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Torii Hunter called out manager Mike Scioscia after loss

Apr 26, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

How frustrated are the Angels after starting the season 6-12?

After last night’s 3-2 loss Torii Hunter talked to reporters about how everyone on the roster has “to dig deep” and then seemingly called out manager Mike Scioscia for his lack of in-game strategy.

Hunter specifically seemed upset about Scioscia’s failure to call a bunt with two runners on base in the second inning, which led to the Angels being held scoreless following back-to-back singles to begin the frame.

Hunter avoided flat-out ripping Scioscia, but based on his comments to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times it’s pretty easy to read between the lines:

We have to fight a little harder. I don’t think we believe we’re trying that hard. We’re just going through the motions. We have to do what we’re capable of doing. That’s everybody; not just the players.

Obviously “not just the players” is directed toward Scioscia, although DiGiovanna called it “a veiled criticism.” However, when asked specifically if a change in early game strategy could have turned the game around Hunter replied:

You mean if we bunted in the second? What can we do? All we do is play the game.

Meaning, of course, that the players can only follow orders from Scioscia in those spots.

Hunter has always been praised for his leadership and is generally one of the most well-liked players in baseball, but in times of adversity dating back to his days in Minnesota he’s shown a willingness to publicly rip teammates and, now apparently, managers.

UPDATE: DiGiovanna reports that the Angels are holding a players-only meeting before today’s game, adding: “Can’t say I’m surprising after the events of last night.”

  1. wynams - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Stay sensationalist HBT!

  2. darthicarus - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    I’m sure Scioscia had the utmost confidence in Iannetta successfully laying down the sac-bunt (7 in his career) & then the hitting machine Abreu knocking the runner(s) in with 2-outs (he of the steadily declining AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS/etc). Of course had Kendrick, Pujols, or Morales managed to move a runner from 2B at all in the first inning maybe things would’ve changed. I think Scioscia is to blame for that as well as Hunter setting off his own house alarm.

  3. Old Gator - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    What kind of “strategy” do you need to think up when you’re playing designatedhitterball anyway? ZZzzzzz….

    • aceshigh11 - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      Tony La Russa approves of this comment.

    • stabonerichard - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      “I’m not an advocate of the Designated Hitter Rule; I’m only an advocate of seeing the truth and telling the truth. What the truth comes down to here is a question of in what does strategy reside? Does strategy exist in the act of bunting? If so the Designated Hitter Rule has reduced strategy. But if strategy exists in the decision about when a bunt should be used, then the DH rule has increased the differences of opinion which exist about that question, and thus increased strategy.

      -Bill James

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        Unless the Designated Hitter rule allows me to change my lineup in late game situations in order to place myself for the win with both pitching and hitting in matchups of either the 8th, 9th, or extra innings, I will respectfully disagree with Mr. James. There is more strategy and creativity in late inning National League ball than there is in filling a spot in an AL lineup with a one trick pony.

        But I’m so glad people are willing to improve this game of baseball for me. I clearly have no idea what I’m missing.

    • sabatimus - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      Please. I’ll take arguments against the DH when the National League starts caring about their pitchers batting–because NO team does in that league. Pitchers get told expressly NOT to run out ground balls, for crying out loud.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        You can have the DH. We don’t want it. Does that make sense?

        The leagues should go back to being completely separated. Obviously, there’s no point in bringing us together unless it’s the All-Star game or World Series. Even then, there won’t be any agreement, but at least there will be two extra umpires to make sure the fair balls really aren’t foul.

  4. The Common Man - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    This is Torii Hunter’s standard operating procedure. But he gives good quote, so he will continue to be portrayed as a great teammate by most reporters, even as he contributes to clubhouse divisiveness.

    • schrutebeetfarms - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      Great point. At least he hasn’t gotten into a dugout fight yet with anyone.

  5. SmackSaw - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    The team as a whole looks lost. Scioscia’s job is to motivate and put them in a position to win. Pujols is lost at the plate. Morales is fat. He’s still getting into shape. Wells is starting to hit(!). Even the starting pitching is a mess. Once the Machine gets locked in, not Brian Wilson’s machine, I mean Pujols, and the pitching starts to groove then they’ll be OK. But, for now? Ugh. I was yelling at the TV last night. They made Price look like Steve Carlton.

