DETROIT - Veteran Boston cop Steve Horgan is a hero in Beantown.
Torii Hunter sees it a bit differently.
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"Protect and serve," the Tigers rightfielder mused Monday. "Take that off his badge."
Hunter was involved in what has been the most talked-about play of the postseason, crashing headfirst into the Red Sox bullpen after tumbling over the wall in pursuit of David Ortiz's tying grand slam in Game 2 of the ALCS on Sunday night.
A photo destined to become iconic -- especially if the Red Sox, who rallied from a 5-0 deficit for a 6-5 victory that evened the best-of-seven series, end up going to the World Series -- emerged as Ortiz's blast settled into bullpen catcher Mani Martinez's glove.
The shot showed Hunter, his head obscured by the wall and legs pointed toward the sky, and Horgan, arms thrust upward as if he were emphatically signaling touchdown on Tom Brady's game-winner against the Saints four hours earlier.
As bedlam overtook Fenway Park, Hunter took note of several Red Sox pitchers quickly coming to his aid.
"You could hear Ryan Dempster and a couple other guys just kind of saying, 'Dude, that's a great effort, are you all right?' " Hunter said, adding that he still was hurting "toe to head" Monday and was about to receive treatment. "They put that aside trying to take care of human life. Unlike the cop. Terrible. He didn't help me at all."
Earlier, Hunter said: "This son of a gun's got his hands up. Help me, then cheer, fool. Wish I would have kicked him in the face."
It was difficult to tell just how serious the typically genial Hunter was. He grinned at times during his cop rant, although he wasn't laughing. But he was quite serious when discussing the play, which may have turned the series on its ear.
Hunter, 38, has made plenty of highlight reels in his career stealing home runs. Ortiz's blast off Joaquin Benoit with two outs in the eighth inning tied the score at 5, but Hunter thought he had a shot at it.
"I could have caught the ball," Hunter said. "As I was pursuing the ball, I lost it in the lights. At the end of the day, if I catch that ball, we win that game . I was going to give it every attempt. If it takes for me to get knocked out or die on the field, I gotta do it."
It's not the first time Hunter has gotten banged up while chasing a drive hit by Ortiz, his former teammate with the Twins. In 2005, Hunter suffered a broken left ankle in Fenway's triangle trying to rob the Red Sox DH of a homer.
A loss Sunday might have been a death knell for the Red Sox, who send John Lackey against Justin Verlander in Game 3 Tuesday night.
"To win that game was huge for us," Lackey said. "Coming over here down two games would have been tough."
Hunter also took a big-picture approach.
"Coming in, we were saying getting one [in Boston] would suffice," Hunter said. "But it hurts. It could have been 2-0, no doubt about it. But we'll take 1-1."
Tigers manager Jim Leyland agreed, saying the Red Sox had every bit the same claim on Game 1, a 1-0 Detroit victory.
"They lost a 1-0 game they probably should have won; they didn't have any carry-over," Leyland said. "I don't think we'll have any carry-over. We probably should have won the game last night; we probably should have lost the first one. We're probably exactly where we're supposed to be."