Anyone visiting Tigers camp has to be wondering what's going on.
Victor Marinez has his Tigers teammates roaring at spring camp.
Andrew Weber / USA TODAY Sports
By DANA WAKIJI
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Anyone visiting Tigers camp has to be wondering what's going on.
As soon as Victor Martinez blows the whistle to switch workout stations, all the players start to roar like, well, a tiger.
If you suspected Torii Hunter might be part of this new team thing, you'd be right.
"Victor actually has been doing it for years," Hunter said. "When it's time to switch, he'll blow the whistle. But I figured we should respond to that, so I got up and told Victor, 'Let's work on something so we can respond to that.'
"It was just roar like a tiger ... So if you're on the field here and you hear the whistle, everybody roars. It's pretty impressive. Katy Perry would be proud."
Hunter said it's all about building that team chemistry, which has been a strong point for the team the last several years. Now it's time to incorporate the new players into the group, including the non-roster invitees.
The Tigers are getting their work in, no doubt, but they're also making sure that they have some fun along the way.
First, new manager Brad Ausmus had the pitchers compete in the rag ball tournament, which served a dual purpose that helped pitchers work on their reaction time and created a new competition for the players.
No matter what the game is, professional athletes love competition. The new game, besides the tiger roar, is a basketball-shooting competition.
Ausmus learned it from San Diego manager Bud Black, who does it with the Padres.
"We're just having a little friendly shooting contest, not actual basketball, just shooting set shots," Ausmus said.
There are several teams: a Dominican team, a staff team, two relief-pitcher teams, one starting-pitcher team, a catcher team, an infield team and an outfield team.
Then there's one more.
"Then after those teams are picked, Torii can select players off the scrap heap and he has his team," Ausmus said.
Hunter somehow didn't end up with the outfielders.
Katy Perry would be proud.
Torii Hunter said of the Tigers roaring at spring camp
"I don't understand that one either. I'm an outfielder," Hunter said. "But they can't have too much talent. Me and Austin (Jackson), they don't want that."
Asked just how much basketball talent he had, Hunter said, "I trained three boys ... they could shoot. I think I could shoot pretty good, not bad. Haven't shot in a while, but not bad."
Chamberlain, the champion of rag ball, said he's a pretty good shooter.