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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mickey Hatcher, Jerk And Ignoramus (Update: Or, Maybe That's Just The Author)

I have always tried to give Mickey Hatcher a certain amount of credit, or at least to not abuse him based on speculation or results. That said, this Paul Oberjuerge piece is as damning a portrait of the man as I have ever heard.
The Angels fired hitting coach Mickey Hatcher yesterday.

Lots of “oh, what a great guy” stuff out there, particularly from those in the sports journalism community.

And I say … bosh!

I found Mickey Hatcher to be an aggressively ignorant clod.

I realize that he has a reputation as a fun guy, a prankster, a jokester … but I never saw that. Ever. Just heard about it, and marveled at it.


The measure of Mickey Hatcher was his persistently out-of-touch style as a hitting coach. Boiled down, it was this: “See a pitch … hack at it.”

It led to Angels teams that often had below-average on-base percentages. And this in an era where “everyone” pretty much had agreed that OBP is a very important statistic, because getting somebody to first base means you are far more likely to score a run. But Mickey Hatcher never coached “working the count” or “take a walk” because he didn’t believe in it.

If this is true — and the results certainly speak for themselves — the Angels have already upgraded at hitting coach. Too bad that's not enough. (Hat tip to Rev. Halofan.)

Update: Mike Petriello reminds me that Oberjuerge has a rather checkered history at judging character, at one point calling Matt Kemp a "dolt" for his actions in a meaningless late 2009 game.

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