There Is Only Room For One Mickey In Anaheim.
Having a name like Mickey in the Anaheim area can be a very good deal - Dawning the big ears and leading parades to Minnie's house, a pet dog that drives and food stands that sell 35-dollar cheeseburgers. Cha-Ching!
However, having a name like Mickey in the Anaheim area can be a very bad deal as well - Dawning an Angels cap with pressure to lead hit parades to the A.L pennant, a superstar unhappy with you and a stale-donut of a team batting average covered with an 8-shutout glaze. Cha-Change!
Anaheim expects a lot from the Mickey's and there is zero room for disappointment. With slogans like, "The happiest place on earth," it's bad business to have Albert Pujols crying all over town like he's an addict just looking for a hit. Jimmy Dugan taught us there is no crying in baseball, just as MLB history has always taught us that you don't blame the parts when the machine is faulty, you blame the guy in charge of the parts. Apparently, there is only room for one Mickey in this town, and we all know that mouse isn't going anywhere. Best wishes in your future endeavors, Mr. Hatcher, Anaheim just can't have the Mickey name be synonymous with failure. A wise decision for the Angels, right?... Right?
This may be one part of MLB code that gets the wrong diagnosis. The idea of Hatcher being let go in order to spark the lineup is understandable and common practice, but the dismissal for being a poor hitting coach or "not being able to equate with Albert," is extremely silly. Throw all the B.P you want, work the tee's, watch tape and cover up visits to a baseball shrink, the Hitting Coach is only responsible for so much. He can't walk up to the plate with the hitter and stand behind them like a father teaching his 3-year old son. "Hey that's three strikes on Albert, let's get out the tee and let him try that." It does not work that way. Like a trainer, Hitting Coaches should not get a ton of credit, nor should they get a ton of blame. The marathon of a baseball season has slumps and strides for the team and for the individual. That's what makes baseball so great. The concentration and the thought process of a professional hitter over the massive amounts of at-bats is incomprehensible to the common cubicle-dwelling folk. Any little hitch, or uncomfortable feeling, can alter a hitter's psyche and send them into a career-ending spiral. When they finally snap out if it, they are working for the other Mickey,taking pictures with Minnie and guessing people's weight.
While a Hitting Coach can have a great impact for the day-to-day fundamentals of hitting, the overall success still lies on the hands of the hitter, literally. Albert Pujols didn't defer any of his contract to Mickey Hatcher for the hitting dominance expected from the organization. That task solely rests on the shoulders of Albert. The same goes for Howie, Buorjos, Aybar and the rest of the team. They get paid to utilize their gifts, and regardless of what Mickey said to the press, it wasn't his place to hold such a big stock in his hitter's outcomes or the team's. Maybe get rid of Scioscia if ownership wants to make a spark? 2002 was 2002 -Failure with such a big payroll rarely will last on a tank of ten-year-old gas. Perhaps that is the problem in the Anaheim area. I would put that idea up against the idea of Pujols' min-stride based on the Hatcher firing any day of the week. Albert will hit, the hitting coach will have little to do with it, the same goes for if he doesn't hit.
Put that in your space mountain!