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Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols nearly fought during Angels team meeting

Torii Hunter Albert PujolsTorii Hunter wanted to fight Albert Pujols during a Los Angeles Angels team meeting last season, according to a report.

Scott Miller at CBS Sports has a lengthy article full of strong reporting about the Angels. The article touches on the influence of Angels owner Arte Moreno, and casts the owner as a meddling, negative influence when it comes to building the team. But the real highlight is a story about Hunter and Pujols getting into it last season when the Angels were in a tough stretch.

According to Miller, the Angels had just badly lost three games to the Tampa Bay Rays in August (they were swept in that four-game series), and they called a team meeting following the third loss, a 10-8 defeat on Aug. 19 in which they blew an 8-0 lead. The previous game, the Angels lost 12-3 as Jered Weaver was pounded. Weaver got upset with a teammate for missing a ball during that outing. The next day, C.J. Wilson apparently was chirping in the Angels’ dugout about the hitters struggling, and Torii Hunter had to tell him to pipe down. With all the tension between teammates, a meeting was called following the 10-8 loss.

Miller says veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins called the meeting, but the players couldn’t decide on the format. Pujols apparently wanted it to include the coaches, while Hawkins thought it should just be between the players. During the meeting, Pujols supposedly called out Weaver for showing up a teammate on Friday. He then turned his attention to Hunter for the incident in the dugout with Wilson on Saturday. Hunter reportedly became livid with Pujols.

Here’s Miller’s description of what ensued:

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C.J. Wilson’s Agent Wouldn’t Let Jerry DiPoto Use Bathroom During Negotiations Until He Added $5 Million to Offer

Sam Miller of the OC Register has been providing plenty of excellent background for the Angels’ signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson over the past week. If you’re an Angels fan or a fan of the business side of the game, it’s great reading to see how the deals came together. On Wednesday, Miller shared a great anecdote from the Wilson negotiations.

According to Miller, the Angels were only offering Wilson four years for $60 million. Wilson’s agent wanted another year and $80 million, and he believed the Marlins would offer six years for $100 million. The Angels explained that their finances were limited because they were pursuing another big-money player (which turned out to be Pujols).

Their offer to Wilson was five years for $75 million. But as previously stated, Wilson’s agent wanted $80 million. Now here’s the best part.

Quoting Miller, “They’re going back and forth, Dipoto asks if he can use the restroom, and Garber tells him “not until we get another $5 million.”

DiPoto, the new Angels’ GM, calls owner Arte Moreno and wakes him up, but he’s able to get an extra $2.5 million. Final offer? Five years for $77.5 million, which Wilson accepted.

It’s now moot, but another cool item from the negotiations is that the Marlins wanted Wilson so badly owner Jeffrey Loria even offered to sponsor Wilson’s car racing team. That’s serious dedication.