    • Alex K - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      David Price is a really good pitcher. He’s made a lot of people look really bad at the plate.

  6. xpensivewinos - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Hindsight is always 20/20, but didn’t it seem like this team was one giant square peg looking for a round hole the second they signed Pujols? They’ve got like 14 guys who only play the same three positions. Pujols (who I think everyone agrees will wake up from his slumber eventually) just never felt like a seamless fit there like he was the missing piece to put them over the top. Aside from the dollars involved, wasn’t everyone’s first reaction, “what about Trumbo?” He wanted the most money and they offered it, but at no point did it seem like it was the right fit.

    That feeling hasn’t gone away……

  7. buffalomafia - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Terry Francona likes what he sees?!

  8. buffalomafia - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Whats up with Pujols? He probably isn’t juicing anymore?!

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      Stay classy Buffalo!

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:22 PM

      Pedro Gomez hasn’t denied that he owns the username buffalomafia.

  9. ezthinking - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    You couldn’t pull a sewing needle out of Albert’s ass with a tractor right now. He’ll be fine. It does seem time to trade a player or two to balance the positions in the roster. The Mets need a left fielder, the Angels have 3. Throw Trumbo at them with a minor league arm or two and David Wright could be in La La land in no time. Bourgos needs to go down and Trout up. Can’t hurt.

    • pepelestat - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      I actually like that idea for a trade. To add to that-trade Bourjos, Trumbo and a minor league arm for Wright and then call up Trout. I think Wells and Trout can easily fill in at CF. I make that trade all day if im the angels. Bourjos while he has speed and defense has never been that spectacular to me. While Trumbos bat is pretty awesome I would take Wright overall game vs Callaspo D at 3B and Trumbos bat.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      What are the Mets going to do with Trumbo? They already have a first baseman. Besides, players whose only real skill is power to left field don’t really fare all that well at Citi.

  10. racksie - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    No “I” in team, but there are two ” I’s ” in Torii.

  11. racksie - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    And Torii actually took a shot at Gardenhire last year when he was asked about the difference between Sciocia and Gardenhire by saying, basically, Sciocia is really game savvy and Gardy isn’t. This guy is a complete fraud as a human being.

    • vansloot - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      What is a “complete fraud as a human being”? It sounds really bad and, while I don’t think airing your grievances in public is appropriate for a player, I don’t think it makes Torii one.

      • racksie - Apr 26, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        “a fraud as a human being” is a person who pretends to something they are not. Or Torii. He once took a swing at Justin Morneau. And missed and hit Nick Punto. That’s a really, honest, truthful, person. Because, you know, I’ve taking a swing at a co-worker, well never, actually.

  12. randygnyc - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    @racksie- he didn’t really say that about gardenhire, did he?

    • racksie - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Yep. He may have been right, but he took, the “veiled” shot at him. Class act that he is.

  13. pw38 - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Players only meeting and we’re only 20 games into the season? I can only imagine how much it’s gonna suck should the Angels roll into town and the Rangers take it to them in a couple of weeks, especially if both teams keep at this pace.

  14. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Scioscia likes to call every pitch, call every play. He does not want to be the smartest guy in the room, he wants to be the only guy in the room who knows anything. If the strategies don’t work, he has to take some blame.

    That said, he is not the one who has to execute the strategy. Playas gotta play.

  15. tropboi11 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Boo hoo Torii, Go Rays

  16. jimmymarlinsfan - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    In game strategy? It’s the American league for gods sakes, see ball, hit home run and call it a day. Just like slow pitch softball

    • Kevin S. - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      I would be curious to know how having nine players who are trained to hit major league pitching instead of eight makes the AL a slow-pitch softball league. Please elaborate.

    • pw38 - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:25 PM

      Tell that to Pujols.

  17. absolutsaints - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Hahahahaha…. GO RANGERS!!!

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