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Report: Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols nearly came to blows last summer

Aug 23, 2013, 8:55 PM EDT

hunter getty Getty Images

It seems that any Angels-related news that doesn’t involve Mike Trout is bad news, these days. We learned earlier that general manager Jerry DiPoto and manager Mike Scioscia will not be able to coexist in the Angels organization after the season. Now, via Scott Miller of CBS Sports, it appears that outfielder Torii Hunter had to be restrained from fighting with first baseman Albert Pujols last August.

Pujols called out [Jered] Weaver for showing up a teammate the night before. Then he turned his attention on Hunter, blaming him for the dugout altercation with [C. J.] Wilson.

What Pujols did not know at the time was that Wilson and Hunter already had made amends, with the pitcher apologizing to the outfielder for overstepping his bounds in the dugout immediately following the game.

“Albert, you’d better get your facts straight,” a seething Hunter told Pujols.

Pujols said something back, and Hunter jumped him for being a bad teammate and pouting all season whenever he failed to get hits in a game, even in games the Angels won … and now he was going to call others out?

“Shut up, Torii,” Pujols snapped.

It was then that Hunter, from across the clubhouse, lost it and charged Pujols. [LaTroy] Hawkins and outfielder Vernon Wells had to restrain him.

The meeting proceeded from there, and when it was over, tempers still heated, Hunter had to be physically held back a second time from going after Pujols, who is described as wanting no part of the fight.

Miller mentions that Hunter had previously been involved in another clubhouse argument with Twins first baseman Justin Morneau. The outfielder punched Morneau in the jaw, but the two ended up settling their differences and accepting each other as teammates.

(Note: For what it’s worth, a Minnesota writer’s account of the event slightly differs from Miller’s, saying that Hunter threw a punch at Morneau but missed and hit Nick Punto instead.)

Last season, Pujols was in the first year of a ten-year, $240 million contract. He finished with the worst single-season offensive numbers of his career to that point, and he has continued to trend in the wrong direction in 2013 while the Angels have been sitting in fourth place in the AL West for most of the season. Hunter, meanwhile, signed a two-year, $26 million contract with the Tigers in the off-season. His team is holding onto a five-game lead in the AL Central.

  1. okwhitefalcon - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Torii “hold me back” Hunter.

    Hilarious.

    • worldseriestiger - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      I feel like Hunter would have fought like George Costanza if they actually fought, even resorting to “going stuff”

      • worldseriestiger - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:55 PM

        dammit, GROIN stuff, not “going stuff”

    • zippythesquirrel - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:23 PM

      He made sure at least a dozen teammates were between him and Albert and screamed “Let me at him, let me at him!” A typical baseball “fight”.

    • badintent - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:36 PM

      I miss the good old days of Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson , Bonds and Kent.

    • dickclydesdale - Aug 24, 2013 at 3:37 AM

      Beltran sure proved to be the better decision for the Cardinals. Albert is not very well liked in the Angels clubhouse. they just kind of tolerate hm.

    • waiverclaim - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      Anyone else remember this douche’s comments on being mad the Angels told him they didn’t have money to pay him? He’s clearly delusional, he’s a total clubhouse cancer and a terrible person, and doesn’t even know it.

  2. flamethrower101 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Losing will do that to you, but it’s odd that the Angels apparently viewed Pujols as the guy that would step in as the clubhouse leader that Torii was while he was an Angel and he hasn’t done so. That combined with his staggering decline and it is not looking good.

    More and more Arte Moreno is showing that he has no idea how to run a team. If what Scott Miller has said is all true, this franchise is a long, long way from winning again.

    • echech88 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      That’s what happen when a billboard salesman starts hiring all his college buddies to run a baseball franchise and demands he make all the baseball decisions.

      I think we’re finding out that those seasons the Angels were good early on in Moreno’s ownership were really just a good farm system that was already in place paying off dividends.

      What you see now is the farm system Moreno’s vision has created and a roster construction that a clueless dolt put together.

    • waiverclaim - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      Um, the Angels hitting is not actually the problem, Albert can’t pitch.

      The Angels pitching staff is a joke from top to bottom.

  3. thebadguyswon - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    The Angels – MLBs newest circus

    • jayquintana - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:43 PM

      Apparently, “Los Angeles” has to have at least one dysfunctional team. As a Dodgers fan, all I can say is, thank goodness it’s them!

      By the by, Moreno makes Jerry Jones look like a genius.

      • dan1111 - Aug 24, 2013 at 3:50 AM

        In order to reach the Dodgers’ opening day payroll, the Angels would need to add all of Tampa Bay’s contracts, plus, let’s say, David Wright.

        The Angels may not be a well-run team, but it’s hard to see them not being a good team if they decided to spend as much as the Dodgers are. And they have also suffered from some huge under-performances this season: Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Joe Blanton.

      • jayquintana - Aug 24, 2013 at 5:38 AM

        I dunno, Dan. Seems like Moreno thinks of himself as, at minimum, co-GM. As long as that’s the case, the team will never compete for a championship.

        How many Super Bowls has Jerry Jones won without Jimmy Johnson’s players?

  4. dondada10 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    “Pujols…described as wanting no part of the fight.”

    Bro do you even lift?

    • aceshigh11 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:43 PM

      Of course he doesn’t lift…he just juices to look that massive.

      Jack Clark told me so.

      • lotsofgrace123 - Aug 24, 2013 at 3:26 AM

        Shut up ace!!
        Prove it. Hundreds of tests he’s had never showed juices.

