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The Marlins think Albert Pujols is older than he says he is

Nov 20, 2011, 11:36 AM EDT

pujols reuters Reuters

An interesting read from Dan Le Batard in the Miami Herald about how the Marlins are going about — or at least appear to be going about — transforming the franchise. Going big and trying to establish a Latin brand.

Part of that, of course, is the pursuit, such as it is, of Albert Pujols.  A pursuit that is as lukewarm as it is because of a small concern on the part of some in Miami’s front office:

The total dollars are in dispute, depending on whom you believe, but the number of years offered is not. Nine years. That’s insanity, especially since, like a lot of teams, the Marlins believe Pujols to be older than the 31 he claims to be.

This gets whispered about a lot. And I’ve never seen any more meat put on those bones than you see in one of those “that dude must be on steroids; look at this physique!” arguments.

Over at Baseball Musings, however, David Pinto makes a pretty simple and compelling case that Pujols’ career progression is totally in keeping with someone who is his stated age.

Call me back if there’s ever anything more to this. Until then, I don’t think it’s fair to make any assumptions about Pujols’ age.

  1. illcomm - Nov 20, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    I’m so glad that MLB has decided to do HGH testing. Just one look at the Cardinels players over the last few years and one has to consider whether they have the best weight lifting program or are getting some help from some other source.

    • Kyle - Nov 20, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      You must be an expert on HGH.

      • vikesfansteve - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:57 PM

        Your mom says you are an expert on sucking cock. Why don’t you have the balls to do your own post instead of commenting on others.

      • JBerardi - Nov 20, 2011 at 4:24 PM

        “Your mom says you are an expert on sucking cock.”

        Ok, you need to learn how “your mom” jokes work. Because that is not how they work.

      • Bryz - Nov 20, 2011 at 4:24 PM

        As another Vikings fan, please don’t affiliate me with vikesfansteve.

      • cur68 - Nov 20, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        Uh, like wow. Well here’s Steve with his expertize on BJs again. Steve, for your own good man, lay off the BJ references. It ain’t healthy dude and it may well be illegal in parts of your country. I trust your transsexual fixation has been dealt with in therapy? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you, if that’s your thing, but you might want to play it a bit closer to your vest. People gonna start judging you man if you can’t learn to be discreet.

      • deathmonkey41 - Nov 20, 2011 at 8:38 PM

        “Ok, you need to learn how “your mom” jokes work. Because that is not how they work.”

        He’s going to have to get one of those “Telling Mom Jokes for Dummies” books.

      • bearyinsane - Nov 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM

        “Your mom says you are an expert on sucking cock.”

        Hey guys, leave vikesfansteve alone he’s probably some 11 year old boy full of wonder, confusion, mischief and raging harmones… Or at lease he attains the mentality and maturity of one.

    • paperlions - Nov 20, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      Obviously, he learned everything he knows about HGH from reading popular media articles. Nearly 100% of which fail to mention that HGH does not improve strength, agility, or quick twitch muscle speed. The only time HGH seems to have a minor positive effect is when used in conjunction with steroids, as HGH + steroids seems to be slightly more effective than steroids alone.

      Things that have a bigger impact on baseball than HGH.

      Drinking gatorade instead of water.
      OTC anti-inflammatories.
      Cortisone injections
      A good night’s sleep.
      Not stepping on the baseline when leaving/entering the field of play.
      Pointing to the sky after a big hit.
      Those ugly necklaces.

      • JBerardi - Nov 20, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        But drugs are bad!

        Well, except the ones they advertise during baseball games.

      • Ben - Nov 20, 2011 at 12:31 PM

        Exactly, thanks. There’s really no evidence that HGH does anything at all.

        As for Pujols’ age, who knows, but I doubt it. He came here when he was 16, he’s 31 now. That means he’s been in the US for 15 years, and in baseball for much of that. These things tend to get found out, and while it still could happen, the fact that is hasn’t yet says something. Then again, Leo Nunez might have continued being Leo Nunez had he not acted on his father’s deathbed wish.

      • braddavery - Nov 20, 2011 at 5:00 PM

        It’s the same thing as Manny Ramirez being suspended for taking fertility drugs. Fertility drugs don’t make someone a better baseball player, but they do show that the player is using it to mask something else. No one would take HGH by itself, but using it shows that the player is most likely abusing steroids as well. That’s why they implemented HGH testing.

      • d65mcg - Nov 20, 2011 at 5:30 PM

        Not only insightful but very funny, too. Thanks for posting something other than the adolescent rants that tend to pervade these sites. Kudos!!

      • dan1111 - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:44 AM

        @Ben: Miguel Tejada was a high-profile player for a similar length of time before he was revealed to be older than he had claimed. These sorts of things tend not to come out until a player is getting old and looking to sign another contract. If the Cardinals knew, it wouldn’t necessarily be in their interest to reveal it, either.

        I’m not saying Pujols is older; there is no way for us to know that, really.

        I am surprised that a team that supposedly wants to sign him would be leaking this information. Wouldn’t that potentially hamper their ability to sign him? Of course, maybe the leaks weren’t an intentional strategy, but caused by undiscipline.

