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Albert Pujols is injured and struggling again with seven seasons and $189 million left on his contract

Jun 23, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

albert pujols getty Getty Images

Early on this season Albert Pujols was healthy and looked pretty close to his old, MVP-winning self, playing every day for the Angels and hitting .302 with 10 homers and a .965 OPS through 32 games.

Unfortunately his production has slipped and now he’s hurt again, sitting out Saturday and shifting to designated hitter Sunday because of back soreness after hitting just .217 in the previous 40 games.

Pujols’ power has remained strong throughout his overall struggles and his 16 home runs rank eighth among AL hitters, but that comes with a lowly .255 batting average and .315 on-base percentage. And after a decade of walking more often than he struck out for the Cardinals he’s whiffed 36 times compared to just 23 walks in 72 total games.

He’s been better than he was last season, but just barely, and overall Pujols looks nothing like the all-time great hitter he was in St. Louis. Sadly it was just a hot start for a banged-up 34-year-old with another seven seasons and $189 million left on his contract.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

141 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jarathen - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    This Angels fan hopes they can figure out the bullpen this year, because the Pujols contract (and that Hamilton one) is going to be an anchor pulling this franchise down during Trout’s likely prime.

    Lucky that the terrible farm system is keeping the team afloat.

    • coryfor3 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      Nah- Trout struck out a bunch of times earlier this season. I already read about how the league has him figured out. He’s past his prime.

      • clydeserra - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM


      • tim11959tim119 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        Cory that’s the funniest post ever. Trout past his prime. You were kidding right?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:07 PM

        It’s a joke based on earlier comments made this year by fans/media. Boot up your sarcasm detectors sheeple…

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:42 AM

        at the time I’m posting this, the comment saying Trout was PAST his prime had 58 thumbs up…

        too much weed dudes, lay off of it… not thinking clearly now… heck you’re NOT thinking at all to give that a thumbs up.

    • infieldhit - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      When teams sign players to huge contracts, and fans say “Who cares, it’s not our money,” the Angels show why you probably should care. If they just had Trumbo or an average guy at 1B, all that extra Pujols money could’ve gone to pitching.

      Instead, they’ve been lucky enough to get help from their call-ups, whom the manager looks for any excuse to not play.

      • Balladeer - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:19 PM

        I agree with you, but what fan says “Who cares, it’s not our money?” Either they complain it’s too much, just because they think no athlete deserves that much money, or they complain that it’s a bad contract that could hamper a team’s ability to compete in the future. Obviously, there may or may not be a contingent of fans that doesn’t care, but I feel like most do

      • jarathen - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:21 PM

        The death of Nick Adenhart and the broken ankle of Kendrys Morales have had huge impacts on the Angels. It’s this loss of depth and ensuing desperation moves by Tony Reagins that made Moreno go crazy.

      • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        @Balladeer (for some reason I am unable to reply directly to your post) when the Angels signed Pujols, everybody outside of Anaheim laughed and said wow way too much money, in which Angels fans replied “who cares, it’s not my money”. As infieldhit points out, the Angels didn’t need a 1B and if they had spent that $$$ on pitching I’m sure they would have made the playoffs.

        I’d also like to point out (and laugh hysterically at) all the Angels “fans” who thought Pujols would win multiple MVP awards and their Angels would win multiple World Series titles in Albert’s time in Anaheim. Yeah, that’s never going to happen LOLOL. Sure the Angels are doing well this year and may make a WC spot, but they struggle against good teams. They will not make it past the 1st round.

  2. coryfor3 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    And so it goes. We are going to have to continually see updates of how he is struggling and he is injured and how much is left on his contract for the next several years. We all knew this was going to happen when he signed the contract. I guess since ARod’s contract only has a few more years, we have to have a new one to watch.

    • southpaw2k - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      Don’t forget – we’ll have Miguel Cabrera’s contract after Pujols’ contract ends too!

      • number42is1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        uhhhhh… Fielder?

