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Anonymous scouts give Albert Pujols,’ Ryan Howard’s legs last rites

Apr 16, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT

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Andy Martino of the Daily News spoke with an AL evaluator who has watched Albert Pujols and an NL coach who has watched Ryan Howard, and each of them have some pretty dire assessments of the former MVPs’ future.

The AL guy on Pujols:

“He’s got bad wheels,” said one American League evaluator who has seen Pujols many times this year, both in spring training and the regular season. “I bet he doesn’t play more than 50 games at first this year.”

The NL guy on Howard:

“Every time I see Ryan Howard run, I worry that ankle is going to snap again,” said one National League coach.

Martino explains each of their ailments and whether or not it seems like temporary bumps or the beginnings of constant problems.

In other news, Pujols has nine years and $228 million left on his deal. Howard has four years and $105 million.

  1. deathmonkey41 - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Joe Swanson on Family Guy has bad wheels- doesn’t stop him from being a damn good cop though. Maybe if Pujols and Howard were more animation than human, this stuff wouldn’t matter as much.

    • digbysellers - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      Joe Swanson was a shortstop though.

  2. nflfollower - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    And people say Detroit overpaid fielder. He’s just coming into his prime! Gonna put up scary numbers this year.

    • cur68 - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      There was a lot of talk on these boards about Prince being morbidly obese. Somehow, in spite of his size, he’s also been morbidly durable. To wit, his durability has been KILLING other teams. And yeah, he’s in line for a career year.

      In time, he’ll start to slow down. Since he’s made a career of being called fat then killing any and all who’ve stood before him, he’ll probably defy those who say he’ll age badly, too. He probably thinks he can always carve 25 pounds off his frame and enjoy a 2 season renaissance as a high average hitter with occasional power after he hits his mid-thirtys. The guy’s so gifted he might even make that work.

  3. proudlycanadian - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Do not like those big money long term contracts. Much too risky. Some teams seem to be determined to repeat past mistakes with long term deals.

    • turdfurgerson68 - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      “Do not like those big money long term contracts. Much too risky.”

      Like the Jose Reyes contract the Blue Jays just traded for??

      • bougin89 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        Which is also largely back-loaded.

    • dwdive - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      Ryan Howard got a 5 year deal a year after he was MVP. Not nearly as bad a contract as the rest of these guys like Fielder and Pujols. Besides, Howard is healthy now and might have a better year than both of those guys. Howard will be in the 35-40 HR and 115-130 RBI range this year.

      • tmhofficial - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:36 PM


        dwdive, what you just said, is the most insanely idiotic….

        You know the rest. You getting your Gallardo on right now? That’s the only explanation for such a post. I mean, Howard better than Fielder? That alone is grounds for losing posting privileges, coming from a Twin’s fan who hates the Tigers. Also, Howard will hit 35-40 HR with 115-130 RBI? What the…. What?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:43 PM

        He won the [undeserved] MVP in ’06 and signed his new deal in April of 2010, when he still had two years of his original extension. And yes, Howard might have a more productive year if all you care about is HR and RBI, but that’s a terrible way to judge how good/valuable a hitter is.

      • jm91rs - Apr 16, 2013 at 8:34 PM

        What are you talking about church? I use the hr and RBI numbers to rank players and I’ve decided that Adam Dunn should be paid more than anyone in the game. He’s clearly the best

      • yoflyboys - Apr 17, 2013 at 7:45 AM

        Not a chance. He can not run anymore look at the substitutions now early in the season and he will probably strike out more than 220 times this season. He has been a waste of money. Hopefully they can dump him for some talent.

      • yoflyboys - Apr 17, 2013 at 8:06 AM

        Read from

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    but i am sure Cano’s upcoming ridiculous contract will be fine. What could go wrong? The Yankees wouldn’t give out a massive contract unless they were sure it would work out well.

  5. hisgirlgotburrelled - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    “I bet he doesn’t play 50 games at first this year.” 8 down, 42 to go. I need to find this guy so I can take this bet.

    • Ben - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Have you seen him run the bases? It’s supposed to be plantar fasciitis, which can heal, but he is moving slooow.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        Will Albert Pujols play first base 42 times in the next 149 games?

      • Ben - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        I have no idea. But I do know that he looks like he can hardly move. It’s hard to find video of it, because they don’t put that up, obvi. But here’s a few examples.
 (can’t see much here, really)

        Looking for more.

