MLB

Pujols, Hunter almost fought in 2012?

Share This Story

Tully Corcoran

Tully Corcoran spent seven years covering the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas Jayhawks for The Topeka Capital-Journal. His work has been honored multiple times by The Kansas Press Association. He most recently wrote for FOX Sports Houston and FOX Sports Southwest. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
   
 

A story from Scott Miller, senior baseball columnist for CBSSports.com, includes the phrase "restrained from punching out $240 million man Albert Pujols," so you’ll want to give it a look.

Here's the tale of the tape:

Albert Pujols — 33 years old, 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, righty.

Torii Hunter — 38 years old, 6-2, 225, righty.

Miller reported that the 2012 Angels clubhouse had grown tense because the club was losing too much. So last August the players thought they could solve the problem with the proverbial team meeting.

Usually fans never hear about a team meeting if it didn't work. Typically, when clubs rebound from a low point, the players credit a secret meeting that happened weeks earlier. But this is the rare unsuccessful closed-door session that becomes public.

The turmoil all started on Aug. 17 of last season when the Angels suffered a 12-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Starter Jered Weaver was rocked for nine earned runs in three innings, but he apparently upset some of his teammates when he flailed his arms up in disgust after an infielder failed to make a diving catch of a groundball.

The next night starter C.J. Wilson yielded seven earned runs before the fifth inning in a 10-8 defeat to the Rays. And he seemingly also rattled some Angels players when he supposedly chirped from the dugout, doling out hitting advice to his teammates.

The report says that's when Hunter told Wilson — in the dugout — to shut his trap.

After the game, veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins called for the players-only meeting. Pujols, who wanted coaches in there, too, wound up talking a lot, criticizing Weaver for Friday night's outburst and criticizing Hunter for Saturday's dugout confrontation with Wilson. Pujols wasn't aware that Wilson and Hunter had talked it out and resolved their situation.

Anyway, here's some the key essentials from the meeting, as reported by CBSSports.com's Miller:

"Albert, you'd better get your facts straight," Hunter said from across the room.

Hunter called Pujols a bad teammate and accused the three-time NL MVP of pouting too much when he didn't get a hit . . . even when the Angels won.

"Shut up, Torii," Pujols said.

Hunter charged Pujols and was restrained by Hawkins and Vernon Wells. There's no telling what Hunter would have done to Pujols had Hawkins and Wells not intervened. Back in his Minnesota Twins days, Hunter punched teammate Justin Morneau during a similar argument.

The Angels meeting apparently proceeded, but tensely, and Hunter had to be held back a second time from reaching Pujols, who supposedly had no intentions of a fight.

Well, the Angels finished 89-73 last season, but that was only good enough for third place in the AL West. Hunter left town in the offseason, signing a two-year deal with the Detroit Tigers, who look like a lock for the 2013 playoffs.

Meanwhile, even with the addition of Josh Hamilton — who hasn’t played up to par (.231 average, 19 homers, 60 RBI) — the Angels were 15 games under .500 and in fourth place in the division entering Saturday. Pujols is out for the year with an injury (plantar fasciitis).

The troubles in Anaheim mean changes are coming in the front office or in the manager's office, as reported by FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi on Friday. Don’t expect general manager Jerry Dipoto and/or skipper Mike Scioscia to be back for 2014.

As for Pujols, he still has another eight years remaining on his monster deal he signed with LA in December 2011.

Tagged: Angels, Tigers, Mets, LaTroy Hawkins, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson

More Stories From Tully Corcoran


MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..