      • dondada10 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        Um, Verlander?

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        Yeah … Miggy’s in his age-31 year, the same as Pujols’ last year in St. Louis. And, Miggy’s shown some slippage this year.

      • djpostl - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        Especially since that extension doesn’t even kick in for a couple years. They shed themselves of that terrible Fielder deal, had the bad Verlander deal staring them in the face and ran out and gave Miggy that contract -_-.

        They’re going to deserve every bit of suffering they go through for about 5 years starting around early to mid 2015.

    • trbmb - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      Cano will be moving into the on deck circle in another couple years.

      Lesson that should be learned by GMs, go pay superstars a ton of money but limit doing so to 5 years.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        Robinson Cano, 10 HR in his last 141 games played(!). It’s like he’s traded in his power for singles.

      • genericcommenter - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        Yeah, he might only end up hitting like Tony Gwynn or Wade Boggs outside of the flake power seasons.

      • southpaw2k - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        “…go pay superstars a ton of money but limit doing so to 5 years.”

        That line was crossed the moment A-Rod signed his deal with Texas. There ain’t no way the players’ union will go back to that kind of limit.

      • flatsorter - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:36 AM

        Can must’ve had a bunch of home runs prior to 141 games ago, huh?

    • 1historian - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      Who really cares? St. Louis knew he was past his peak so when his demands got too far out of line they let him walk.

      His best days are a few years in the rear-view mirror and the longer this sad story drags on the worse it gets. if he has any pride he’ll take a buyout and quit before this gets any worse.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:45 AM

        Uh, St. Louis OFFERED him MORE than $200 million…

        Their OFFER was outrageous too…

        They are LUCKY that Albert turned them down…

        They were STUPID to offer that much money…

      • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        @sportsfan18 but at least in St Louis he carried sentimental value and was loved dearly by fans. They would have still loved him even while declining for all he’d done in St Louis. The fans in Anaheim have no feelings invested in him, they could care less what he did as a Cardinal. True the STL offer was outrageous, but given the sentimental value he carried there it made WAY more sense than the ridiculous Anaheim offer. What was Arte Moreno thinking??? He must have been drunk that day…..

    • raysfan1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      Also the Howard contract. The Rodriguez contract will get talked about more next year if he plays poorly or gets hurt. However, Pujols is now owed more than either Howard or Rodriguez. Pujols in turn will be supplanted when Cano or one of the long term pitcher contracts turns into an albatross. Hamilton’s contract will come up again anytime he slumps or gets hurt too.

      The solution of course is for teams to resist the urge to sign over 30-year-old players to insane contracts.

      • prostock75 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        Howard’s deal has two years and 50 mil left after this year. it is no where near being in the same hemisphere as Pujols, Fielder, or even the 100 mil owed Hamilton

      • raysfan1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        It isn’t now, but it was an albatross contract and has rightly been derided in the past. If it was not clear from my comment that Pujols’ contract has now superseded it, then let this clear that up. Previously Howard’s contract was mentioned about as often as Rodriguez’ until Rodriguez’ other issues made him a constant presence in the media last year. Now there is little enough time and money still owed that Howard will not often be brought up, plus of course the plethora of newer and worse contract decisions.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        @Prostock … but Howard hit the skids before Pujols did, and he never was a good fielder. Pujols has had, until the last year or so, above average glove and range at 1B.

        @Raysfan … Miggy Cabrera’s owed more than anybody, and he’s show signs of slippage this year.

      • clydeserra - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        funny thing is, I bet we are talking about trout in this way in 13 years. He is going to get a monster of a contract at the end of the current one. He may be better than most 35 year olds, but i bet he is paid like a 28 year old at the time

      • dakotaandotter - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        the howard was not a bad signing at the time. he was coming off four monster seasons and while paid market value of $25M a year he was signed for only five years – which was definitely under value. I’m a Phillies fan and while people have castigated Amaro for the signing it wasn’t that bad at the time.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:27 PM

        @Clyde … maybe not, on Trout. He’s of a different build/body type than Pujols, or Cabrera, or Howard. Mays and Aaron and Williams all had slower aging curves.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:49 AM


        Howard was GIVEN his huge extension two yrs BEFORE they had to give it to him.

