Mickey Hatcher: 'This Clubhouse Is ... Bonding More Than Ever'; Albert Pujols: 'Shut Up, Mickey Hatcher'

Oh, of course the headline is misleading and inflammatory. But it's almost funny! Really, though, the news is that Albert Pujols is frustrated. Of course he is. He's struggling like he hasn't struggled in his career, even as a 21-year-old rookie. This is almost certainly the most trouble he's had with hitting a baseball in his life. He's frustrated.

How frustrated? First, here's Mickey Hatcher talking about a meeting the Angels had before a recent game, from the Los Angeles Times:

"The positive things that are being said … this clubhouse is not separating, it's bonding more than ever," Hatcher said. "I tell them, 'The magic can start today.' I refuse to do it any other way."

He said other things, too. All of them just as innocuous. And he also told beat reporters that Pujols told his teammates not to expect the same struggles all season long. That last part didn't even make the article.

How did Albert Pujols respond? From CBS Sports:

"Mickey should have never told you guys that," Pujols said. "That stuff needs to be private. He should have never told the media.

"What we talked about at the meeting, not disrespecting Mickey, but that stuff should stay behind closed doors."

Just as there are unwritten rules in baseball games, so too are there unwritten rules about baseball clubhouses. And Pujols can't plunk Hatcher in the butt with a retaliatory fastball.

No one's really right; no one's really wrong. It's a non-issue. But it's a good way to show the frustration of Albert Pujols, who has exactly one fewer home run than Brandon Crawford or Freddy Galvis.

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