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Albert Pujols is feeling fine

Feb 6, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

albert pujols getty Getty Images

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Albert Pujols is feeling 100%, has had a “normal” offseason and has been hitting baseballs since October. I guess he added that 0.1% he was missing when it was reported that he was 99.9% back in November.

Pujols saw action in fewer than 100 games last year and has not been himself for the first two seasons of his deal with the Angels. Now he enters season three of ten — with only $222 million left to go! — with a lot to prove. At age 34.

  1. cur'68 - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    I saw him interviewed. He said he was an athlete and professional baseball player. The interviewer laughed at him. Laughed a lot. I’m having my doubts about this “100% ready” stuff when he can’t convince a reputable media figure like Grover T. Muppet that he’s a legitimate athlete.

    • jm91rs - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      No, at first Grover didn’t believe him, but once Albert caught a baseball Grover was amazed at his ability. I think he has Grover’s seal of approval heading into this year.

      • cur'68 - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        Grover didn’t see him bat or run, did he? So that’s not really a proper assessment. Anyways, Pujols failed the critical Muppet Eyeball Test. Everyone knows that “seeing with your own eyes” is better than “objectively evaluating performance” 110% of the time.

      • km9000 - Feb 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        Kermit wondered how long David Ortiz could keep producing, and Ortiz flipped out and called him a “media hater.” Sheesh.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        Grover is just an “old school” scout and has shown no evidence of his understanding of advanced metrics for player evaluation. Does Grover prefer UZR or DRS? We don’t know…

      • km9000 - Feb 6, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        I wouldn’t trust the eye test as administered by Cookie Monster. Even the flattest BP fastball has crazy movement to him.

      • cur'68 - Feb 6, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        I think a good number of those Sesame St. muppets are on PEDs. Seen Animal? He’s a ‘roid rager. And their “Doctor”. That Bunsen Honeydew character? He’s always ‘sperimentin’ on Muppet Subjects. His chief lab rat, Beeker? Fried out of him mind on banned substances all provided by Honeydew. Its only a matter of time before Selig gives Bunsen Honeydew a couple million, paid protection, and pays his legal bills in exchange for damaging testimony on ARod. All Selig’s investigator has to do is peer deeply, DEEPLY into Honeydew’s eyes to KNOW he’s telling the truth….

    • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      What Grover T. Muppet doesn’t know about baseball analysis! You think he knows How to Play Like a Professional (HtPLaP)? No way, man. He’s an amateur. He’s still thinking in grit and chemistry. He’s old school like no replay. You gotta change with the times. Fozzie told me that Rowlf told him that Janice met Albert behind the Electric Mayhem bus for hits of Xenon she bought off of Beaker. That’s a +1 bump in WAR just right there. We don’t even need to play the games now. Albert’s doing it like a professional — and if Grover T. Muppet don’t like it, well, he has History’s Greatest Monster to thank for it. This ain’t your muppet’s baseball no more.

      • cur'68 - Feb 6, 2014 at 7:34 PM

        Xenon, eh? So Bunsen Honeydew is trafficking in noble gasses, is he? Does Selig know?

      • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2014 at 7:41 PM

        Oh, I’m sure some Dudley Dooright Canadian will rat him out. #syrupboarding

      • cur'68 - Feb 6, 2014 at 7:47 PM

        We don’t rat anyone out. We hunt them down like seal pups and smack them twixt the eyes with our aluminium Louisville Sluggers.

        POW! Problem solved.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2014 at 8:32 PM

        Eeee! I think your time in the US may have turned you.

        /backs away

  2. southpaw2k - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    Can’t blame him for taking the money, but good golly Miss Molly I still can’t believe the Angels are paying him that much. Is it too soon to already label that contract as one of the five worst in MLB history?

    • ezthinking - Feb 6, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      ” Is it too soon to already label that contract as one of the five worst in MLB history?”

      Yes. Alot can happen in 8 years.

      If Pujols gets Moreno the ring he so desperately wants I think the contract will be a success in the eyes of ownership.

    • missingdiz - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:28 PM


    • jeffa43 - Feb 6, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      MLB did a stat comparison, and it was him vs A Fraud. Those two were clearly the worst contracts, there is no dispute.

      A Rod got Rings..

      The panel clearly agreed that Albert’s contract is the worst. He is not getting any younger, and he said the same thing about his health before last season… you can look it up.

  3. spudchukar - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    A word of caution to naysayers; betting against Albert Pujols is a losing proposition.

    • paperlions - Feb 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      You said that 2 year ago. Betting against time and age is a far worse bet than betting against any particular player. He may have a decent season, but he’s being paid to provide MVP-like performances every year, and every year the likelihood that he does it even once decreases. If he can stay healthy, I think he’ll be fine, but it really is time to let go of the idea that 2009 Pujols could ever return.

      • gibbyfan - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        If he stays healthy for the next three years, I think we could again see Albert 2009…..but virtually no chance over the last hlaf of the contract when actually I believe his annula salary will be at its highest

      • paperlions - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        34 is a LOT older than 29….we havne’t seen anything close to 2009 Pujols since 2009. 2010 was a big step down and so was 2011. There is really no chance at all of that guy coming back even with a perfectly healthy 34-yr old version…age is a horrible thing.

      • gibbyfan - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        Don’t forget he was hurt last year………I wouldn’t be surprised to see Barry Bonds like twilight years…….he certainly has the innate talent–every bit as much as Bonds, and I don’rt believe he will need PEDs to do it (not sure Bonds really did either)..34 is still in the back end of the sweet spot…….I think it could happen. Going onestep futher–If he can stay healthy I think he will do it………one thing for sure==sprong is around the corner so we shall soon see..

