Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Angels Fire Mickey Hatcher
Update: Bill Shaikin mentions the significant intelligence that the move was announced by Dipoto, not Scioscia. Definitely a warning shot to Scioscia. Mike DiGiovanna thinks this was all Arte's doing.
Update 2: Angels.com story.
"We think the absolute world of Mickey as a person and thank him for all of his contributions to this organization," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement.The new hitting coach will be Jim Eppard, previously AAA Salt Lake's hitting coach.
"Sometimes in the sports world a point is reached where perhaps a new voice is needed in order to attain the desired goals and objectives. Unfortunately, we feel this is one of those times. Offensively, we have underachieved, and everyone shares in the responsibility of what has transpired thus far."
Update 3: Mark Saxon analysis at ESPN/LA:
Under former GMs Bill Stoneman or Tony Reagins, Tuesday's move seems unlikely, certainly in May. But Dipoto has brought in his own people and has his own vision for this team, one which doesn't always align with the way Scioscia and Hatcher viewed things. He vowed back in November to increase the Angels' emphasis on on-base percentage. Scioscia and Hatcher continued to preach patience only as a means to an end -- getting a good pitch to hit -- not as an end in itself -- a walk.Of course, when you bring in guys like Pujols who are arguably approaching the end of their careers — with warning signs, to boot — it makes you question the general manager, too.
Of course, the man in the middle of all this is Pujols, who so far has a cost-to-home run ratio of 240 million-to-one. Mix in one struggling superstar, one new and powerful GM and you get a manager with less ability to stand up for his own guys.
Apart from 2002/2009 and precious few other years, this has been a lacklustre team in terms of hitting, hitting with RISP, slugging and, most importantly of all, OBP. Will it change anything? Hard to say. Scoscia has given OBP short shrift for years, like you said befre.
The only silver linings I see in all this is that no other hitting coach could possibly do worse. I wouldn't be surprised if the firing came from Arte. He has a major investment in Pujols to protect. And he is no doubt getting fed up with coughing up small fortunes to get players that are not producing.