    • mrfloydpink - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      Especially since the Angels have something like 18 interleague games left, when you can be damn sure they are going to do everything they can to get Pujols into the lineup.

      • jm91rs - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        It’s first base, this isn’t like the Yankees worrying about A-rod or Jeter having to become a DH some day. Albert is a pretty good fielder and he doesn’t have to do much over there at first. I think he’ll be playing plenty of first for the next few years.

  6. turdfurgerson68 - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Can someone please explain how do these GM’s retain their jobs??

    These were bad signings BEFORE the injury bug appeared.

    This is why Red Sox GM Ben Cherington is one of the best…he dumped not one, but THREE injured/injury prone players, each with a massive contract.

    And its why Billy Beane is the best in all of MLB.

    • Brinke - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      except for Sabean.

      • jwbiii - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        The Zito contract was good, but Rowand was released and nobody picked him up for the minimum, so that wasn’t so good.

    • hisgirlgotburrelled - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      If all it means to be a great GM is to dump players then Michael Hill, GM for the Marlins, is without question the best.

      • turdfurgerson68 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        That was just another Marlin Fire Sale.

        Was impressive nevertheless. Fish be scary in a few seasons.

      • jm91rs - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        They’re going to have about a 1 year window, and if they don’t win it all everyone will be traded again. I wish Loria would build the team up to sell the entire thing when it’s at it’s peak value, but I doubt that.

    • irishphilly87 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      dude you’re retarded. Howard’s contract is bad now but 3 years ago when he was bopping in 40 home runs and 140 rbi’s and the market value was what set his contract. If that wasnt what he was goingto get on the market if they let him goto free agency then the Phillies would have never given him that much but thats what the market was for a big bopper first baseman. Now the Angels on the other hand, Pujols already looked like he was declining in St Louis and they proceed to give him a $250 million contract for 10 years! That is an absolute joke.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        While I agree with your last sentence…
        You do yourself no favors when you (a Phillies fan)…refers to a contract (ANY CONTRACT) as a “joke.”
        Pot…meet kettle.

      • paperlions - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        Nah, 3 years ago when that deal was signed a large proportion of baseball writers ripped the deal citing the lack of need to do it so early, Howard’s age, and the 3 year decline in production that was already evident at the time.

      • jm91rs - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        That’s just the way it works. You have to overpay for the years at the end of a deal to get a decent price on the years when the player is in his prime. I look at Votto and Fielder as examples. They signed deals at the right time and the teams that signed them will benefit greatly for the first 4 or 5 years (especially considering the TV deals that will help contracts sky rocket). Will there be any value in the contract at the end of the deal? Probably not, but they’re hoping they had a WS victory or two before the contract becomes an albatross.

        It’s just a shame that both of the players you’re talking about were likely past their prime at the time. I can’t say this for Ryan Howard, but there has to be some financial value in having Pujols on your team beyond what he does on the field. The guy is going to go down as one of the greatest hitters ever, the interest that fans show in him will financially help cover some of the dead years at the end of his deal.

      • paperlions - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        One might think that….but last year the Angels drew the fewest fans since Moreno bought the team….so they added Pujols, Wilson, and Trout….and fewer people came to the park.

      • dwdive - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        Howard’s contract (as ridiculous as it seems now) is still a bargain compared to the Pujols contract. Especially since Howard will be more productive than Pujols, and the contract is half the length and half the money.

      • tuberippin - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        As a Phils fan…it was a bad move to sign him then, and it’s become even worse now and is sure to only get worse as time progresses.

    • ilovegspot - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      Carl Crawford is kicking but for the Dodgers, Beckett is pitching great and Gonzales is hitting well too. Sox signed 3 more mediocre players.

    • mazblast - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      Beane schmoozes with the media hacks. Sabean taps his World Series rings on the table. Beane gets a movie made about him which conveniently ignores his lucking into three exceptional starting pitchers who carried the team through its best days since the Bash Brothers. Sabean taps his World Series rings on the table.

  7. turdfurgerson68 - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    He’s up there too…no doubt.

  8. heyblueyoustink - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Jeez, maybe their legs just need a exorcism in that case?

  9. yahmule - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I didn’t know ankle and Achilles’ tendon were synonymous in scout speak.

