Add one more dynamic to the Angels’ hitting woes: Albert Pujols is a bit perturbed at hitting coach Mickey Hatcher for discussing the slugger’s attempt to instill confidence in teammates at a closed-door hitters meeting on Monday.
Hatcher told The Times following the meeting that Pujols provided one of the strongest examples that the offense’s April slump can be overcome.
Pujols, said Hatcher, told teammates of suffering through lengthy losing streaks and cold hitting spells in St. Louis, while still rallying to win a World Series.
Uplifting stuff, Hatcher said.
“The positive things that are being said ... this clubhouse is not separating, it’s bonding more than ever,” Hatcher said. “I tell them, ‘The magic can start today.’ I refuse to do it any other way.”
Despite being homer-less in April, Pujols similarly made a post-game reference to the mood he’d like to exude through the clubhouse: “I’m trying to stay positive. Our main goal is to stay positive.”
Yet, when asked about the importance of the three-time National League MVP giving voice to that cause in the meeting, Pujols declined to discuss what he said in the room and was visibly irritated.
“Mickey shouldn’t have said that,” Pujols said of Hatcher divulging what went down in the meeting. “No disrespect, but I’ll talk to Mickey about that.”
Hatcher has been subjected to public scrutiny during the Angels’ sluggish April. Before Monday’s 4-3 victory over Minnesota featured home runs by Torii Hunter and Chris Iannetta, the last-place team in the AL West was batting .235, ranking 13th in the American League in runs scored.
Pujols and Hatcher agreed that those numbers will improve.
Now they’ll apparently also get on the same page concerning Pujols’ stance that what’s said behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.