To hear Hunter tell it, his life was a charm bracelet of good times: the time his brother, Pete, shot him in the right foot (long story, and funny), or the time he bought a bumper-pool table for the Yankees' clubhouse and billed it to Lou Piniella, his roommate and favorite target of abuse. Even while terminally ill Hunter razzed Piniella, now the Mariners' manager, for always making pitching changes in his warmup jacket, the better to hide his gut.
Piniella's tantrums against umps have always been intense, intentionally silly and childlike, which is how Hunter played and lived. "Remember when Lou threw the bag, but he didn't throw it far enough, so he picked it up and threw it again?" Hunter asked as we stood in his driveway, giggling. "I liked that. I loved that."
Last week Piniella gave Hunter a fitting epitaph: "If you didn't like Catfish, you just didn't like people."