      • paperlions - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        He wasn’t hurt in 2010 or 2011 or 2012 and he was no where near the player those years that he was in 2009. Being hurt last year is irrelevant to the fact that he hasn’t been the same player since his outstanding 2009 season.

        34 is NOT the back end of the sweetspot. 29 is the back end of the sweetspot, for most players 34 is the end of the decline phase (because they can’t get jobs after that), and for great players it is at least in the middle of the decline phase. Last year only 16 position players 34 years old or older managed to be every day players, and 3 of those guys were DHs.

      • spudchukar - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        Much like Mark Twain, the report of Pujols’ demise has been greatly exaggerated. 2010 MVP-2nd, 2011 MVP-5th, 2012 MVP-17th. If he rebounds just a little and lands in the top ten he will be earning every penny he gets.

        Plus, who knows, maybe pitchers are getting better? It is impossible to measure.

      • cohnjusack - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        the report of Pujols’ demise has been greatly exaggerated. 2010 MVP-2nd, 2011 MVP-5th, 2012 MVP-17th.

        2009-2010 — OPS drops by 90 points
        2010-2011 — OPS drops by 105 points
        2011-2012 — OPS drops by 47 points
        2012-2013 — OPS drops by 92 points

        2009–2013 – OPS dropped by 334 points

        What demise?

      • spudchukar - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        Like I said, maybe pitcher’s are getting better.

      • cohnjusack - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        Albert’s league adjusted OPS, which would factor in better pitching
        2009-2010 — 16 point drop
        2010-2011 — 25 points drop
        2011-2012 — 10 point drop
        2012-2013 — 22 point drop

        What demise?

      • missingdiz - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        Pujols had a recurring problem with plantar fasciitis for many years. It makes sense that it got worse the more he played and the more he aged. There’s no way at this point we can sort out how much of his declining performance was due to his aching foot and how much to aging. I hope Pujols is completely healthy this year so we can find out.

      • paperlions - Feb 6, 2014 at 7:33 PM

        It is difficult to disentangle age-related decline from injury because injury is part of the reason for decline. Bodies physically peak between 22 and 27 and it is all down hill from there. As you get older it is easier to get hurt, healing takes longer, and less significant injuries will have a bigger effect on performance.

        I am not saying he sucks or will suck….just that the beast that he was in 2008-2009 when he was easily the best player in baseball is gone. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him post a 140-150 wRC+ season, but he’s not going to get back into the 180s.

      • gibbyfan - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:46 PM

        The man is an absolute physical beast and perhaps one of the greatest hitters of all time……We shall soon see how he does.. In the absence of a health issue, I’m looking for him to bounce back with a huge year………….let’s see

  4. nymets4ever - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Blah blah blah, contracts are for the beancounters to worry about. Bottom line, when Pujols is at the plate…he still strikes fear into the pitcher’s heart. First Ballot Hall of Famers don’t just become worthless overnight. Pencil this guy down for at least 25 and 85 for the next three years.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      He is not worth the $24 million he is making, I don’t think anyone will disagree with that. But, he is still hitting .275/.338/.485 with the Angels, and averaging 24 HR and 84 RBI a year with the Angels. Those are still pretty good numbers and he is still an asset to the offense.

    • anxovies - Feb 6, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      It’s what I have been saying for years. Who cares how much these guys cost, the money doesn’t belong to anybody who is likely to post here. There are two important things about a ballplayer and his contract: is he going to perform to expectations and help the team in the immediate future? is the length and amount of his contract going to discourage future signings of valuable players? In Pujol’s case his contract looks OK for now but his body looks like it is breaking down earlier than people thought and he may become an albatross later on. The Angels overpaid but the amount isn’t important in the immediate future if he gives them a couple of Pujols years before breaking down.

  5. andreweac - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    The Albertross’s deal is by far the worst in the history of professional sport. If he were a FA this offseason how much would the 34-year-old get?

    I doubt more than $125 million.

    • spudchukar - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      I have two words for your silly comment; Vernon Wells.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        Stop making the Halos look worse!

      • gibbyfan - Feb 6, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        and two more off the top of my head–Albert Bell…………I think AP’s deal wil be as bad as Arods………..meaning he will put up some decent numbers but become irrelevant for the lqast 3-4 years

  6. thomas844 - Feb 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    He’ll be back to his old, dominant self in 2014. He probably won’t be back to the hitter he was in STL but I see him having a solid year at the plate.

  7. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Feb 6, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    In actuality, this article is not baseball related. Albert is just the latest member of the band The Statler Brothers.

    • cur'68 - Feb 6, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      Some wonderful moustaches & mullets in there.

  8. losanginsight - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    After the jalos finish in 4th place this year, they will definitely have to let the former assistant to the assistant of scouting GM go.

    • jeffa43 - Feb 6, 2014 at 9:37 PM

      You know.. you are actually correct. If you follow the Astros closely, you know very well that they are about to start taking off, and the Halos are about to hit reality… Astros embarrassed the Halos last season… including a 4 game sweep as Nolan use to say…. IN Anaheeeeeeeim!

      Astros been on the Rays plan for three years… Now the fun will start over the next couple seasons… Serious good team in 2015, stockpile of 95-100 arms.

      Minor Leagues Rated
      #1 Astros
      #30 Halos…

      Get ready to have your ass handed to you for a long time Halo fans….

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