Red Sox

Torii Hunter details racist encounters in Boston that led to no-trade clause

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Torii Hunter details racist encounters in Boston that led to no-trade clause

As America confronts racism in its society following the murder of George Floyd, Torii Hunter is speaking up about his own experience.

The former outfielder told ESPN's "Golic and Wingo" recently that he experienced repeated racial abuse from fans at Boston's Fenway Park during games against the Red Sox, to the point where he listed Boston in the no-trade clauses of his contracts.

Hunter expanded on those comments Tuesday during an appearance on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show," explaining that while he heard racist taunts at many MLB ballparks, he heard them far more in Boston.

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"When I went to Boston it was so consistent," Hunter said. "It has nothing to do with the Red Sox. It has nothing to do with the players. It has nothing to do with the organization. It really has nothing to do with the fans. But that's the issue when you hear that."

Hunter recalled a specific instance when "four or five" kids chanted the "N-word" at him during a game at Fenway. What disturbed him most was that no one in the stands asked the kids to stop.

"When I heard 'N-word, N-word' just chanting my name and I looked at these grown-ups and they are clapping and laughing," Hunter said. "I'm pointing saying, 'Tell them to shut up. That's bad.'

" ... So when I looked at the grown-ups and they didn't do anything, that's not a Red Sox issue. That's an issue in society."

Hunter confirmed experiences like these led him to include a no-trade clause to Boston despite admittedly wanting to play for the Red Sox.

"I love Boston. I wanted to play there. It just hit me that I can't have my wife and my kids in this area," Hunter said.

The 44-year-old also clarified he wasn't making generalizations about Red Sox fans as a whole, but wanted to shed light on the pervasive racism that exists in America today.

"These kids are now probably grown," Hunter said. "They are probably CEOs of companies. They are probably the head of something. And I can imagine these kids doing things to people of my skin color and mistreating them. That comes from the heart. Anything that comes out your mouth comes from the heart. ... That's a deep-rooted issue and that's a family issue. It has nothing to do with the Red Sox."

The Red Sox's lone Black player, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., recently tweeted at Hunter and outfielder Adam Jones -- who also has experienced racist taunts at Fenway Park -- thanking them for being mentors.

WATCH: Alex Verdugo notches first home run with Red Sox

WATCH: Alex Verdugo notches first home run with Red Sox

Alex Verdugo tallied his first home run with the Boston Red Sox during Wednesday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Verdugo's homer was a two-run shot in the fourth inning off of Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough that gave Boston the lead.

Watch below:


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Verdugo was, of course, acquired in the blockbuster trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 24-year-old hit .294 with 12 homers in 106 games with L.A. last year.

With home run No. 1 out of the way, Red Sox fans will hope to see many more where that came from during Verdugo's tenure in Boston.

Incredible stat shows how historically awful Red Sox starting pitching has been

Incredible stat shows how historically awful Red Sox starting pitching has been

When the 2019 MLB season started, the defending World Series champion Red Sox boasted an impressive rotation.

Perennial Cy Young contender Chris Sale. Former Cy Young winners David Price and Rick Porcello. World Series hero Nathan Eovaldi. Eduardo Rodriguez, who would go on to win 19 games.

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But the 2020 Sox rotation is a far cry from that collection of talent. 

Instead, with Sale sidelined with Tommy John surgery, Price and Porcello on different teams, and Rodriguez out for the season with myocarditis, the Sox have been forced to rely on a flotsam and jetsam rotation that has been exposed as not MLB-worthy.

Through 11 games, the Red Sox have already used seven starting pitchers, and they've combined to allow a whopping 32 earned runs in 42.2 innings pitched, often putting the Sox in early deficits they've been unable to overcome. It all adds up to a 6.75 ERA, which isn't just bad; it's actually on pace to be the worst starting rotation in the last 120 years, according to Boston Sports Info.

Only Nathan Eovaldi with a 3.94 ERA in three starts and Austin Brice, who pitched one scoreless inning in his only start of the season as an opener, have ERAs below 5.00, while Josh Osich, Ryan Weber, Matt Hall and Zack Godley all have ERAs of 9-plus.

Pitcher ERA as starter
Austin Brice 0.00
Nathan Eovaldi 3.94
Martin Perez 5.06
Josh Osich 9.00
Matt Hall 10.13
Ryan Weber 11.57
Zack Godley 13.50

And with the supposedly strong Boston offense underachieving through 11 games, it's no wonder the team is off to a horrific 3-8 start, the 28th best record out of 30 MLB teams. If that starting pitching doesn't turn around — and turn around quickly — the Red Sox are in danger of digging a hole that will be too deep to climb out of in a shortened 60-game season.