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Albert Pujols was insulted when someone asked him if he can put up Mike Trout numbers

Mar 6, 2014, 2:32 PM EDT

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Bob Nightengale spoke with Albert Pujols and Pujols mentioned a question someone asked him early in spring training. The question: “are you motivated to put up the same numbers as Mike Trout?” Pujols, remembering it and obviously still mad, went off:

“Can you imagine someone saying that to me?” Pujols tells USA TODAY Sports in recalling the question from a reporter. “I felt like saying, ‘Come on, are you serious? Are you really asking me that? Check out my numbers. I know what Mike Trout has done in his first two years is pretty special, but will you look at my numbers. I’ve been doing this for almost 14 years.’

“The only guy in baseball who can match the numbers I’ve put up is Barry Bonds, and someone is actually asking if I can put up numbers like Mike Trout?

“Are you freaking kidding me?”

Well, no. It’s not about what you’ve done, dude. It’s about what you can do. And I don’t think it’s crazy to think that Trout will have better numbers than Pujols going forward for the rest of Pujols’ career.

Maybe that’s not the best way to couch that kind of question to a veteran — and maybe Pujols bristling is a good sign with respect to his motivation to do better than he has the past couple of years — but he’s no more the straw that stirs the drink in Anaheim than Barry Bonds still is in San Francisco.

OK, maybe a little more. He’s still playing after all. But that’s Mike Trout’s team now.

104 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. djpostl - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    “I’ve been doing this for almost 14 years.”

    In other words, “every year except the last couple ones where I was being paid a crazy amoutn of money by a team that’s on the hook for 8 more years”.

  2. chargrz - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Pujols used to put up those kind of numbers before when he was all juiced up.Put a fork in him, he’s done!

  3. weaselpuppy - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Miggy wonders if Trout can ever win an MVP ;)

    • bender4700 - Mar 6, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      Miggy (love him, Tigers fan) but he didn’t bring the defense that Trout brought. Trout was valuable on both sides. Miggy hurt the team in the playoffs on D, he had a key miss in the ALCS.

      Trout should have won this year. I love Miggy, but most valuable can’t exclude defense.

      • Kevin Gillman - Mar 6, 2014 at 11:47 PM

        So we’re changing the rules on who should win MVP? I don’t get it, voters vote MVP for different reasons. I say put a universal lineage for why voting for people. Defense is great, defense will win you 1-0 games, but most fans don’t go to games for 1-0 games. I might, you might, but most do not. They pay money for runs, and Miggy certainly did that for Detroit the last few seasons. But now that Prince isn’t hitting behind him, maybe Miggy won’t put up these gigantic numbers? Then, Trout can win it, but can the Angels make the playoffs? That’s something Mike hasn’t done in his short career, yet.

  4. elvin2014 - Mar 6, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    Albert Pujols is One of The Best Baseball Players of All Time….

    On the other hand, Mike Trout is….?

    • kcroyal - Mar 6, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      …on the heels of his first two seasons that were as good or better than any season Pujols has ever had. And Pujols was freaking amazing. But he’s not anymore. And he was never as valuable as Trout has been for his first two seasons. So I guess Trout has that going for him.

      • gmfw7 - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        what? pujols career averages per 162 are .321/ 41 HR/ 124 RBI with a 1.008 OPS and OPS+ of 165. all that with great defense. mike trout is amazing and might be an all time great when all is said and done, but albert’s career AVERAGES are better than both the seasons trout has just had. wake up you nit wit.

      • ciceropaul - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        To gmfw7: Name calling is what simpletons resort to when they lack strong facts and reasoning. Not only should you avoid rudeness in general, but you should especially avoid it when your argument is weak. It’s quite reasonable to say that Mike Trout’s first two seasons were better than any season Pujols has had. Baseball is more than just batting, and when you consider the outstanding defense (last year at a premium position) and baserunning from Trout, you can easily make the case that he brought more value than Pujols batting ever did. If you want numbers, by Fangraphs WAR (which of course takes into account fielding and baserunning as well as batting), Trout’s first two seasons were worth 10.0 and 10.4 WAR. Pujol’s highest single-season WAR was back in 2003, and was 9.6. Even putting fielding and baserunning to the side, which you seem to want to do even though they are a very real part of the game, using the metric you yourself quoted, OPS+, Trout’s career OPS+ is 166 according to Baseball Reference, higher than the 165 you cite for Pujols.

        Your better argument would have been that Trout has played all of two years, and it would be a hefty assumption to make that he will continue at this high level, and that Pujols should be given some consideration for the longevity of his greatness. Even then, both sides are valid, and it is not at all clear that Pujols is clearly superior. And given that kcroyal has a strong case, he certainly shouldn’t be called a nit wit. And between the two of you, I don’t think he’s the one who needs to wake up.

      • mordecofe - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        Different offensive environments, GMFW7. Overall offense was higher in that era, so their offensive contributions are overall similar.

  5. barrybondsisthealltimehomerunking - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    Thanks for the shout out Albert.

  6. sawxalicious - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:01 AM

    Disclaimer: I am a Red Sox fan….
    That being said, the first thing I thought of when I read this article was, ” how would the consummate professional answer this question?” I immediately thought of Derek Jeter. He probably would have said something to the effect of praising his teammate’s skills and saying how he looked forward to having a great year and seeing where the numbers were at at the end if the year, and oh, by the way, the only numbers that matter at the end if the year are the team’s W/L record.

    I know the guy that asked Pujols this question was trolling, but come on Albert! You gotta see this coming from a mile away. Your numbers stand for themselves, and you really do not need to step onto this land mine.

  7. drewsylvania - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    LOL

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