        BEFORE his contract extension even kicked in and began, his performance had gone south…

        BEFORE his deal kicked in.

        Had the team NOT jumped the gun so much and waited to sign him, they could have gotten him for much less than they GAVE away…

        In terms of total dollars, yes it’s less but it was such a stupid move for a business to make though… impatient and it bit them hard… and there was NO reason to sign him that early…

        I don’t wanna hear well he could have kept performing at that level and his price would have gone up stuff either.

        They ALL age and paying someone, even like Albert Pujols crazy money for his OLDER seasons is moronic.

        It is a BAD business decision.

    • danfrommv - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Agree we all knew the last 6 or so years of his contract would be dreadful. I think most people (even Albert-snubbed Cardinals fans) expected more out of the first 3 years. He is clearly past his prime, and keeps trying to pull the ball, where the 3 infielders on the left side turn ground ball after ground ball into out after out.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      True on all accounts. As long as Cabrera stays healthy and productive, nobody will say anything about his deal. I hope he does stay well, but if he ever goes into what looks like a steep decline, his deal will be brought up too.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:20 PM

        You’re right. Check back a bit next year, and more, two years from now.

  3. baberuthslegs - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Did the Cardinals know something?
    Or was it just a coincidence they were smart enough
    not to give Albert all the “respect” he thought was due him?

    • skunksprayjim - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      I don’t think they really “knew something” seeing as how they were in the bidding for Pujols right up to $220M or so, I’d say they were just very fortunate to be outbid.

      • DiscountGolfEquipment - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        I believe the Cardinals KNEW what Pujols wanted, and played the”appease the fans” game of offering 40-50 MM below that. The last I heard was a $190 MM offer which Pujols called “insulting”

        The Cardinals saw the decline for 4 straight years before he hit FA. He was still producing big numbers, but the steady decline was too much for their braintrust and they simply covered their A$$es with a bid they knew some greedy owner would surpass, and were correct in their assumption when Moreno bit like a fish.

      • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

        @skunksprayjim I recall inside sources saying the Cardinals final offer was for 9 years and only 189M guaranteed, with a team option for a 10th year that would have put him around 210M. I never heard of an offer of 220M. Pujols wanted 10 years guaranteed, but the Cards wouldn’t bite. They were fortunate to be outbid, but at least in St Louis he carried sentimental value and was loved dearly by fans. They would have still loved him even while declining for all he’d done in St Louis. The fans in Anaheim have no feelings invested in him, they could care less what he did as a Cardinal. Given the sentimental value he carried there it made WAY more sense than the ridiculous Anaheim offer….

        @DiscountGolfEquipment I agree 100%. The Cardinals current front office has a history of making wise baseball decisions. I think this was all part of the big plan. They know what they’re doing as evident by their continuous success.

    • gibbyfan - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      The Cardinals wanted to keep Albert because he was one of theirs and made a huge offer which I believe they felt was way more than fair only because it was Albert –As it turns out they were lucky Albert became a lirrly greedy (probably not the perfect word) and that there was another team out there foolish enough to top their very generous offer.

      • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        “greedy” is the perfect word. There is no other word. He viewed dollar signs as a form of respect and wanted as much as possible. Look at his refusal to let Trout steal while he’s batting, or his refusal to bat anywhere but 3rd in the line up. He’s a me-me-me type player. It’s all about him, mang.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      No, I think they were just lucky that the Angels were willing to go for more.

      • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        Actually the Marlins offered more the Cardinals as well. Pujols turned it down because he wanted a no-trade clause. The Cardinals have a history of making wise baseball decisions. I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Sure the Angels are stupid, but lets not take anything away from the Cardinals front office, who almost always make the right choices.