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 24, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        Oh my god…HOW could you not sense the sarcasm??

        I do not believe Pujols has used steroids.

        There…happy now? Gee, saying that is so much more entertaining than being sarcastic, isn’t it?

  5. xpensivewinos - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    For someone who’s supposed to be such a great guy, why is there so much controversy surrounding him all the time?

    • flamethrower101 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:34 PM

      Torii or Albert? Because I’ve rarely heard a bad word about either of them.

      • Glenn - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:43 PM

        As long as you are not gay, Torii won’t have a problem with you.

  6. spyder9669 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Torii made sure he was all the way on the other side of the clubhouse as to assure himself that he would definitely be held back…because had he actually reached Albert…he would have got embarassed. That’s just the facts.

    • waiverclaim - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      Torii Hunter is a coward and also probably a homosexual…you know what they say about the loudest homophobes…

  7. gymtruthteller - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Hunter is a known trouble maker

  8. jayquintana - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Meanwhile, the Cardinals are laughing their behinds off.

    • fearlessleader - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      A year ago I was still bitter enough that I might have. Now….it’s just sort of sad.

  9. historiophiliac - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Man, the weekend evening commenters on here are so pathetic. Could you trolls at least try to be clever or interesting? I know thinking is hard, but if you’re going to put a comment out in the universe, you might as well make it something not so lame or predictable.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      Are you implying that during the week is better? ;)

      The Angels and Yankees have worse sinings then Howard. I am firmly in favor of this

      • historiophiliac - Aug 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        See, look, even my wannabe pretender showed up to join in the stoopidity. I bet almost none of them read the actual article to get the full story and instead went immediately for Torii-hates-gays and hold-me-back insipidness. Amusingly, I wonder if they would all cheer if Hunter actually had hit Pujols.

        And stop trying to jack my handle, dillweed.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 24, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        Yea, he/she/it sucks at being a pretender – your “F Off’s” are 4 somplete sentences, and free of profanity ;)

      • historiophiliac - Aug 24, 2013 at 11:14 AM

        What? I swear. I just like to serve f-bombs with a little honey, is all. :)

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 24, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        That’s Mr. DPF to you

    • Glenn - Aug 24, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      Could alcohol be involved?

      • historiophiliac - Aug 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        No, I think that would make them accidentally funny at least. We could laugh at them even if not with them. But, they probably are greatly amused by their own mundanity. Sigh.

  10. losanginsight - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    … somewhere Arte is leaving a message on Bud Selig’s tape answering machine begging him to put Alberts name on the biogenesis list.
    This contract looks worse every time I see it. Pau Gasol has healthier knees and feet than Albert P.

  11. deathmonkey41 - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    A-Rod thinks their behavior is unacceptable.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:23 PM

      Braun is starting the process of trying to understand why they responded the way they did

  12. drewzducks - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Poor Nick Punto…the punchee to be named later.

    • wlschneider09 - Aug 24, 2013 at 12:13 AM

      Nick’s a gamer, he’ll take a hit any way he can get it.

  13. fusionix7 - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Torii is a Christian man he would never resort to such tactics, haha. I’ve enjoyed him as a Tiger fan but I think he’s better as a man who plays the game and shuts his mouth. Mostly because when he opens his mouth in interviews it’s about bigoted religious crap or it’s about sun bathing nude, something were all better off not hearing.

  14. coloradogolfcoupons - Aug 24, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    The Cirque de Angels won’t be complete until Hamilton jumps off the wagon again, licking whipped cream off a pair of Major League Yabos and getting filmed having sex in a woman’s bathroom inside a bar….but it gets more interesting every day. What happens when you lose, nothing involving baseball even worth writing about, so tempers flare and grudges seek resolution. At least they smell 100% handsome.

    • badintent - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:39 AM

      So we got Ben in the girls powder room with Anthony Wiener and Pee Wee Herman ? Nice. And Lady Gaga showd up with a donkey for the main show .

  15. thomas844 - Aug 24, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    I don’t think Hunter would want to go toe-to-toe with Prince Fielder.

  16. acdc84 - Aug 24, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Pujols should spend less time mixing it up with teammates and more time thinking about how to show appreciation for his agent. Cuz that contract is just ridiculous.

    Everyone knew that contract was horrible for the Angels before the ink was even dry, but we figured they’d mostly get their money’s-worth for at least the first few years. Dead. Wrong. The STL GM might become the new Guinness record holder for longest consecutive laugh, at ten years, unless he gets beaten to death by his owner excessively patting him on the back.

  17. northstarnic - Aug 24, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Yankees west. You can’t buy happiness, folks. Just ask A-Roid.

  18. lotsofgrace123 - Aug 24, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Tori will do the same in Tigers. Some people have a very intimidating character with big mouth and ego.

  19. aldog83 - Aug 24, 2013 at 4:26 AM

    I think Angels would be better off with 250 million and hunter

    Than Pujols.

    And if Pujols never did Steroids….

    He better start NOW to justify thr $$$ he is stealing from Angels Fans.

    Good luck keeping the Beer and Parking prices down with that contract.

  20. Uncle Charlie - Aug 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Finally some explanation as to why Punto sucks…head trauma.

  21. ilovesports13 - Aug 24, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Torii Hunter is just a big mouth trouble maker. Glad he’s not on my team.

  22. waiverclaim - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Lets not forget he’s a coward and a homophobe. Probably the biggest shithead in MLB right now. Give me 100 Puig-attitudes over his.

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