Mickey Hatcher has been the Angels hitting coach for over a decade. That’s crazy. Thanks to being tied for the fifth worse BB% since 2000, the club has occasionaly and accurately been referred to as “Hatcher’s Hackers.” Despite the ever-so-often cries for his dismissal, it turns out the long time baseball man has quite the sense of humor. In a recent LA Times article, Hatcher busted out this one-liner…
Asked how he will handle Albert Pujols, the Hall-of-Fame-caliber slugger who signed a 10-year, $250-million deal with the Angels in December, Hatcher joked, “I’m definitely not going to try to confuse him — you’ve seen me do that already with [Vernon] Wells.”
Zing! Turns out writers, bloggers and fans weren’t the only ones who noticed Vernon Wells was a notch below awful in 2011. It’s cool, Mick, I’m not holding this one against you. The writing was on the wall with Wells. Tony Reagins just didn’t see it during the Wells trade talks despite all of giggling coming from Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.
Wells will continue to get at bats in 2012 and I suspect he’ll improve some. I have a lot of faith in Hatcher’s ability to find a hypnotist or some nerve tonic. Hatcher does have a new hitter to work with in 2012. All Hatcher really needs to worry about with Albert Pujols, though, is showing him where home plate is at the Big A. He knows it too…
“He knows himself more than anyone else, and like a lot of great hitters, his swing hasn’t changed much over the years,” said Hatcher, who is entering his 13th season with the Angels.
“I need to learn what his routine is, what his program is, how he prepares for a game. I have to be in tune with him. It’s not like I’m going to teach him or coach him. My job is to be there when he needs me.”
That should give Hatcher plenty of time to keep working with Vernon Wells. “And you’re sure you’re not a lefty, Vern?”