    • Marty McKee - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      I think they knew that Albert was in his 30s and had a build that could not reasonably be expected to age gracefully on a baseball field. When the Angels made the deal, I predicted Pujols would be out of the game by (reported) age 36.

    • hk62 - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      They were good and lucky – good because they limited the years, lucky because Arty gave AP what it would take to get him to leave STL. Keep in mind though that STL (and Arty) will be paying AP well into the 2020’s – deferred salary (and its not a small number!)

  4. clydeserra - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    yet they keep winning

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      don’t know how folks thumb this down as the Cards HAVE kept winning.

      who needs facts and truth?

      • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:43 AM

        I think clydeserra is saying its the Angels who keep winning (this year), despite Albert’s struggles. Angels are playing well this year, but beat up on bad teams and lose to the good teams.

  5. xpensivewinos - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Gee, who could have possibly seen this coming or predicted it?!?!?! If only this had happened about a million times before so the Angels could have made a smarter decision based on previous case studies. If only everyone on earth could have somehow known these deals never, ever work out.

    Ah well, I’m sure Pujols will simply get better and less injury prone with age, since it usually seems to work out that way…….

  6. echech88 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    I guess they could be pretty great if he turns it around…but watching him doesn’t give you much confidence he will. Doesn’t hit much the other way like he used to and rolls over A LOT.

    He is a very proud man and it shows in how stubborn his approach at the plate can be even with the shift destroying his batting average. Not to mention he has been comically bad with runners in scoring position.

    BTW – pretty sure he, Fielder etc. would never get these massive contracts in 2014 with mounting evidence that the shift will shorten a lot of careers of older players who have to cheat and pull their swing to generate power.

  7. jrob23 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    amazing what happens when you go off HGH. It’ simply mind boggling how he gets a pass on this. Literally since the threat and implementation of HGH testing came about he became just another slugger. So for a complete decade he is super human putting up HOF numbers. Then he suddenly mysteriously became barely above average.

    It’s obvious by the ‘paltry’ contract offer STL made to him that they foresaw a similar trajectory. They had to know he was juicing. They knew testing would probably mean and end to his dominance so they low balled him. Very smart organization.

    • stex52 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Low ball? 220 MM$? The Cards knew nothing. They were just outbid by a bigger fool.

      Love the raw speculation, too. If only you had a shred of evidence.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:22 PM

        Let’s sic Pujols lawyer on this guy like he’s Jack Clark!

      • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        @stex52 220M? Google “Pujols Cardinals contract offer” & read the espn article about Deidre Pujols, Albert’s wife. The Cardinals wouldn’t guarantee a 10th year, or over 200M but hey who needs facts! For the record, the Cardinals never made public what their final offer was. Inside sources say it was 9 yrs 189M guaranteed (21M a year), with a team option 10th year that would put him around 210M. Obviously they wouldn’t be paying that 10th year, as he’s not even worth that in 2014 much less 2021. Pujols came out and said their initial offer was 5 years 130M (26M a year) but him and his wife took that as an “insult” (her exact word).

        Here are some quotes from that article: “The Cardinals’ last offer to Pujols was for 10 years and $210 million, with $30 million deferred.

        “The offer that people have seen on television I want to tell you what, listeners especially, had that offer been given to us with a guarantee, we would have the (Cardinals) bird on our back,” Deidre Pujols told 99.1 Joy FM, a St. Louis-area Christian station.

        “When it all came down, I was mad. I was mad at God because I felt like all the signs that had been played out through the baseball field, our foundation, our restaurant, the Down Syndrome Center, my relationships, my home, my family close,” Deidre Pujols told the station. “I mean, we had no reason, not one reason, to want to leave. People were deceived by the numbers.”

        She indicated the key moment was the Cardinals’ initial offer of five years and $130 million.”

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Wow, a player’s abilities regressing in their 30s? Clearly he was on HGH before, players never get worse as they age!

