Friday, May 18, 2012

Are The Angels Upset With Torii Hunter?

For most parents it is instinctive to put your child's needs before all other things. Their safety and well being is the driving force that dictates how someone will respond in a certain situation. Athletes are no different. Earlier this week Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter took an indefinite leave of absence from the team to handle some legal issues surrounding his son. Hunter reportedly informed the Angels organization that he is a father first and a baseball player second.

In an era of me first athletes it's refreshing to hear a player step up and give support to his family when they need him regardless of his personal circumstances. So many times we hear about fathers (especially African American) being absent from their children's lives and maintaining strained relationships that leave emotional and psychological scars. Torii Hunter is an example of a man handling his responsibilities by making sure his son is okay before concentrating on himself. The question isn't whether Hunter is doing the right thing,the question is how do the Angels respond?

In the real world bereavement and personal issues are a part of life. Some companies have policies in place that account for these situations financially while others simply give time off but offer no monetary compensation. In the sports world players rarely miss extended periods of time for personal reasons. Games missed and the money involved provide incentive to return to action from any tragedy as quickly as possible.

Torii Hunter makes $18,500,000 a year and is an integral part of the Angels success. He is a leader in the clubhouse and popular with his teammates which makes the situation even more delicate. Should the Angels pay him in his absence? Do they demand he comes back to the team in a certain amount of time. Do they harbor animosity if he's gone too long? No one knows for sure what the Angels organization is thinking, but I'm sure they're not happy outside forces are affecting the performance of their investment. Hopefully they tread lightly, but you never know with these things. Stay tuned.

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