‘Um … Hot tamale’? Hunter gives odd postgame interview

Torii Hunter wasn’t much for talking about a bench-clearing incident that stopped short of a fight during Thursday’s Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers game.

But the Pine Bluff native didn’t mind making noises or bringing up a spicy food.

During a postgame interview on MLB.com video, Hunter at first talked about a key play in the White Sox’s 6-3 victory rather than the incident, sparked when Tigers reliever Luke Putkonen nearly hit the back of the White Sox’s Alexei Ramirez on his third pitch. Ramirez was infuriated and both benches cleared.

Asked “What were your thoughts on the events out there today?” by a reporter, Hunter said, “Um, just tough. The guy, (Josh) Phegley, he took advantage of a mistake pitch, he hit it out of the park, and it was a grand slam, and that’s all she wrote. That was the blow that took us away from the game.”

Phegley’s grand slam in the top of the sixth inning erased a 3-1 deficit.

The reporter then clarified his question, asking about the incident and Detroit manager Jim Leyland’s ejection after he argued with an umpire about warnings not being issued in the fifth when Chicago’s Chris Sale threw near the head of Prince Fielder.

Apparently evading questions related to the incidents, Hunter said in a high pitch, “Um…” three times and rolled his eyes toward the reporter each time.

On the third time, addressing a question from another reporter on whether such incidents create rivalries, Hunter said: “Um … hot tamale.” Hunter then repeated his thoughts about the loss on the next question.

When asked if he has seen Leyland “so hot,” Hunter looked over another reporter’s shoulder and answered: “Is the phone ringing? You hear anything. It’s tough. You guys ask tough questions today. That’s something we try to stay away from. We just play the game, and the game polices itself. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

On Friday, Hunter went 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored as the Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 7-2 in Detroit. Hunter is now batting .309 on the season.

Information from the Sports Network was used in this article.