  10. jeffa43 - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    You don’t have to be a Dr. Or a scout to see Albert is done.

    Minor knee surgery at the end of last year won’t heel! I don’t need to say it… We all know it. I actually did not think he would last this long. He has been in sharp decline since before he left St. Loui.

    Would he have hit more home runs with out roids and a longer career? Doubt it, but he would have played longer. Another fraud on the books…. Albert & A Rod. Albert was smarter with his off field choices, that is all that is different.

    You can fool the public, but not your body. I don’t see 50 games left in his career.

    • heat256 - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      I don’t see 50 cells in your brain.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:21 PM


    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Wow. Look…we got ourselves another conspiracy theorist!
      How many tests does a person have to pass before people give it up?

      • scoocha - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        Players will always beat tests because they have more money and no bureaucracy to worry about.

        Pujols is just like all NL stars that move to AL and see their numbers plummet. The lack of fastballs every pitch really hurts his stats.

      • tsi431 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        scoocha –

        Ask Jason Bay how going from AL to NL worked out.

  11. bobwsc - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    did Pujols use up all of his bionic powers when he came back from the broken wrist after 3 weeks?

  12. DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    People unwilling to go the record are having doubts? Shocking.

    The money quote on Pujols:

    “I bet he doesn’t play more than 50 games at first this year.”

    Unless that bet was with the writer, he’ll never have to pay if he is wrong

  13. historiophiliac - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    I can see I’m getting work done today. 😦

  14. stex52 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    I don’t know what Martino is referring to for sure. The link froze on my computer.

    Is he talking about the knee or the plantar fascitis? I know about the fascitis, and no one can run on that for long. But that’s several weeks off with ice and therapy and it heals. If it’s the knee it depends. But Berkman is back big time, why not Albert?

    But he was a monster after the first six weeks of last year and finished 17th in the MVP voting.

    And his OPS to date for this year is .950. I’m sure the Angels would like a lot more of that. I think the odds of ten years are lousy. But I would sure take the over on 50 games. I’d probably take the over on
    three years also.

  15. carbydrash - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Albert Pujols has *always* had bad wheels. He always looked awkward running, like he was running through tar or something.

    …which makes the fact that he’s stolen 47 bases in 57 attempts over the past four years that much more impressive.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      “which makes the fact that he’s stolen 47 bases in 57 attempts over the past four years that much more impressive.”
      On point.
      His base running skills have always been impressive.
      He might look like he’s pulling a plow…but dude has serious instincts.
      Be it stealing 2nd or going 1st to 3rd.

  16. ningenito78 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Jeffa43- nice troll post. Knee injuries and leg injuries aren’t indicative of steroid use moron.

    • jeffa43 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      When it is minor knee surgery with expected heel time of 4to 6 weeks, and we are on four months and it continues to be a ingoing issue… Yes that is a sign. Roids tear down ligaments and tendons… Which support areas not heeling through surgery.

      This troll is sorry to complicate the story with facts.

      • tuberippin - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:31 PM

        The word is “healing,” not “heeling.”

      • forsch31 - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        As somebody who has had minor knee surgery, I can easily say that you are talking out of your arse, jeffa.

  17. jeffa43 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    For those haters… How many times has he grounded out this year, and not run? I know at least one time he faked that it hit his foot… Although it missed by a YARD. A ground out is a very light hard to watch jog.

    Watch him run… The ball of his feet don’t hit the ground. He runs on his heels.
    Look at his face muscles when he runs…. Suck in and grimace, exhale hard… Suck in and grimace. Dude looks like he is running on nails.

    I don’t like him, but even if you do, you can’t disagree with me.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      I don’t like him, but even if you do, you can’t disagree with me.

      How much you want to bet he’ll play 50 games over the next 9 years?

      • jeffa43 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        He will play limited ball this year, next year… And be done.

        Even Albert said last week, I will forfeit my remaining contract if I can’t play anymore.
        Makes 50 games sound about right. If that’s not suspicious, I don’t know what is.

        I am no troll, I spend a lot of money at the big A.

      • stex52 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        Plantar fascitis, Jeff. Ever heard of it? ever experienced it?

        You bet he doesn’t want to run any more than he has to right now. It’s a tendon inflammation. Ice, therapy, perhaps an occasioanl cortisone shot and time. Six weeks, even maybe. But then it is healed.