      • bearyinsane - Nov 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM


        I think we must be “wierd” for finding all those things to be logical reasons for affecting the game. I have the tendancy to forget that there’s an underlined hypocracy in baseball (most sports) though.

        When the greatest hitter, possibly ever, can’t get into the hall of fame beacause of his gambiling issues (Pete Rose), but there no “blemish” on the things you mentioned.

        Also, no one has “officially” being stripped of their records that have tested positive for HGH/Steroids in the hisroty of the game.

        I’m of the mindset that HGH/Roids dont helf a player see the ball any better of make contact either.

        I guess no ones perfect though..

      • bearyinsane - Nov 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        *help.. my apologies. Now I’m the 11 year old..

    • cintiphil - Nov 20, 2011 at 5:02 PM

      I will say this. Your writing is getting much better. Now, just check the facts before putting anything to paper.

  2. okwhitefalcon - Nov 20, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    The entire “like a lot of teams, the Marlins believe Pujols to be older than the 31 he claims to be” angle is getting for lack of a better term – old.

    This has been going on for years, using every possible means of research and nothing, nada, zip has been found.

    Keep looking Miami and whomever else, sell your fans on this notion under the guise of basing a decision of “to sign or not to sign” on this alleged uncertainty.

    • paperlions - Nov 20, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      Exactly. He is Albert Fucking Pujols. How many hundreds of people hired by papers and teams have looked for evidence that he is older than he is? And they found nothing, not even a hint. Players that no one cares about are found out on a regular basis (even after playing in the US for over a decade), but we are supposed to believe that somehow the most famous Latin American player changed his age before his family emigrated to the US when he was 16, when he was a complete and total non-prospect, and that he has cleverly escaped detection somehow?

  3. 78mu - Nov 20, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    Even as a rookie Pujols looked like he could be a few years older than his stated age of 21. And the steroid whispers were there from the beginning because of his physique. After all, just two years earlier everyone in baseball thought there were 400 better players available in the draft. What changed in those two years made a lot of people suspicious.

    But with the suspicions of Pujols from the beginning, wouldn’t someone have found some evidence? Haven’t some reporter or the Cardinals gone to Santo Domingo to find people that knew when he was born and can give evidence or doubts about his real age?

    How much can it cost to send a team of investigators to find out as much as they can about his real age? Or examine any possible ties to steroids? We aren’t talking about signing a backup catcher for $400,000 to replace Laird. And after all this we only have whispers about his real age or steroid use. This sounds like a convenient position for the Marlins to take if they know they aren’t serious about signing Pujols.

    • paperlions - Nov 20, 2011 at 12:34 PM

      Here is Pujols as a 20 yr old minor leaguer….

      You can also look for pictures of him as a rookie, he’s pretty skinny, I have no idea where you get this “because of his physique” thing. He doesn’t look any older than he claims (not that it is always easy to guess someone’s age within a year or 2).

      • cleverbob - Nov 20, 2011 at 3:22 PM

        Wait a minute, that’s Albert Pujols, third baseman. Not Albert Pujols, first baseman. Who is this impostor, and what’s his true age? We demand a birth certificate!

  4. spudchukar - Nov 20, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    What could possibly have less credence than what the Marlins believe.

  5. Old Gator - Nov 20, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Heh heh. I woke up, read LeBatard in the Macondo Feeshwrapper, giggled slightly, went back to sleep. Tomorrow, they’re going to leak a suspicion that Jose Reyes is a transsexual to Clark Spencer, on Wednesday they’re going to leak a suspicion that Mark Buehrle is sleeping with Mike Kekich’s wife to Greg Cote, and on Friday they’re going to leak a rumor to Joe Frisaro that Prince Fielder has been struggling with Anorexia, quite successfully, all of his life.

  6. Bryz - Nov 20, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    I agree with okwhitefalcon above, it sounds like this is just an excuse for the Marlins to back out of the Pujols sweepstakes. Go ahead, pretend to your fan base that you were actually serious at one point about signing him.

  7. djpostl - Nov 20, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    People whine too much. If they are going to shell out the big bucks they had better assume the worst. Considering how many latin players do lie about their age, the fact that players have shown in the not-so-distant past that they’ll do anything for the big bucks etc…

    If Pujols, or any of you on his jock, has a problem with that take it up with the large number of peers who have lied about their age. They are the ones who caused this whole situation.

    • baseballisboring - Nov 20, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      Of course you have to guard yourself against the Leo Nun…err…Juan Carlos Oviedos of the world, but why would you *assume* the worst? If I’m throwing $200 million at a guy I’m definitely gonna do my due dilligence, but we really have no evidence to suggest Pujols is older than 31. I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt til we hear something concrete.

    • spudchukar - Nov 20, 2011 at 3:30 PM

      I’m 29 and I have nothing to do with the Pujols situation.

  8. clarknaddison - Nov 20, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    i dont know too many bald 31yr olds. With his decline this year I would have to assume hes at least 33. I wouldnt offer a contract over 6 years. Go get him Cards!!

