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Angels fire hitting coach Mickey Hatcher

May 15, 2012, 11:06 PM EDT

hatcher getty Getty Images

From beat writer Alden Gonzalez of comes word that the Angels fired longtime hitting coach Mickey Hatcher late Tuesday night.

Triple-A Salt Lake hitting instructor Jim Eppard has been promoted to serve as Hatcher’s replacement.

The news comes with odd timing considering the Halos beat the A’s 4-0 on Tuesday in Anaheim, but this decision runs much deeper than one game.

The Angels have probably been the biggest disappointment of the 2012 baseball season’s first half and currently trail the American League West-leading Rangers by a whopping seven games. The offense has been shut out eight times already and ranked 23rd in the majors in runs scored heading into Tuesday’s game. Someone had to be the scapegoat.

It’s worth remembering that Hatcher had a small clash of philosophies with Albert Pujols back in late April, and that Hatcher is a nearly-lifelong friend of Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Maybe this is standard protocol in Anaheim, but GM Jerry Dipoto made Tuesday’s announcement. Scioscia was not present.

  1. humanexcrement - May 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Yeah, Mickey, it’s your fault the Angels invested approximately 256 billion dollars in Albert Pujols in the decline phase of his career. It’s your fault they traded Mike Napoli for Vernon Wells. It’s your fault the Angels were the last to know that Bobby Abreu was no longer a good player, capable of doing nothing but taking the occasional walk. It’s your fault Jeff Mathis can’t hit. Look at it this way, though: you would have been fired a year ago if Chone Figgins had stayed in town.

    • lanflfan - May 16, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      Would that be the same Bobby Abreu who is 13 for 51 (including 7 doubles), including some huge clutch hits, with the real LA team?

      Side note: Hatcher was one of my favorite players growing up, but hitting was never something I thought he did exceptionally well (at least not well enough for an MLB hitting coach position).

  2. richb22 - May 16, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Maybe he is a scape goat but they need to do something, after all if they continue to lose and their attendance begins to drop who’s going to but those $6 hot dogs and $10 beers? Longest tenured coach in MLB…… Mike could be next.

    • chuckj1234 - May 16, 2012 at 9:35 PM

      Mike will be gone in a month if they don’t improve. Then the GM the next year. Artie will be shy when it comes to signing free agents after this. It might be the best thing.

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