    • raysfan1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      There has been one athlete who tested positive for HGH. Ever. It was a rugby player who had for-cause testing almost immediately after use. Zero baseball players have been caught. HGH metabolizes within 1-3 hours. With the paltry number of tests per player per year, it’s extremely unlikely a player does get caught.

      Meanwhile, HGH is the snake oil of PEDs. It has been shown to cause muscle hypertrophy but not increased strength nor to speed healing.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        It’s even dumber than that. The guy didn’t fail a test, the police/league knew he was receiving a shipment of HGH and busted him when the (fedex equivalent) showed up to his house.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        Thanks for the correction. That just furthers the point that nobody gets caught with HGH testing.

  8. dondada10 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Not to pile on, but doesn’t the Pujols deal include a personal services clause which employs him for 10 years after his playing days are done?

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      Yes, he has an option to take a 10 year, $10 million personal services contract at the end of his playing days. There’s also milestone bonuses for his 3000 hit, or breaking Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record, both of which may be unlikely if he continues to play like he has the last couple months.

    • Carl Hancock - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      It’s not guaranteed. Only his playing contract is guaranteed. Teams can’t include guaranteed personal services contract while a player is still playing. The 10 year personal services deal was an option for after he retires in anticipation of him going into the Hall of Fame as an Angel. But everyone knows that isn’t going to happen. Pujols has ZERO chance of going into the Hall of Fame as an Angel. He will go in as a Cardinal and then what good is he to the Angels? That personal services contract might as well be toilet paper.

  9. yahmule - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    The decline began before the physical breakdown. Albert’s selectivity at the plate has gradually deteriorated from incredibly good to below average. His O-Swing% has gone from under 20% during his prime to well over 30% since 2011. This has torpedoed his BB-rate, increased his K rate and negatively impacted all of his other offensive numbers.

    • clydeserra - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      oh my! evidence!

      get out of here, I think its because of gambling steeroids, lying about his age and HGH! I know it because I have eyes.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      Right indeed… he started “chasing” pitches already his last year in St. Louis. The start of this year, he had actually improved, but he’s regressed again.

    • jrob23 - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      that will happen when you no longer have synthetic help. Your just not at the top of your game. Bunch of blind fanboys who refuse to believe your favorite ball players are dirty. Only in ‘Murica’ would people claim that steroids and HGH do nothing to help you in baseball. People are so stupid

      • raysfan1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        Not a Pujols fan, but I do read. My source that HGH is not an effective PED: the Mayo Clinic.

        I did not say Pujols has not used it–I do not know if he has. I will say that he or anyone else who does is wasting your money.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:44 PM

        Their money. Sorry for the typo

      • yahmule - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:44 PM

        If you read, then you probably know the definition of the word conclusively. That report states that HGH hasn’t “conclusively” shown to increase strength or endurance. That is far from stating that they are proven to have no efficacy in increasing strength or endurance.

        Also, very curious, do you believe in the huge laundry list of negative side effects mentioned in that report? That would put you at odds with some other PED defenders on this board.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        Not conclusively shown to help by researchers specifically looking for an effect is pretty damning really.

        You ask me if I “believe” in the side effects, as if we are talking about a religion? Those side effects have all been documented to occur. Synthetic anabolic steroids have been widely used and abused for over 6 decades; the data on them is not new. You might as well ask me if I believe the sun will come up in the morning. I will say amphetamines are even worse.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:38 PM

        …and by looking for an effect, I mean that if the manufacturer could prove HGH speeds healing of musculoskeletal injuries, they’d be looking at a billion $ a year for it. My fellow medical professionals would prescribe it like crazy. The motivation to find a benefit for use other than simply for those who are hormone-deficient is huge. The fact that they have not been able to prove a benefit despite years of trying is telling.

  10. deathmonkey41 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    Somewhere A-Rod is smiling…it might be because he’s looking at himself in the mirror or because he heard something funny, but I’m sure he’s some place smiling.