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 20, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      I was bald by the time I was 27.

      • baseballisboring - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        Yeah, I probably will be, I’m 22 and my hairline is running away. I think I scared it. Really doesn’t matter he’s bald.

      • ditka96 - Nov 20, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        Yep and I was skinny when I was 20 too just like Albert.

      • JBerardi - Nov 20, 2011 at 4:32 PM

        Dustin Pedroia… in college:

    • cur68 - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      I went to school with a guy (he had 2 brothers & they were all in the same boat) who was bald from ear to ear by the time he was 24. Had a receding hairline by the time he was 16, and pretty good beard growth, too. It was great. He was able to buy beer and all manner of other alcohol with some fake ID that no one ever checked. All those guys were born looking 30. I’m the other side of that equation. To this day I still get asked for ID and I’m 43. The point is that looking old does not equal being old.

      • clarknaddison - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        being bald doesnt make him older than 31 but it doesnt bode well for his defense as most men start losing their hair later in their 30s rather than their 20s

      • cur68 - Nov 20, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        Clark, I’m not sure what one’s follicuralization has to do with one’s baseball defence, but I’m pretty sure that neither Phat Al’s defence nor hairline is why team’s want him. The tiny point I’m trying to make (by way of multiple digression, it is true) is that his apparent age is not judged by his hairline. Lots of people go bald in their 20’s.

        All this is besides the point. Part of what I want to say about Pujols is that ultimately, who cares about his D at this point? Both are particular to him and providing he keeps launching balls into Santa’s backyard and stopping most balls going his way as a fielder, I suspect his defence is going to be 2nd to the skill set that teams want of him. With a modest aerobic regime he should be able to preserve his health for quite some time. Probably be good for him if he dropped about 10 pound.

        The other thing I wanted to say was that I have a friend who was quite bald at a young age and he was a great source of beer when we were far to young to be allowed it. The best things about youth are the things you misspend it doing.

    • paperlions - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:19 PM

      Based on this, I am forced to conclude that Dustin Pedroia is 55 yrs old.

      • baseballisboring - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:54 PM

        At least.

    • Bryz - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:26 PM

      I’m not bald, but I’ve had some gray hair since I was 18.

    • Bill - Nov 20, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      clarknaddison, I have to conclude you just don’t know too many 31 year olds. I’m 32, and I’m not there yet even though I should be (thanks, Propecia!), but I’d say that among the guys I went to high school with, 30-40% are either bald or running very, noticeably thin up there.

    • cintiphil - Nov 20, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      I was more bald then Albert when I was 30. It proves nothing. I was in H.S. (a long time ago) and we used to send in our buddy to get the beer because he looked like he was 25, and he was never carded. In truth, he was 17, a year younger than I.

  9. clarknaddison - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Id like to know the percentage of latino players that have lied about their age. its most certainly low given the amount of latinos in MLB but I hear of at least a handful per year that have been caught….and thats just the ones that have been caught.

  10. hoosierdaddy12 - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    “Part of that, of course, is the pursuit, such as it is, of Albert Pujols.”

    That’s got to be the one of the most grammatically obnoxious sentences I’ve ever read. A simple “Part of that is the pursuit of Albert Pujols” would have sufficed. Or, “Part of that, of course, is the pursuit of Albert Pujols” would have been palatable.

    But adding the “such as it is” is a little much.

  11. obpedmypants - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    In all fairness, I thought Pooholes looked like he was in his early 30’s when he was 23, but now that he’s in his early 30’s, he still looks the same age.

  12. rcali - Nov 20, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    The first red flag should have been when he started shaving at “5.”

  13. karlton2 - Nov 20, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Translation: Dear Marlins fans, here is why we low-balled Pujols and why he didn’t sign with us, not because we’re cheap and an awful ballclub.

    • cur68 - Nov 20, 2011 at 5:06 PM


    • cintiphil - Nov 20, 2011 at 5:12 PM

      You are closer to the truth than you know.

  14. mcsnide - Nov 20, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Next, the Marlins plan to ask Pujols when he stopped beating his wife.

  15. lookatthefarside - Nov 20, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Look at Greg Oden. He looks at least 40.

  16. mycrackie - Nov 20, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Maybe it’s beer, not riods.

  17. purnellmeagrejr - Nov 21, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    Geez – next thing you know these nitwits are going to claim Pujols is Kenyan!

  18. caland13 - Nov 21, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    One variable, that has yet to be mentioned, when attempting to compare Albert to Tejada, or anyone else that has had this ‘age issue’…not too long ago, last 2 years or so I think, Pujols became an American Citizen. Kind of tough to skirt the facts, when you have to present your official docs to the Government, to become a citizen of this country. He also got a perfect score on his test, (means nothing, just a note.)

    It seems to me, that the players with name or age issues, like Tejada or Nunez, are not official citizens, but rather working here on a visa.

  19. kingvorp - Nov 21, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    cut him in half and count the rings?

  20. chrisernst82 - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Wasn’t he the guy in Benchwarmers?

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