaliatory acts by the Giants against the Brewers must wait.

What if Hunter was in the opposing dugout for such an excessive display?

"If I was a pitcher, I'd be [ticked] off," he said. "My mouth would be wide open. I'd be shocked. Baseball is not like the NFL, where you can celebrate in the end zone. You've got to keep your cool, play the game. You can't do that."

That being said, Hunter did give Fielder points for style.

"I did laugh. I did think it was funny. It was very creative," Hunter said. "But it's a little strong for baseball, because you could have a 90-mph fastball coming at you the next day.

"If someone did that against us and we played them again, trust me, he'd get crushed, and we'd try to fight him."

Angels ace John Lackey wouldn't say as much, but it was obvious the pitcher was not too thrilled with Fielder's act.

"I didn't think a whole lot of it," he said.

Said Angels left-hander Joe Saunders: "It was original. Fans like to see it. But as a player, it's a little over the top."

Manager Mike Scioscia, the former Dodgers catcher, didn't see the celebration but acknowledged that "it's a different world now" than when he played the game.

"When guys started high-fiving at the plate, I know there were old-timers who took issue with that," Scioscia said. "When guys started huddling around the plate after a walk-off homer, it ruffled some feathers, so I don't know."

Kazmir vs. Hernandez II

Scott Kazmir's second act as an Angel will look a lot like his first. The left-hander, acquired from Tampa Bay on Aug. 28, will oppose Seattle's Felix Hernandez, the same pitcher he faced in his Angels debut Wednesday, tonight in Angel Stadium.

Hernandez, a Cy Young Award candidate, got the best of the Angels last week at Safeco Field, giving up four hits in eight innings in a 3-0 Mariners win. Kazmir gave up one earned run and three hits and struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings.

"What are you going to do?" Kazmir said, when asked about opposing such a strong pitcher twice in six days. "Hopefully, the outcome will be different this time. They're at our place."

Kazmir chuckled at his last statement. He spent one day with the Angels in Anaheim, on Aug. 30, before going on the road with the team. He has pitched only once in Angel Stadium.

"I'm claiming it as my home now," Kazmir said. "I know I only spent one day there as an Angel, but it's one of the best places in the league to play."

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mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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