    • slappymcknucklepunch - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:26 AM

      Now that is funny.

  11. flamethrower101 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Steroid and age jokes aside, it really is sad to see Pujols struggle as much as he did. For 11 years in STL he was one of, if not the best players in the game. The numbers he put up in STL – .328/.420/.617, 445 HR, 1,329 RBI, and 10 straight seasons of .300/30/100 to start his career – were mind-boggling.

    Now, he doesn’t even look like an average hitter. He’s not disciplined at all anymore and he’s swinging at bad pitches, and he can’t run anymore. I cannot fathom why Scioscia continues to hit Pujols 3rd when there’s a perfectly capable hitter right above him in the lineup. I think his name is Trout?

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      yep, really stark contrast to his first 10/11 seasons and now…

      But, no one may ever take those first 10 seasons away from him. he arguable had the greatest first 10 seasons in a mlb career… there several articles about this online.

      due to his incredible first 10 to 11 seasons, his rate stats are going to be amazing even with his decline.

      He’s already over 500 home runs and maybe he doesn’t play out his contract because he’ll have to end up retiring due to injuries and/or poor performance.

      I realize this is ALL speculation, but let’s say he plays 5 more yrs of his 7 remaining yrs and then retires because of injuries…

      Let’s give Albert 10 more HR’s for the balance of this season. He’d finish with 518 career HR’s at seasons end.

      5 more seasons to play in my make believe world. Let’s be really conservative and only give him 20 HR’s a season. He’d finish with 618 HR’s then.

      Even averaging 16.5 homers for the next 5 seasons would get him to 600 HR’s.

      No, he wont pass Bonds or Ruth or challenge 700 career HR’s.

      But he should be able to bumble and stumble his way to 600 career dingers. An amazing total.

      Albert already has 1542 RBI’s in his career (44 so far this season). Let’s give him 25 more this season for a total of 1567.

      If Albert were to get 65 RBI’s for the next 5 seasons, he’d be at 1892 career RBI’s

      1892 RBI’s would land him in 14th place ALL TIME between Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams.

      Albert has 540 career doubles right now and 16 so far this season. let’s give him 8 more for a total of 548 doubles after this season.

      Let’s give him 18 doubles a yr for 5 more yrs. He’d finish with 648 career doubles then and 646 would place him in 8th place all time and bump Mr. Carl Yastrzemski from 8th down to 9th place and bump Mr. Honus Wagner from 9th place down to 10th place all time.

      Same thing for career runs scored. just giving Albert a lowly total for the next 5 seasons raised him way up the career chart.

      Same with hits as Albert currently has 2,421 hits. 74 so far this year. lets give him 40 more hits so he’ll finish with 2461 this year.

      let’s give Albert 125 hits each of the next 5 yrs as an average. He’d finish with 3086 hits and join a small group of men to get that many hits. the club is at 28 members right now and 3086 would land him in 21st place all time for most hits.

      Same for career walks too.

      Albert ALREADY has MORE career total bases than Mickey Mantle.

      Seasons with only 150 total bases for Albert would be putting him around 12th place all time and in the neighborhood of Frank Robinson.

      It’s sad to see Albert decline but for those of us who were able to watch him play his first 10 seasons, it was a treat.

      Even with a limp to the finish line, Albert will be an all time great. He’s a multiple world series winner, multiple MVP winner, multiple gold glove winner and his all time stats will be among the highest and all time greats ever in the game… provided he’s able to play at least 5 more seasons at very low production for him.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        He’ll likely pass Mays on the HR total. Still has a decent shot at top-10 career RBIs and runs scored, too.

      • slappymcknucklepunch - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:38 AM

        For the most virulent pus-bags out there
        in “he’s a user” land. He did all that sports
        fan 18 listed AGAINST pitcher’s who likely
        did the same.
        You don’t get to only include batters.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:57 AM

        true, pitchers used too.

