June 12, 2012 |
A late-night comment by Albert Pujols after a 3-2 victory Monday shed some light on a problem that plagued the Angels during their dismal April and may have contributed to the firing of hitting coach Mickey Hatcher in May. "One thing we've been doing is we're really communicating well — that's something we weren't doing," Pujols said after the Angels improved to 15-4 since May 22 and moved to within 21/2 games of Texas in the American League...
May 22, 2012 |
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.
May 18, 2012 |
SAN DIEGO -- Bud Black was a member of Mike Scioscia's original coaching staff with the Angels. Three of those coaches ascended to managerial jobs - Black with the San Diego Padres, Joe Maddon with the Tampa Bay Rays and Ron Roenicke with the Milwaukee Brewers. Never in Scioscia's 13 years had one of his coaches left involuntarily - until this week, that is. Hitting instructor Mickey Hatcher , another of Scioscia's original coaches, was fired by General Manager Jerry Dipoto . "Your initial reaction is surprise," Black said.
May 17, 2012 |
No one anticipated the Angels would coax the superstar first baseman away from the only team he had ever known, from the fans that had adored him. Yet the Angels swooped in, signed him to the richest contract in franchise history and set sail for October. Then the season started. Soon after, so did the defeats, the dissension, and the dismissals. Albert Pujols, meet Mo Vaughn. This could be 1999 all over again. By the time the debacle of Vaughn's debut season was over, the players had staged a mutiny and the ownership had cleaned house.
May 15, 2012 |
The first major repercussion from the Angels' disappointing 16-21 start occurred Tuesday night when the team announced that hitting coach Mickey Hatcher had been fired. He will be replaced by Jim Eppard, hitting coach at triple-A Salt Lake City. Hatcher's departure, announced after a 4-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday afternoon, ends a 13-year run with the Angels and an even longer relationship with Manager Mike Scioscia. The two played together with the Dodgers, and Hatcher, 57, served as Scioscia's hitting instructor when Scioscia managed the Dodgers' minor league team in Albuquerque in 1999.
May 1, 2012 |
Whatever was said between first baseman Albert Pujols and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher in the wake of apparent friction between the two Monday night remained private on Tuesday. Pujols, who in April hit .217 with no homers and four runs batted in, the worst month of his career, was perturbed at Hatcher for telling reporters what Pujols said during a closed-door hitters meeting Monday, even though Pujols' comments, meant to instill confidence in his teammates, were fairly innocuous.