As Josh Hamilton hammed it up with a series of good-natured wisecracks, a serious Albert Pujols sat in silence two seats away, arms crossed.
Mike Trout was in the middle, grinning.
“Hello guy in the booth, what’s your name?” Hamilton asked.
“Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Do I have time to go to the bathroom?”
The Los Angeles Angels’ new slugger might have the biggest personality of this talented trio. Biggest swing? To be determined, though Pujols and Trout aren’t about to pick against Hamilton in a home run contest.
Hamilton led an entertaining back-and-forth for 30 minutes Thursday at a cactus-lined hotel perched above the team’s spring training site in Tempe, Ariz.
No joint nickname for these power hitters. Not yet, anyway.
Jered Weaver has no idea how he would pitch to them – and it’s not his problem. For that, he is thankful.
Weaver will get to watch the Angels’ big boppers do their thing each day. And he pities the rest of the American League’s pitching staffs for having to face this slugging crew.
“I don’t have to worry about it, so that’s a plus for me,” Weaver said. “There’s a lot of potent pieces in this puzzle, in this lineup. I feel sorry for opposing pitchers. We’re pretty good 1 through 9. You get to not only the top of the lineup but the middle of the lineup and there are still some guys who can hurt you.”
The Angels will hold their first full-squad workout today at Tempe Diablo Stadium with the three stars together at last. Hamilton, the 2010 A.L. MVP, received a $125 million, five-year contract in mid-December, a year after Pujols’ $240 million, 10-year deal.
Manager Mike Scioscia insists he’s not getting too excited until everybody is healthy and in the lineup come opening day, which still feels way off.
“It’s going to be good to get them in the clubhouse,” the skipper said before the pitchers and catchers worked out Thursday.
Youkilis says no tension
Kevin Youkilis took part in his first workout with the New York Yankees and addressed past feuding with Joba Chamberlain over tight fastballs, saying any tension between the new teammates is in the past.
“You guys have written a lot about it, and I think it’s just something you guys keep going on and on about,” Youkilis told reporters Thursday. “But we’re here at spring training as a team and ready to play. I hope the only drama this year we create is walk-off home runs and hits.”
The one-time Boston Red Sox third baseman agreed to a $12 million, one-year contract in December.
Balfour out 4-6 weeks
Oakland Athletics closer Grant Balfour had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Thursday to repair a torn meniscus.
The A’s said recovery time usually is four to six weeks and Balfour decided to have the procedure now with the hope of returning for the start of the season.
Balfour said through the team that the knee bothered him late last season but wasn’t considered anything serious and that the knee calmed down during the offseason. So, he went about his regular regimen over the winter.