        BUT, I’m comparing him to and against all the other HITTERS…

        All the other HITTERS are in the same boat as Albert against those pitchers too…

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:02 AM


        I agree and that was my point exactly. None of us know where he’ll end up but due to his fantastic start to his career, he IS going to rank very high in so many stats even while stumbling and bumbling his way to the end of his career.

        Again, you’re correct in that he could easily pass Mays.

        Heck, one decent year in the next five seasons, a kind of Indian summer for him would really give the numbers I mentioned a boost.

        I was WAY low on his total bases too. He’ll get a lot more than I said and be near the top when he’s done.

    • infieldhit - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      Pujols seems too stubborn and prideful to accept hitting lower in the lineup (you know, for the team), but it’s moot because Scioscia would never dare offend him by asking in the first place.

      He’s even hurt the team by overdoing it on the basepaths. I’m sure ego and stubbornness helped make him great in his 20s, but now it just keeps a lot of us from feeling too badly for him.

    • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      @flamethrower101 it is very sad to see Pujols struggle so much. Was at my parents last Sunday and the Angels/Rangers game was on. My dad was shocked they were playing Albert to shift. He asked why doesn’t he just drive the ball the other way, like he used to. I said Dad he’s nowhere near the same player. He can’t do what he used to do. Very sad indeed.

  12. chinahand11 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    Boggles the mind. For 10 years Albert was a rare upper echelon hitter, worthy of “all time great” status. It’s like he drove off a statistical cliff. Not a Card or Angle fan, but I hate to see this.

    • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      He was loved by so many fans, even outside of St Louis. I’ve followed most of his career. Was a big fan of his until he showed his true colors and was consumed by greed and ego.

  13. happytwinsfan - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Every time you think that after seeing the ARod contract, the Pujols contract, the Sabbathia contract, etc. etc. that no GM is going to give long term mega mega bucks to super stars headed for the down side of the hill. And then the Cano and Cabrera contracts come along.

    I think the baseball Gods are protecting the competitive integrity of baseball, and their ways are mysterious indeed.

  14. alphonzolester - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    HGH is a helluva drug

    • renaado - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      Too much money is one helluva drug…

    • yahmule - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      I think Tinactin is helluva drug. Tough Actin’ Tinactin.

  15. savior72 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Puljos once said he’d hang em up if he couldn’t perform and help his team. Well, we’re waiting…

    • infieldhit - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      I wondered if that was partly inspired by him thinking “Vernon Wells lol.” Probably not as funny now. But at least he’ll always have his Body of Work to fall back on in the face of criticism.

    • dan1111 - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Pujols is definitely still producing. Just not in proportion to his contract.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:07 AM

        way more thumbs down to this true statement…

        he is NOT producing to his contract but he IS producing overall.

        batting average at, slightly above league average.

        slugging, way above league average.

        Albert’s OPS+ is at 123 and league average is only 100.

        Albert IS producing… just not what was expected of him, wanted of him or what he’s being paid to produce.

  16. unlost1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    close your eyes to all this and repeat after me “it’s not about the money”

  17. metalhead65 - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    not to worry angels fans, if he can healthy for week before the trading deadline and hit a couple of homers the angels will get a call from walt jocketty about trading Joey votto and probably Billy hamilton to. we all know walt can’t resist broken down ex cardinals and this would be his dream come true. it is not just because I hate the cardinals just look at his track record,edmomds blew out his achillies with the reds and rolen’s back gave out the min. he signed walt’s ex cardinal retirement contract. ludwick hurt his shoulder and missed most of last season after signing his. although not injured skippy is hitting a robust .230 for the reds so far this season after signing his nice 2 year deal. and let’s not forget Edgar renteria and the great season he had for the reds. it is not as far fetched as it sounds, he would do that deal in a minute if he could in his quest to make the reds the Cincinnati cardinals.

    • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Why are people thumbing this down? It’s funny, and true.