        The only reason he is playing right now is he is hitting a ton and they need that. But the rest of your argument just doesn’t square.

      • jwbiii - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        Cortisone! Ahh! Steroids! Jeffa is right!

      • jeffa43 - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        Albert said it… I did not.

        He will walk away if he cant produce…. why would he say that…. Because the knee injury wont heel… Even if the Planter does heel in 6 weeks according to Dr. Stex.

        Stex… I saw when Houston won 3 in a row, you vanished from the comments… To much good cheer for you, and you could not bash your team? Or is St. Loui now your team, because they will win more? Just asking?

        I wear my Astro hat win or lose…. Just saying.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      He has ran like that his entire career. ALWAYS.
      Do your homework Jeff. Then get back to us.

      • jeffa43 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        As long time Astro fan, I have watched him just as much, and he use to run…. Without his face looking like he has a knife in his foot… A lot of you in denial…

        You know Albert is talking about giving up the contract…. Albert said it … Not me.

        Done with my research homie.

      • digbysellers - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        El jeffa, you make me laugh and laugh and laugh. I think I may have peed a little. Thank you for bringing some idiotic joy to my normal, hum-drum day at work.

    • theaxmancometh - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      Albert has never run out a routine grounder in his career, much less this season.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        On point axman! Which is precisely what I was getting at with regards to Jeff not actually watching him play baseball…ever.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      If you have truly “watched him just as much” you know that he has alwasy labored around the bases. I am not buying what you are selling Jeff…cause’ it’s bunk.
      I do NOT want to defend the Man. Quite frankly…I am still pissed at him for blatantly lying.
      Hell…he lied…and lied again…then lied again. But I call it like I see it. And you won’t see him test positive for steroids. Sounds like someone has his feeling hurts.
      Based upon your posts…I am starting to believe you might be related to Brad Lidge.
      On second thought…you might actually BE Brad Lidge.

    • Uncle Charlie - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      I think you mean he runs on his heals.

  18. steelerfanforlife - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    So if these guys are wrong do they get fired? Sports hosts say whatever, “draft experts” say whatever with no consequences if they’re wrong! Most of the time they don’t even admit it. Man I get tired of opinions!!

  19. steelerfanforlife - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Sorry I meant to say I get tired of opinions being passed off as facts!!

  20. joejaws75 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Andy Martino needs to worry about how the Mets two highest paid outfielders are named Bonilla and bay

  21. missingdiz - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    I too worry about Howard running. As for Pujols, I agree–he’s always looked like he couldn’t run, but he does. He hit 50 doubles last year & stole 8 bases. How did he get down to second if he can’t run? I agree about the contract being stupid, but just 50 games left? Of course, anybody could have a career-ending injury at any moment. But there’s no reason to expect (lots of people seem to be wishing) Pujols not to play most of 150 games this year, or more.

  22. bigdinla - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Reading comprehension people! Guy said 50 games AT First. Not 50 games all season.

    • stex52 - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      Correct, he did. But I think he’s wrong on that one, too.

  23. reasonableeaglefan - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    So your saying it could be worse???

  24. dwdive - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Wait minute, Howard’s Ankle has finally been surgically fixed and he’s a year and a half removed from the injury. He is finally healthy and playing every day, swinging the bat well, and shows no sign of a limp or pain. Why is a negative story being written about him? Because an un-named coach worries that the ankle will snap again? Why is Howard even part of this story? Who cares what a “NL Coach” worries about? In fact, Utley and Howard and looking good and playing almost every day. It’s the rest of that line up that needs to produce.

    • tuberippin - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      Greetings, presumed fellow Phils fan (phan). First of all, it was his Achilles’ tendon, not his ankle. You’re as wrong in calling it an ankle injury as the anonymous scout was.

      Secondly, once you have a major injury to a ligament or tendon, the likelihood of re-injuring that same ligament or tendon increases markedly, as much as 100% depending on what ligament. Yes, the Achilles’ heel tear is usually a freak injury, but that doesn’t mean that once it heals, everything is hunky-dory (did I really just use the term “hunky-dory”? What year am I in right now?).

    • Gamera the Brave - Apr 16, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      Howard’s Ankle was a pretty good novel, as I recall…

  25. onbucky96 - Apr 16, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Karma. Couldn’t happen to 2 worse franchises.

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