DETROIT -- There isn't a shy bone in Torii Hunter's body.
During a first conversation, the Detroit Tigers' veteran right fielder can make a stranger feel like a long-time friend. He can do stand-up comedy, counsel a troubled soul and lead his team in a victory chant on an opponents' field.
In fact, Hunter did all of those things in 2013 -- his first season with the Tigers.
He took teammates out for meals during spring training, getting to know them as individuals, which allowed him to lead more effectively and quickly.
Hunter joined designated hitter Victor Martinez as the strongest voices in the clubhouse, and it didn't hurt that Hunter put up numbers that landed him on the All-Star team. He became the total package.
But it's interesting that, for all he did in bringing the team together, he didn't feel totally comfortable until late last season. Even an extrovert needs time to feel secure.
"I feel at home now," Hunter told me recently. "This year, I know the guys. I know what kind...