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February 15, 2013

Angels eager for Hamilton, Pujols, Trout combination

TEMPE, Ariz. — 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 the Arizona desert.

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 Friday at Tempe Diablo Stadium with the three stars together at last. Hamilton, the 2010 AL 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.

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