Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Albert Pujols and The Man

AP Photos
St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is considered by many, including me, the best player in baseball today. Pujols, who has gotten off to an inexplicable slow start, has been on a tear as of late and has raised his numbers to a respectable level. He's now batting .278 with 13 home runs and 38 RBI which are decent but not at the Pujols-level we're accustomed to seeing.

However, nobody in the Cardinals organization, including Pujols, is worried about it. Hitting coach Mark McGwire said, “By the time the year is over people will see his numbers where they’ve always been.” I agree.

As we all know, the big issue surrounding Pujols during spring training was his contract negotiations with the Cardinals and how both sides couldn't reach an agreement. Many believe that this is Pujol's last year in a Cardinals uniform and come next season he will take his talents elsewhere-- i.e. Chicago Cubs.

Personally, I think Pujols and the Cardinals will work something out and he will remain a Cardinal for life. By the time it's all said and done, Pujols will break almost every Cardinals' batting record which are mostly held by the legendary Hall of Famer, Stan "The Man" Musial. Pujols knows the significance of his potential immortality so that's why I think he isn't going anywhere any time soon. Breaking Musial's records means the world to King Albert and he knows it.

Getty Images
Over this past weekend, Pujols home run swing caught fire as he belted 4 home runs and drove in 7 runs in a 3-game sweep of the Cubs and two of the home runs were back-to-back walk-offs in extra innings. Pujols became the second Cardinal ever to hit walk-off home runs in consecutive games joining, of course, the great Stan Musial. Prior to the 2 extra-inning walk-offs, Pujols and Musial were tied for the Cardinals record with 11 extra-innings home runs. Pujols, now with 13, has the Cardinals record all to himself.

Here is where Pujols currently stands in most major offensive categories in Cardinals history which are held by Musial. The number in parenthesis is where Musial and Pujols currently stand on the all-time Cardinals list--

Games Played - (1) Musial - 3026 -- (9) Pujols - 1619
At-Bats: (1) Musial - 10972 -- (8) Pujols - 5970
Plate Appearances: (1) Musial - 12712 -- (6) Pujols - 7051
Runs Scored: (1) Musial - 1949 -- (3) Pujols - 1228
Hits: (1) Musial - 3630 -- (6) Pujols - 1966
Doubles: (1) Musial - 725 -- (3) Pujols - 433
Home Runs: (1) Musial - 475 -- (2) Pujols - 421
Runs Batted In: (1) Musial - 1951 -- (2) Pujols - 1268
Bases On Balls: (1) Musial - 1599 -- (2) Pujols - 940
Total Bases: (1) Musial - 6134 -- (3) Pujols - 3692

Those were some lofty numbers put up by "The Man" and Pujols has an excellent chance to break most of them, of course, if he stays in St. Louis.

Getty Images
IF, and I repeat, IF, Pujols can't cut a deal with the Cardinals and decides to leave via free agency and happens to land in the Windy City like many predict, all I can say to him is, "Enjoy that annoying '103-year thing' which will be put on your shoulders for the rest of your career." NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!

Stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com

2 comments:

  1. I wonder if the Texas Rangers would trade for the great Albert Pujols?

    http://sportschatterings.blogspot.com/

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  2. Pujols would definitely be a good fit at first base for the Rangers and in the middle of that dangerous line-up. However, I don't think the Rangers can afford to sign him to a monster contract which he will command. Besides, after the A-Rod debacle, I think Texas is staying away from those huge long-term deals.

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