Mickey Hatcher, who was fired by the Angels on May 15, says he doesn't… (Bruce Kluckhohn / Getty…)
OAKLAND — Mickey Hatcher knows he has plenty of critics; they came out in full force on Internet message boards and radio call-in shows every time the Angels went into a prolonged offensive slump.
What he didn't know until he was fired as Angels hitting coach last week was just how many friends he gained in 12-plus years on Manager Mike Scioscia's staff.
"I'm in awe of all the people who have called — I've gotten thousands of calls from people in and out of the game, wishing me the best," Hatcher said by phone Tuesday during a round of golf at Coyote Hills in Fullerton.
"I've heard from players and coaches from teams I've never been associated with. It's a great feeling knowing you touched people in your life. … It makes you feel better about yourself."
Hatcher was the first coach to be fired in Scioscia's 13 years in Anaheim, but he's convinced his dismissal did not come from the manager's office. "It wasn't Mike's decision," he said.
General Manager Jerry Dipoto said Hatcher was fired because a team that had "grossly underachieved" needed "a different voice" from the position. Whether Dipoto acted alone or was under orders from owner Arte Moreno did not matter to Hatcher.
"I'm not interested in finding out," Hatcher said. "Being a hitting coach, you're paid to make a difference; I worked every day as hard as I could to get things turned around, and it didn't happen. It's frustrating, and I was disappointed in myself too."
Hatcher said he "wished the best" for new hitting coach Jim Eppard and held no grudge toward the organization.
"I'm not that type of person — I've always been positive," Hatcher said.
"I still want those guys to turn it around. I still watch the games every day. Those guys mean a lot to me. It's sad to see what they're going through."