  18. bigtrav425 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    hows come everyone but the Angles front office knew it was a bad decision to give a 8 yr deal to any 33 yr old…i hate long term contracts for anyone but especially for anyone over 30…there only hope is for him to retire early because they are stuck with him and its obviously going to screw them over when it comes being able to sign/add anyone to help them

  19. JB (the original) - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    50+ comments on long, bad contracts and diminished playing ability, and not one mention of Joe Mauer who is also happens to be a “full-time” first baseman nowadays. $23M/yr started in 2011 and runs through 2018.

    • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Very true. Let’s not forget how often Mauer gets injured also.

  20. 1rdd - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Thanks Arte for signing Pujols away from the Cardinals. Sorry that you’ll sink with Pujols and you way overpaid for him. Thanks for making the Cardinal owners look like geniuses and for paying Pujols for all the great years he played in St Louis. Us Cardinal fans are sorry that we ‘insulted’ Pujols with a measly 5 year, $130 million contract.

    • 5thliner - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      At first, yes it felt good to see him struggle but now it’s just sad. He’ll always be one of my favorite cards of all time.

  21. papacrick - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    The Angels have a great offense without Fat Albert. That 30 mil could’ve snagged a couple stud rotation arms and a few bullpen pieces to boot. Then we would be talking about the Angels as the best team in baseball. As a Tiger fan, we thank you Jerry Dipoto

    • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      It wasn’t Dipoto. It was the owner Arte Moreno. He called Pujols personally and talked him into coming to Anaheim. Same the next off-season with Josh Hamilton, which is also a dumb contract.

  22. uyf1950 - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Putting aside their salaries for a minute can someone explain the difference in the 2 writers interpretation of these 2 players less then 24 hours apart when you compare their seasons stats:
    Bill Baer wrote this: David Ortiz isn’t clutch, he’s just good
    Aaron Gleeman just wrote this about Pujols: “…Pujols’ power has remained strong throughout his overall struggles and his 16 home runs rank eighth among AL hitters, but that comes with a lowly .255 batting average and .315 on-base percentage….”

    As best I can tell their numbers this season OR over the last 40 games are not significantly different. I’m just curious how one player is perceived so positively by one writer and the other so much less positively by another.

    • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      2 writers means 2 different opinions. You are right, Ortiz and Pujols have similar numbers this year. The difference could be that Ortiz is 38 and Pujols is 34. Contracts aside, Pujols should be putting up much better numbers at age 34 while Ortiz is meeting expectations for somebody age 38. IMO Pujols is probably about 37, but obviously that is not fact. Also, Ortiz seems to have huge hits when the game is on the line, so that gets extra attention. I’m not sure Pujols has had a walk off hit/hr since he signed with the Angels 2.5 seasons ago.

  23. florida727 - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    I’m not a Pujols hater, in fact, I enjoy watching him play, but this guy is Exhibit #1 when it comes to the argument as to why and how money is ruining baseball. Baseball habitually pays for past performance and NOT on current results. EVERY player in baseball (the other major sports too) should have a nominal salary, whether that be $100,000 or a half-million, and the rest should be incentive based. You get ‘x’ number of hits, you get ‘x’ bonus. You throw ‘x’ number of complete games, you get ‘x’ bonus. These guys nowadays have NO incentive once they land their big contract. But the owners are too stupid to structure deals otherwise.

    • clemente2 - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      Why in the world would players agree to this?

    • yahmule - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      And then you have guys playing strictly for their numbers. I’ll bet that complete game incentive could lead to some nasty on the field exchanges between manager and starting pitcher.

  24. lynneric - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    I like Albert Pujols and think that he is a good person, but maybe he should consider retiring before his injuries make his future a lot less easy. Might be better to go out on top. He must have millions, so money shouldn’t be a problem. Couldn’t he work as a batting coach or in some other capacity with a team ?
    Maybe something good will happen and he will start playing better again, I hope.

  25. rickd1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    Maybe we’ll get lucky and the lord will tell him to retire.

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