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Torii's final farewell?

In both the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press coverage of the Minnesota Twins, Torii Hunter's impending free agency has been highly covered as the Twins' season comes to a close. For Twins fans, the season's end could also mark the end of what has been a nine-year mainstay: Torii Hunter in center field. Interestingly, in sports coverage, bias is somewhat accepted and encouraged. Likely, readers of the sports sections of the two local papers are also fans of local teams -- including the Twins. For papers to lament the loss of Hunter, as both of these do, could be construed as disproportionate coverage, but also could be seen as coverage proportional to the reader demographic. In hard, conventional news, the reader's opinion should be acknowledged but not used to gauge the presentation of news. In sports, though, it seems to be part of the industry to be a "homer" and root, root, root for the home team, so to speak. Whether this is right or wrong by journalistic standards is up for debate, but one thing is certain: fans will be sad to see Hunter go, and undoubtedly they read these stories with that in mind, validated by each of the newspapers.